Intern-view: Alvin Jason Bravo on PLDT

What’s up, dear readers, I’m Justine, and The Border Collective is back with this week’s edition of Intern-view. In the hot seat today is PLDT’s Best Intern for 2015! Alvin Jason C. Bravo from Ateneo de Manila University is a recent graduate of BS Management Information Systems, and interned at PLDT (Internet Protocol Backbone Planning Division) from April 6, 2015 to May 29, 2015.

Prior to interning for PLDT, Alvin went to Lille, France for his Junior Term Abroad last 2014 and he represented the Philippines in an international research competition held in Vietnam. His team presented a potential antidote to leukemia and won silver medals for this research. While they were in high school.

To humanize Alvin, since I feel he’s become this unreachable god-level person, I asked for some personal facts about him as well. So that we can relate to him. Just a little bit. 

  • Alvin hasn’t watched Finding Nemo yet (and is missing out on the biggest father-son love story of the century),
  • loves sushi and anything matcha, and
  • will graduate Cum Laude this coming June.

That last one wasn’t very humanizing. But oookaayy. Moving on.

Today’s featured image is a candid shot of Alvin’s speech as he accepted the award for being PLDT’s Best Intern for 2015.

Alvin’s goal in life is to found his own startup company and be its CEO. And from what I’ve learned about him, he’s well on his way there. I’m glad I’ve pseudo-met him because I’m sure great things are in store for him.

I say pseudo-met because Alvin and I have never met in person. 😀 I found out about him through Toni Garcia, last week’s Intern-view because she nominated him to write for the series. He gamely accepted and was prompt in turning in his Intern-view, making him one of my new favorite people on Earth.

But before we jump right into his Intern-view, for those not acquainted with The Border Collective yet, we write 2 different regular series: the Internship FAQ’s where Betina and I aka Justine, answer your questions about interning, job hunting, resumes, and interviews! We’ve written extensively on the interview process, like about a pre-interview routine or on how to ace your next phone interview. And then we wrote some more about things like what we look for in a company before signing with them.

You can read all our tips and tricks here on the site, starting with the 15 Most Frequently Asked Questions about Interning! If we haven’t answered your questions yet, just drop them into our Google Form here. You can also drop us comments about how we’re doing or say anonymous nice things there too!

Our other series is the Intern-views, where we ask wonderful people who have interned at other places to talk about their intern journey as well. We want to showcase as many different work places and paths to interning as possible. If you know anyone with a cool story to tell, or who wants to revisit their interning experience, nominate them in our Google Form as well!

I won’t keep you guys waiting any longer. Thanks for reading and I hope Alvin wrote something useful for you!


How did you find and pick this internship?

I learned of PLDT’s Student Camp Program (that’s what the company calls their internship program) from the MIS batch before us. Since they said that PLDT gives invitations to students via their departments and our department didn’t receive any in that year, I just tried my luck and sent my resume to one of PLDT’s HR employees.

Fortunately, they invited me for an interview, and I was accepted.

I did not initially want to work for PLDT, but after weighing the pros and cons, I eventually confirmed my slot in the Student Camp Program. I thought that it is actually a very great opportunity to become a part of the country’s leading telecommunications company.

 

Why did you choose to intern?

It is required for us, MIS majors HAHA

But even though it isn’t, I would still choose to intern to get a grasp of what it is like working in the corporate world—to see if I would like it there and if it is the right path for me.

Also, I thought that it is actually a very great opportunity to become part of the country’s leading telecommunications company in the Philippines. 🙂

PLDT Student Campers with PLDT Chairman Manny V. Pangilinan
PLDT Student Campers with PLDT Chairman Manny V. Pangilinan

 

How was the experience of applying and being interviewed for the internship?

To say it was nerve-wracking would be an understatement.

The Student Camp Program is a special internship program different from PLDT’s regular OJT program. They invited hundreds of applicants hailing from various prestigious local colleges and universities, and would only accept about 50 interns (student campers).

What made the selection process more rigorous is that it includes an interview with a top executive of the company. Even though I already had interviews before, this was more challenging because I had to impress, not an HR professional, but a top executive.

 

What would you say were the skills you needed when you applied? Did you pick up any new skills throughout your internship?

Because practicum is required in our curriculum, technical skills (e.g. programming, business and I.T. analysis) were needed. Since we handle different projects back then that we always have to present, not just to the heads of our division, but also to the top executives of the company, my presentation and communication skills have improved significantly.

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What was your expectation for the internship? How did the actual experience compare?

My expectation was that the internship would not necessarily be easy, yet fulfilling.

Since I was new to the IPBB Planning division, I was not entirely familiar with the technical terms and business rules used there. I am a Management Information Systems major, and most of my colleagues there are Engineering majors. Since the nature of the division I was assigned in is not entirely aligned with what I was studying in MIS, I knew that I really had to familiarize myself with IPBB jargons (technical terms) and business rules, especially for the app that I was developing.

Fortunately, it didn’t take me so long to do so because my mentors guided me along the way. Also, I am really grateful for my mentors for they did not only impart technical knowledge, but also life lessons to me. 🙂

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What did you do during your internship? What kinds of tasks and projects were you given? Did you volunteer to take on a task yourself?

