Two international graduates who had experienced first-hand the intricacies of the Tier 2 visa system in the UK founded the platform in 2016.
They wished to help students like them find jobs after graduation and a way to remain in the country, often after three years or more of study.
“As international students there are so many laws and regulations that you have to keep in mind before applying for a job,” Tripti Maheshwari told The PIE News.
“As a student I applied for every job a saw on the market. It was the wrong thing to do because half of them weren’t even sponsoring!”
Student Circus was founded by Maheshwari and Dhruv Krishnaraj, who graduated in 2015 from Cass Business School and the University of Bristol respectively.
Maheshwari is also a finalist in this year’s PIEoneer Awards in the International Alumni of the Year category.
Student Circus lists graduate-level jobs offered at companies that are licensed to sponsor for a Tier 2 visa and interested in hiring international graduates.
“There are so many laws and regulations that you have to keep in mind before applying for a job”
It also works in partnership with universities, which use the platform to tailor their career services for international students around what jobs their students can apply for.
There are five university partners, but Maheshwari told The PIE News that they are aiming for 20 partners by September.
The two entrepreneurs are also in talks with investors to fund their ambitious plans for the future.
One of their main challnges, she explained, is countering the perception that, since the official two-year post study work right in the UK was scrapped, international students can’t find jobs.
“When the rules change, they change for everyone – students, universities, employers. Companies found it difficult to adapt,” Maheshwari explained.
“But now they are tuning in to the idea. They are more willing to sponsor because they want to find the right talent.”
The basic requirement for inclusion on Student Circus is for companies to have Tier 2 licence, but Maheshwari and Krishnaraj also filter out all those positions that are not suitable for students, leaving only the relevant ones – such as graduate positions or internships.
“We are trying to change the game where we are making it more transparent, more equal for international students to find jobs,” Maheshwari explained.