Welcome to Part 7 of the Internship FAQ’s series here on The Border Collective where we answer the internship questions no one else has been answering! This is our first post since hitting 1000 likes on our FB page, so we decided to answer some of the hyper specific questions hiding in our inbox to clean it out!
I’m particularly kilig with this batch because of 2 things: a) most of them came from seniors, meaning we’re reaching a lot farther than I had anticipated so thank you for that! And b) they’re really specific, situational questions I didn’t encounter in my own internship journey, so thinking up how to answer them was enjoyable! Some of you probably have the same problems as those sent in, so hopefully more of you can apply what we talked about today!
You can tell I’m in a super happy mood because of all the exclamation marks I’m using. 😀 This is our Valentine’s Day gift to you!
To recap what’s happened over the past month (!!!), we started this to answer everyone’s and anyone’s questions about interning via this anonymous Google Form, and then it grew exponentially beyond my dreams. This is Part 7 and it seems we’re running out of questions to answer so we might stop giving tips for free since there’s nothing to answer anymore. Who knows? Things might change, the inbox might flood, I might get up and move to S. Korea (you’ll find out why this specific country in a few posts’ time 😉 ).
We hit 1111 likes on our FB page, and if you haven’t yet, please do like it because it gives you updates on the latest info about interning! Plus, we’re starting a new series called Intern-view, where we ask people who’ve interned, about their journeys. So if you want to write for us or you want to nominate your friend to write for an audience of over 500 people every post, nominate them in our anonymous Google Form!
I’m the mean one who’s frightening persistence got her into structured internship programs with very little resume as backup. Betina’s the nice one who’s maneuvered her way into 4 internships in 1 year and has the recruiter/headhunter experience to guide you wayward souls. We both can fix your resume for the low low price of a lunch/dinner because we need to eat, so if you want to hire us, drop us an email at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for reading and hope we answered something useful for you! 😀
Hi I had a major disciplinary case (it was really bad, such a low point in my life and I made a wrong decision waaahh) but that was like sophomore year pa and it has been resolved through community service hours. I’m a senior now and I’m scared that when I graduate, companies won’t accept me anymore once they see that I had a major disciplinary case when they ask the school about my character etc.
Do companies still judge based on those? 🙁
J: As someone who frequently does bad things as well, and fears getting caught because of the repercussions to my future, I would say yes, IF you aren’t upfront about it. People are more likely to forgive your past transgression, if and when they bring it up, if you’re honest about the circumstances that led to it and about how you reformed yourself. Play it off as a young, dumb, and foolish move that led to an early maturity.
I do think though that some places will not even consider hiring you once they find out about the disciplinary case, and that’s OK. Find work elsewhere. The Philippines is in need of intelligent manpower, so not every company can afford to be picky. Somewhere out there, a company will see you for your merits and go, “We gotta hire him/her.”
B: I had a major disciplinary case in high school (for literally the stupidest, least bad-ass reason); don’t sweat it so much. That being said, it’ll really depend on what the case was (something I’m sure they’ll ask you about too). If it had something to do with dishonesty, you have to overcompensate by being absolutely honest during the interview. Just be upfront when asked. Say exactly what you said in your question, which is that it was a stupid mistake you made at a low point in your life, you’ve learned your lesson (to be absolutely clear that you have learned said lesson you should probably explicitly say what lesson you learned), and swear that it will never happen again.
Companies don’t usually start doing background checks until they’re done with the interview stage and ready to offer you the job, so just make sure that the rest of your application is solid and it shouldn’t be a problem 🙂
(Whoops sorry I said exactly what Justine said. I wrote my part without looking at hers, but the fact that both of us thought of the same thing separately just means our advice is solid….and that we think alike lol.)
J: The general rule of thumb is when someone asks you about something they think you’d be ashamed of, own it. They can’t make you feel bad about something you have already processed through your system. Figure out how you’re going to spin the story, if and when they ask you about it, and ask your friends if you seem both contrite and accepting of your fault.
I haven’t interned at all during college. I was supposed to this sem, but I got held up with other commitments. My friends who are in a similar predicament said they’ll be looking for jobs right away but I want to test the waters first. My plan is I’ll intern right before grad since it’s happening in late June and finals will end in early May.
Knowing my late-bloomer situation, what will the likely impression I leave with the HR? Will they think I’m overqualified? Or maybe I wasn’t able to get into any job that’s why I’m doing this? In essence, is there anything I should be concerned about when applying? Advantages and disadvantages of an older intern?
