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CISL Career English Student Emanuela Experiences the Biomedical Research Industry

January 29, 2018

Career English Course San Diego California

People often say that the American business model and work environment is different than in other countries . . . but exactly how is it different? With CISL’s Career English program, students have the opportunity to experience the U.S. work environment by spending time at an American host company. Italian student Emanuela recently completed the CISL Career English program and shared her experience with us. We are pleased to see the many ways in which she improved her English through written and spoken tasks!

CISL Career English Student Emanuela Experiences the BioMedical Research Industry

Emanuela had two interviews: one at Constance Ardila, and one at BioMed IRB. Emanuela recalls that she was “positively astounded by Grace’s [the Career English Coordinator] fast ability to find work placements and interviews.”

Before the interviews, Emanuela worked with the Career English Coordinator to prepare. Was she ready? According to Emanuela, the interview experience was “absolutely positive. I felt prepared and the interviewer . . . made me feel comfortable and asked me different questions.”

As Emanuela mentions, there was a need for her to prepare: “For sure, I can say that the way the Career English Coordinator, Grace Turner, helped me to prepare my interviews was really useful; in fact, there is a wide difference between the American and the Italian way to conduct interviews. In addition, Grace also guided me to produce my Cover Letter and my resume.”

After the interviews, Emanuela chose BioMed IRB. “This was a smart choice, because this non-profit company is well-known and its name on a resume is well-seen.” What did she do during her time there? Emanuela details her experiences at the company.

Career English Course San Diego California

“During my experience at BioMed IRB, I had the opportunity to work in a wide variety of tasks:

  • reviewing some old email and check[ing] with the BioMed’s database if there was any missing document;
  • send[ing] email to some customers and call[ing] some of them;
  • reviewing the drafts of the old meetings and verifying that what is written on them corresponds to the invoices on the BioMed’s database with the same date;
  • translation from English to Italian of some official document[s] of FDA;
  • research related with Marco Polo and the spread of the plague in the 13th century;
  • every Thursday I have attended the BioMed’s meetings by computer; this is definitely my favorite part of the work”

Emanuela also completed the company’s CITI program, where she says she learned the following:

  • “writing a mutual Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA);
  • scanning and modifying some document by putting an online stamp of acknowledge and uploading them on their online database;
  • understanding, through an online course, the issue of “patentability” regarding ideas and technologies
  • writing an essay in English and Italian about the scientific method”

Overall, Emanuela says that she really enjoyed her responsibilities. “The two tasks I have enjoyed are: attending the meeting and the CITI program. In fact, attending a meeting by computer is not only interest[ing] because of the topic they vote on, but it’s also a really good practice to improve my listening skills. Furthermore, completing successfully the CITI program and obtaining the official certification are clearly worthy for the resume; also, the issues I studied for it were all strictly related with my major and useful for my future.”

Career English Course San Diego California

Emanuela continues, “In conclusion, my experience was absolutely positive: the work environment is small, but friendly; my supervisor, Fred Fox, has showed good attitude and interest in teaching me every day something new. Everything I have done on my volunteer work was related with biomedical issues.”

Would she recommend the CISL Career English Program?

“I would completely recommend the CISL Career English program to potential students because it is a good experience.” The outcomes, Emanuela says, include “ being more confident on a work environment, especially for someone who has never worked before” and “meeting and being confident with an American work environment.” Overall, Emanuela sees that the CE Program “is absolutely good for the resume, especially for European.”

We are so happy to hear that you enjoyed your experience with CISL’s Career English program, Emanuela! We wish you all the best in your career in Italy and look forward to seeing how you use your English in the future!

CISL’s Career English program is a combination of English classes and time at an American host company. For more information on CISL’s Career English course, contact CISL.

Career English

CISL Career English Student Dominic Learns Architecture at Martinez + Cutri

January 18, 2018

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to use your English in a professional setting? The CISL Career English Program consists of CISL English classes and then time at an American host company, where the student improves his or her English in the workplace. CISL student Dominic, from Switzerland, recently completed CISL’s Career English Program. Dominic shared his experience with us.

Dominic spent his time at Martinez + Cutri, which Dominic describes as “a well known multidisciplinary firm, which plans educational, hospitality, residential and commercial buildings. Currently they are planning two high-rise buildings in which I was partially involved.” (To learn more about Martinez + Cutri, read our interview with Anthony, one of the firm’s owners.)

While taking classes at CISL, Dominic worked with the Career English Coordinator to prepare for his interview. Dominic feels he was well prepared for the interview and says, “Fortunately, my Career English coordinator (Grace Turner) from CISL prepared me perfectly for this task. She prepared me well for possible questions the companies may ask, and gave advi[c]e for the dress code and manner.” Interviews are always stressful, but especially so when they are not in your native language! Dominic agrees: “I also already had various interviews in Switzerland which gave me confidence. Nevertheless, this was my first one in English language. It went very good, just like the two others I had with different companies.” If you need to prepare for an interview, check out our article, Five Common Interview Questions to Practice Preparing for an Interview.