MIS majors were all required to work on something MIS-related for their internship, and so I did mostly systems analysis, design, and implementation during my internship at PLDT.

Since I was under PLDT’s Student Camp Program, and not their regular OJT program, I, together with a partner, had to do a project that would be presented to the top executives of the company. We first analyzed our division’s current system, and then proposed a new one that would hopefully make the division’s analysis of the IPBB platform easier and more efficient. We developed an app that would notify the division if there is a need for any expansion and/or traffic rebalancing of the Internet backbone in the country. In layman’s terms, the purpose of the application we developed is to identify which areas in the country needs expansion so that the Internet speed there would remain fast for PLDT’s customers. (J: I badly needed this layman’s term version to fully understand his job description.)

My partner and I won 1st Place in the Revalida competition for this application, and we feel blessed that the panel, which consists of top executives from different divisions in PLDT, appreciated our output and what it could possibly contribute to the growth of the entire company.

Aside from that major project, I also got the chance to install a livestreaming platform for Manny Pacquiao’s fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr. Because of this, PLDT customers in Manila were able to watch the fight live. 😀

I also accomplished several reports (e.g. Trunk Utilization and Network Plans Report). In this particular task, I analyzed the bandwidth usage of the entire country, and assessed manually if there is a need for any expansion and/or traffic rebalancing. It actually sounds quite interesting, but I actually found this particular task boring. (lol)

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With our mentors from the IPBB Planning division

What would you say were the best parts about your internship?

The friendships I made with my co-interns!!! (J: I super agree, your co-interns become your best friends, guys!!)

We would always eat lunch together, and sometimes, hang out at the mall after office hours. One time, we even had a sleep over!!

I also loved the events organized by the company’s HR department. We had team building activites, CSR efforts, and leadership talks.

 

What would you say were the worst parts about your internship (or interning in general)?

When the tasks seem to become too repetitive and boring sometimes. Also, because I interned during the summer break, there were several times when I had to pass on hangout plans with friends.

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If you could go back in time to the first day of your internship, what is one piece of advice you would have given yourself?

Just enjoy your time at the company. 🙂

 

What do you think made you stand out to be PLDT’s Best Intern for 2015?

I wasn’t aware that PLDT would be giving any awards, so being the Best Intern was not really my main goal when I started working for PLDT. As an MIS major who develops applications and information systems, I simply wanted to make things easier for the users. More importantly, I wanted to meet the expectations of my mentors and my entire PLDT family. Given the wonderful opportunity to be part of the PLDT Student Camp 2015, it was probably my drive to leave something that can contribute to the company that made me stand out. 🙂

 

What was the most interesting thing you did at your internship?

Presenting our winning project to THE Manny V. Pangilinan 😀 Hearing positive feedback from one of the most eminent businessmen in the country is a very humbling experience I will never forget.

Presentation to PLDT’s Chairman Manny V. Pangilinan
Presentation to PLDT’s Chairman Manny V. Pangilinan

 

What would you say was your greatest learning from interning?

That, in work, it is best to always maintain a positive attitude and to constantly strive to exert my best efforts.

 

What advice would you give anybody who wants/is about to start interning?

Be 100% open to the experience. There will be times when you’ll get so frustrated over your work or your boss, but they’re all part of the experience. You just have to look on the bright side, and believe that this is for your own growth. Also, try to make as many friends as possible. That would make your internship experience more worthwhile. 🙂

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Do you have anything else you want to say to the readers? 

Wherever you plan to intern, aim at leaving something that can contribute to the companysomething that you’re gonna be proud of! Make a dent on the universe. 😀


And that’s it for this week’s Intern-view with Alvin Bravo! If you’re looking for a different kind of internship that also involves telecoms as well, we intern-viewed Arby Cuevas about Globe a few weeks back!

Now, to what we’re writing next.

Like we said last week in Toni Garcia’s Intern-view, someone asked at The Border Collective’s ask.fm a bunch of standard interview questions, like “What is/are your strengths and weaknesses?” So, we decided to humor whoever that was by answering them in a series of posts in the coming weeks. Keep an eye out for them and if there are any interview questions you want to get our take on, drop them in to the ask.fm too or to our Google Form embedded down below!

We’re also launching 2 new segments here on The Border Collective, so keep an eye out for them soon when we’re not super crazy busy preparing for our summer internships.

And also, I wanted to ask a question to all of you.

What is it about The Border Collective that keeps you coming back?

I’d love to get your thoughts on that, so if you can answer that either in the comments down below or in an email to me, let’s connect.

If you have anything you want to ask, say, or comment about to either Betina or me, email us at either justine@thebordercollective.com or betina@thebordercollective.com! For partnerships and business deals, you can email us at admin@thebordercollective.com!

While you’re at it, you can also follow me on Twitter and Instagram as well@ChaiXingJun, which happens to be my Chinese name. Like us also on FB at The Border Collective to keep up with the latest happenings here because work never ends for The Border Collective.

Thanks for reading and hope Alvin answered something useful for you!

 

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