I’d like to think it’s a win-win situation since I’ll be able to give my full commitment, and if they like me enough, they could hire me right away into any openings they might have. Then again, that’s just me so I was hoping if I could get your input about this. 🙂
B: I really support this idea. Especially if you’re looking to go into bigger companies because it’s like a trial period for both you and the company. You get to see if it’s a good fit for you and what you thought it would be (which means if you like everything – the bosses, the people, the office, the type of work – even after the trial period, you’ll probably stay for longer than most fresh grads) And it’s good for the company because they get a full-time intern who is available for a full-time job after a few months. There are almost no disadvantages here except that it’s not a normal situation, so you have to be very clear why you are doing this.
Are you willing to take on the internship even if there’s no available openings afterwards? What is your primary goal: just for experience or to get a job offer at the end? Both answers are perfectly valid, but you need to communicate that in the interview and even your cover letter, just to avoid any miscommunication or potential heartbreak later on.
J: I think your current plan is better than signing a contract straight away with them and getting stuck for 2-3 years with a company you might not like that much. If you’re unhappy with your first job, you’ll be counting down the days until you can leave which doesn’t make you a productive member of their society. I know this will happen because this is happening everywhere as I write this; the problem most companies face nowadays is unmotivated young people who want more exciting jobs instead of the drudge work that consists their day-to-day work. That’s why there’s an exponential amount of Ateneans joining startups now. For the excitement.
B: PREACH. Loving your job is so important because you spend 40+ hours of you week at work. I’m not sure what your number one reason for you plan is, but if it was me, the fact that you get to test out the company with super limited commitment is the number one reason to do it.
J: Pros of your plan: You get to see if that company is a good fit for you and if their culture is something you want to be a part of. They get cheap intelligent labor from you for a few months. You learn some skills that you can take with you to any job you choose at the end of your internship. You learn more about yourself and what you can and cannot handle.
Cons: The biggest problem I see here is that you might be working for little to no compensation during the months that you’re interning with them, but who knows? They might pay you a pretty OK wage, not a real one with taxes and everything since you’re an intern. I don’t think that they’ll think you’re overqualified. If anything, they will be expecting much more from you since you’re nearly an Ateneo graduate. Your learning curve will be steeper than anything Betina and I ever experienced, precisely because you’re a senior about to enter the workforce. They expect you to be ready to become a productive member of society.
It is a win-win situation, if you’re fully prepared to dedicate yourself into learning everything as quickly as you can. You need to keep your eyes peeled, and trust your instinct about whether the place you’re interning at can become your permanent job for the next few years. So, good luck!
What are some of the most effective places to look for internships/jobs? Least effective? I know FB groups and Kalibrr are really good places to start, but what about Jobstreet for example?
Also, is it better to just directly contact and send your CV/resume to listed e-mails I might find from the HR or hand it in through the advised route (such as company website or other intermediary)?
B: I love Jobstreet since everyone uses it. Jobstreet’s probably the one with the most options, and I used it to find Coca-Cola’s internship opening so if I ever have to look for an internship again, I’ll search there for sure. Personally, I use the FB groups and Jobstreet, but Kalibrr’s a good resource too 🙂
I’ve always done both. I send it through the advised route, but I also send in a copy to the personal e-mail if I have a contact there. Sometimes resumes get lost in the pile, especially if it’s a super big company, so it’s always good to send it via e-mail just in case.
J: Full disclosure, the main reason I like Kalibrr so much is because a, cool interface, design, and concept to job hunting and b, they hired my best friend during the time I was at Citibank so I got to hitch a ride to and from Makati pretty often. So, thank you Kalibrr!
I’ve never tried Jobstreet, but I did try getting one from Linkedin. I applied to Zalora through there and it was straightforward, email them with a specific subject line. This is really more up Betina’s alley than mine because I got a lot of my work through word-of-mouth from friends, who happen to be an excellent way of finding contacts.
B: LinkedIn is actually scary good at figuring out which positions you are suited for/will be interested in based on your connections and the short questionnaire you fill in as you build your profile. Plus a LinkedIn account and profile is always useful, so making one now can’t hurt 🙂
How can I find internships that will coordinate with my school schedule? All I’ve found are full-internships and I can’t seem to find any where like I can go once a week for 5 months or something like that. Plus I don’t want to change the sched of my class since I was able to get the good profs this time and their other time slots don’t help much.
J: Expand where you’re looking online; there are places that are near Ateneo that can accommodate this kind of lifestyle. There are tons of offices in Katipunan extension (the Katips part, as in the restaurant, ok) and I’m sure you can find something there, just message their FB and be incessant. My friend worked at Gouache over there, so message them to see if they’re still accepting or not.
Kalibrr.com and Ateneo Jobs and Internships are good places to look at as well. But my personal advocacy is just message companies’ FB pages in search of a job. If you’re willing to go for free, then anyone will be willing to take you. Just find offices near school and just drop them a message. You can’t be super picky about the company, since it’s your time that’s more important.