During his time at Martinez + Cutri, Dominic had many responsibilities. “I worked close together with one of the Bosses, Joe Martinez, on new projects and was responsible for the 1st drafts for four different projects. I also got the chance to plan some car parking spots for these residential projects. Of course, I had to look into all the new regulations, which are sometimes much different compared to those in Switzerland. Although, some things were just about the same as in my country and therefore easy to me to understand and implement. The most attractive duty was to plan and draft their new office in which they (the company) will move in 2018.” How exciting!

Overall, Dominic agrees that the CISL Career English Program was a valuable experience. “In my opinion, CISL is doing a good job with their career program. I didn’t miss anything and Grace was always reachable in case of any problems . . . I definitely would recommend CISL’s career English program to other students or colleagues.”

We are so happy that you enjoyed your experience, Dominic! We wish you success in your career!

CISL’s Career English Program places students in American host companies, where students practice English in a real work environment. For information about CISL’s Career English Program, contact CISL.  


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Meet our CISL Career English Host Company, Martinez + Cutri Corporation!

October 24, 2017

Career English CISL San Diego

With CISL’s Career English program, students attend English classes at CISL and improve their language skills. Students then interview with an American company and are placed in a host company where they practice their English skills in a business setting (and learn many things about an industry).

We interviewed Anthony G. Cutri who is the Principal/Partner Architect of his firm Martinez + Cutri Corporation. Over the last few years, Martinez + Cutri Corporation has hosted numerous CISL interns (so far, they’ve taken students from Germany, Switzerland, and Russia). Let’s learn a little about this wonderful company and how they work with CISL students!

Career English CISL San Diego

Could you please provide a brief description of your company?

We are a full service architecture/urban design firm, we make buildings – from low/midrise to high rise building. We design schools, hotels, high density mixed use housing amongst other building types.

 How long have you been taking interns with CISL?

About 18 months

 What are some of the qualifications or qualities you look for in an intern?

A good portfolio and resume along with an in person interview.

Career English CISL San Diego

 What are the typical duties for a CISL student who is “working” at your company?

We try to have them get experience in most of the tasks in the office from drafting and design to job site visits and everything in between.

 What are the advantages of having an international student in the workplace?

It is very helpful for us at M+C to know how the practice of architecture works in other countries.

Career English CISL San Diego

Thank you to the Martinez + Cutri Corporation for providing such a wonderful environment for our students!

To learn more about CISL’s Career English program, contact CISL

All photos are from Martinez + Cutri. 

Business English Career English CISL San Diego Featured

CISL Student Florian Learns Project Planning, Social Media, and Corporate Design at Casas Advisors!

September 28, 2017

Have you dreamed of improving your English skills for a future job? CISL’s Career English program provides students with the English skills necessary to succeed in the work environment AND offers international students a chance to spend time at an American company!

Our German student, Florian, recently learned English at CISL and then spent time at Casas Advisors, a real estate company. Florian shared some of his experience with us.

CISL Student Florian Learns Project Planning, Social Media, and Corporate Design at Casas Advisors!

Objectives and expectations

Florian’s goals before the Career English program were clear. “My main objective and intention to enroll for the Career English Program at CISL was to improve my business English and to gain some work experience abroad to improve my CV.”

Why did Florian choose CISL? He admits that it’s not easy for international students to find such an experience at an American company without the help of programs such as CISL’s Career English. Florian recalls that “A major issue for finding a company for me was that most companies require to pay their interns and therefore they need to have a working visa.” Thankfully, with the help of CISL’s Career English Coordinator, Florian was able to find a placement at Casas Advisors, a real estate company in San Diego.

Florian’s tasks and responsibilities

Florian spent two months at Casas Advisors, where the “team was very dedicated to integrate me into the team and to always find challenging tasks for me.”  His responsibilities were varied and challenging. “To summarize my activities I created the following list for a quick overview:

  • Creation of social media analysis and planning tool; definition and implementation of recommendations
  • Development of corporate design
  • Creation of buyers & listing presentation
  • Calculation of ROIs of planned real estate investments for creation of investors pitches
  • Increased transparency of projects through Gantt-Project management planning
  • Administrative activities (reply to enquiries, ordering etc.)
  • Revised marketing material

Improving English through a host company

Florian says he saw great improvements to his English skills after spending time with his host company. “Reviewing my time as an intern at Casas Advisors I can say that those two months were great . . . [I was] able to improve my business English in this environment. Mostly this improvement was caused by making phone calls or attending meetings and holding presentations.” Another reason Florian’s English improved is because of his interactions with employees of the company. “Working together with my co-workers made my work more fun, interesting and flexible at the same time. I worked closely with Linda Paz, the Broker’s assistant, and Santiago Orvananos, the Owner and Broker of Casas Advisors.”

