Tatiana Skuratova, a graduate of Shanghai-based Tongji University, went to a job fair in Shanghai Free Trade Zone (FTZ) this week with confidence in securing a position.
She is among the first group of foreign graduates to benefit from Shanghai's revised foreign work permit policy.
From this year, international students with a bachelor degree or above can apply for jobs in Shanghai Zhangjiang National Innovation Demonstration Zone and Shanghai FTZ directly after graduation. Previously, foreign citizens required two years of work experience after graduation to work in Shanghai.
Russian national Skuratova said she has always wanted to work in Shanghai since arriving when she was 16.
She is confident in finding a suitable job with her bachelor degree in world politics from the prestigious Chinese university.
Xu Wen, director of the human resources and social security bureau in Shanghai Pudong New Area, said some 39 companies based in Shanghai FTZ were offering 269 positions at the fair.
Ian Soder, an American graduate in humanities from NYU Shanghai, said a job with a monthly salary around 20,000 yuan (2,899 U.S. dollars) would be enough to convince him to stay in Shanghai, while if he looks for a job in New York, he expects a yearly package above 50,000 U.S. dollars.
NYU Shanghai, jointly set up by the New York University (NYU) and East China Normal University in 2013, is the third degree-granting campus in NYU's global network. Soder was among the school's first group of undergraduates.
"I believe better career development prospects in Shanghai. That is why I would consider a lower starting salary here," he said.
Iranian PhD student Mahdi Gharibavi attended the job fair, although he still has another year to go for his mechanical engineering studies at East China University of Science and Technology.
He was happy to see the many job opportunities available in Shanghai.
"I studied for my masters in Italy. The job prospects in Europe were nowhere near that in China," he said.
Most employers at the fair said they are willing to offer foreign job seekers starting salaries 10 to 20 percent higher than that given to Chinese graduates.
Ding Yifan, a recruiter for global travel booking firm Agoda, said foreign graduates are ideal for the company's customer service team. He received more than 20 job applications within the first hour.
As well as enhanced employment policies, Shanghai has also piloted a series of policies streamlining applications for Chinese "green cards," allowing permanent residence for non-Chinese residents. For those working in Shanghai FTZ, a letter of recommendation from the FTZ authorities assists in the application process.
Shanghai has 170,000 foreign permanent residents. The municipal government has encouraged large companies and industrial parks to build apartment buildings to provide housing for their foreign employees.
Similar policies have been rolled out in cities in Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces in east China, as increasing foreign talent has become more important than attracting foreign investment.