B: Most big name corporations can afford to be picky because they always have so many applicants. My advice would be to go somewhere that can’t afford to be picky. If you really want to intern, consider going for a start-up or a super small company – fair warning though, they probably won’t pay. Another thing I would suggest is to look for companies in locations convenient for you and inquire about an internship program, instead of looking at the internships available and figuring out which is most convenient.
How many hours a day are you in the office and how do you balance internship and acads?
B: Rogue: 4-5 hours x 3 times a week after classes
Petron: M-F, 8am-6pm
ZMG Ward-Howell: M-Th, 9am-5pm
Coca-Cola: M-W-F, 9am-5pm
Those were the official hours. I usually got to the office 1-2 hours early all the time (thanks to horrible Manila traffic). Rogue didn’t really have any ‘homework’ for interns so all my work was done purely from the office. That didn’t really require a lot of time management. It just felt like having full days all the time, but nothing unmanageable.
ZMG Ward-Howell and Petron were during the long summer, so that didn’t entail balancing any acads either.
I’ll talk mostly about Coca-Cola cause I was doing that during all of last semester, so I definitely needed to balance acads and internship. I was pulling full days on T-Th (straight classes from 7:30am-6pm with one break allocated for my Mkt 101 group) and then all day M-W-F I’d be in the Coca-Cola office. On office days, I’d get there super early then have breakfast downstairs at Wildflour (literally my favorite place in the world) while working on my homework.
If you’re extremely focused about it, I find that you can really finish all your school stuff in 1-2 hours. And working early in the morning is the best cause nobody else is fully awake yet so you won’t get distracted by Twitter, FB, Instagram, etc. I was obsessive about to-do lists and scheduling out my weeks, so that I could see my friends for super early breakfast or late night dinners. (True friends are willing to meet you at super inconvenient times just because they miss you.)
My weekends were surprisingly free, and unless I had a test I really didn’t study on weekends – but that might just be cause I go back home to the south on weekends and the vibe is so chill that it’s impossible for me to get much work done.
Not gonna lie; balancing both is hard and I really really love my sleep so what I ended up giving up was social life. But Coca-Cola paved the way for me to be considered for my dream companies, so it was 110% worth it.
J: Citibank 8-5 everyday from April to May. But I was in the office by 7am because MRT traffic.
INKOMPASS officially 8-5, but I was in the office til midnight a lot because of traffic so I got a lot more work done during then. 7am entrance into the office as well from June to July because again, MRT traffic.
Blogapalooza, I do it in my spare time between acads and org work and family and friends because it’s work from home and results oriented work environment. We meet once a month, usually on a Saturday. Client meetings usually after school.
Every morning, before I have breakfast and usually when I’m commuting, I write down what needs to be done today. All the readings, how many clients to call, what meetings to set and to attend; everything is on a list in my phone every morning on the train. I break down every big project into as many steps as possible so as to get a headstart on everyone else because I like getting 8 hours of sleep during hell month.
The key is to know what needs to be done today, and what can be done when you’re not about to have a nervous breakdown because there’s so many things on your to-do list for the day.
This isn’t really about internships lol but is there any chance you guys will do a guide on time management?
J: I feel like Betina and I should teach a class on this hahaha. Yeah, why not, let’s write a guide on it. But in the future. We have to time manage when we’ll write that post.
B: I feel like she’s overestimating my time management skills, but I’m down to write a post on this 🙂
Disclaimer: I’m really type-A about…..everything, really. I schedule my whole life on my phone and I have a very long, color-coded To-do list.
J: And my life is entirely hinged on my Google Calendar because I have the memory of a gnat.
Thanks for reading and hope we answered something useful for you! If we haven’t, fill up the Google Form below so we can get to answering your questions soon! If you’ve got any comments, suggestions, queries, or you just want to talk to us, email either of us at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org! And if you want to do a collab or want to contact us as a business, email us at email@example.com! You can also follow me on Twitter and Instagram as well @ChaiXingJun!
We’ve got a lot in store for you all, (as in, our whole Feb is already booked hahahaha) from Youthhack to INKOMPASS to some other internship opportunities we’ll be fielding for you all, so keep up with us here on The Border Collective’s FB page!
Next up here on The Border Collective is a treat for us all. This week, we don’t have one but instead, 2 guest Q&A intern-views! (That’s what we’re renaming the guest writer series! What do you think?) The first from Nikki Lucenario, an Economics junior and all around goals, who will be talking about her internship at BPI; the second from one of the 17 INKOMPASS interns on how they reached the top of 4700 applicants and what their stay at PMFTC, inc. was like! Stay tuned!