Was it worth it?

Florian says yes. “I was very pleased with my working experience in San Diego. Through the aforementioned activities I was able to improve my skillset according to Excel & PowerPoint . . . it was an awesome experience which I highly recommend. I can only speak highly of Casas Advisors.

Congratulations to Florian for a successful experience with a host company, and many thanks to Casas Advisors for providing such a welcoming environment for Florian to improve his English!


CISL’s Career English Program offers students the opportunity to improve their English skills in the classroom and at an American company. Students first spend time in the CISL classroom, which has small class sizes (no more than 8 students!) that allow English learners to quickly improve. Students then work closely with the Career English Coordinator to create an American resume (which is different than a CV) and interview with American companies. Students spend at least two months improving their English in a work environment, either while still taking classes at CISL or after completing their CISL English courses. Contact CISL for more information.


Career English CISL Premier CISL Premier English CISL San Diego English for Engineers Featured Vocabulary

20 Useful Vocabulary Words for an Engineering Resume

August 15, 2017

Useful Engineering Resume Vocabulary Words in English

Writing a resume is difficult: how can you describe yourself, your education, and your accomplishments without sounding cliche, boring, or arrogant? Verbs that concisely explain your job responsibilities will help you when writing a resume. These 20 useful engineering resume vocabulary words will help you when applying for your engineering job or internship.

Note: these terms have been selected for several engineering fields, including biochemical engineering, mechanical, structural, operational, and civic engineering. The form of the word given is the past tense of each verb, and the example is written in the style you might see on a resume. To better understand the format of a U.S. style resume, see our articles “Resume vs. CV: What Is the Difference?.”

20 Useful Engineering Resume Vocabulary Words


Definition: Increase in rate, amount, or extent.

Example: Invented a machine that accelerated production speeds.


Definition: Have an effect on; make a difference.

Example: Affected change in production by designing a more efficient machine.


Definition: Examine (something) methodically and in detail, typically in order to explain and interpret it.

Example: Analyzed data from surveyors to make informed suggestions regarding city planning.


Definition: Make something be applicable or relevant.

Example: Applied various structural engineering theories to work in the field and in the office.


Definition: Assess the value or quality of.

Example: Appraised local structures to determine their durability.


Definition: Instruct or inform (someone) thoroughly, especially in preparation for a task.

Example: Briefed city officials on the status of local bridges and other structures.

Useful Engineering Resume Vocabulary Words in English


Definition: Make a systematic list of (items of the same type).

Example: Cataloged laboratory data for analysis.


Definition: Represent (something) in graphic form.

Example: Diagrammed electrical circuits of residential and office buildings.


Definition: Identify the nature of (an illness or other problem) by examination of the symptoms.

Example: Diagnosed weak areas of older buildings in order to suggest repairs.


Definition: Make (a device or system) operational; activate.

Example: Enabled a new form of solar-powered energy.


Definition: Skilfully arrange for (something) to occur; design and build (a machine or structure).

Example: Engineered a new form of solar energy collection.

Useful Engineering Resume Vocabulary Words in English


Definition: Make (an action or process) easy or easier.

Example: Facilitated meetings between business owners and local residents regarding structural damage to local buildings.



Definition: Place or fix (equipment or machinery) in position ready for use.

Example: Installed new circuits for energy-efficient electricity throughout the building.


Definition: Record in detail the spatial distribution of (something).

Example: Mapped data regarding energy consumption throughout the city.


Definition: Ascertain the size, amount, or degree of (something) by using an instrument or device marked in standard units.

Example: Measured the levels of pollution in local waters.


Definition: Use (a system, procedure, etc.) as an example to follow or imitate.

Example: Modeled new software on components of previous versions.


Definition: Altered or changed.

Example: Modified older machines to increase production.


Definition: Manage; (of a person) control the functioning of (a machine, process, or system).

Example: Operated and examined machinery for maintenance and review.


Definition: Make the best or most effective use of (a situation or resource).

Example: Optimized production of machinery.


Definition: Reconsider and alter (something) in light of further evidence.

Example: Revised reports from biologists; included data and suggestions regarding actions to be taken.

Useful Engineering Resume Vocabulary Words in English

CISL San Diego provides an intensive English for Engineering course for students who are working in (or interested in working in) the field of engineering. This course provides the vocabulary and language skills necessary for the student’s particular field: lessons can be catered to the student’s interests and professional needs. CISL’s English for Engineering course can be taken alongside the Career English program, which places students in an American company in order to use their English skills in the workplace. Contact CISL for more information.