So, we reposted the 14.5 Things You Didn’t Know Had Resume Value on Facebook the other day, with no edits at all, and it got more than 2000 hits in the last 48 hours. And because it’s out there floating around, we got a question on our ask.fm, that I found very interesting. It goes,
“Hi guys! Just curious, where can I find solid experience to talk about in interviews??? :((( I don’t feel like just talking about my orgs or acads all the time since I think i look boring to the recruiters.”
Which made me think, “Yea, what else do we talk about in interviews?”
Enter competitions aka the topic of today’s long overdue return to the Internship FAQ’s.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. I think we need to re-introduce ourselves because we haven’t written anything in tandem in so long, that I decided to look back to our very first post and steal our introduction from it.
“Why are you 2 good enough to answer internship questions?”, you may ask. Well, let me just summarize our respective 2015’s. We’re both juniors, and when we started we were just sophomores. I’m BS ComTech, she’s AB IS and my former blockmate. Neither of us were required to go intern, but we went and did it anyways.
In the last 12 months, Betina has interned for Rogue magazine, Petron, Coca Cola PH, and a headhunting firm, while also working with both YouthHack Manila and CAMP Philippines by setting up their internship programs for high school students. She exercises regularly and by that I mean, like everyday, has learned how to cook, all while maintaining a stunning QPI on a full course load with tons of groupworks sprinkled in.
She also commutes to work, which has been in Pasong Tamo to BGC to Paseo de Roxas to etc. She lives in her own condo at Katip, and goes home every weekend to Laguna. She’s also the nice one.
In the last 10 months, I have interned for Citibank Philippines, Philip Morris Fortune Tobacco Corp., and a business-to-blogger event incorporation, while also working on the EB for Barefoot Philippines and Microsoft Student Community. I also get home before 6:30 PM everyday so that I can tutor my 9 year old little brother after work and studies, plus I get 7 hours of sleep. Every. Single. Night. I commuted to Makati everyday for 4 months, and to school everyday since the days after Orsem. I live along Shaw Boulevard with strict Chinese parents, plus I’m only 5 feet tall and I look like I’m 14. I have a mediocre QPI, and had next to no previous org experience before my junior year started. I’m the mean, frank one. (J: All still true, only now, my brother is 11!!!)
J: Ok, so obviously that’s all still true since that is the past, but let me recap what’s happened in 2016.
Last summer, she went to Unilever to do their employer branding at universities, I went back to Philip Morris to go see the Philippines. We both went to Unilever Business Week, I went to P&G CEO Challenge, the blog took a hiatus in September because we were both so busy with work, her at Estee Lauder, me freelance writing and consulting. (Because duh money + experience > good karma from the blog.) We do resume consultations now, but not really to, because there’s so many of you who want to avail that we can’t keep up. Also, we get invited to speak at events now which I find majorly cool.
She’s graduating in May. I’m not.
We are also way too busy to constantly write because #thesisislyf. But not too busy to talk to a camera and just post those videos.
So, if you are a videographer or an aspiring one and you want to do a whole series with your own creative direction that a lot of people will watch while simultaneously learning all the unedited info hiding in both my and Betina’s heads, hit us up at email@example.com to partner for a good cause.
B: I love competitions because you can literally say “I am one of the best in the country at marketing” and have results to back you up. You can wax poetic about your skills all you want, but competitions are a tangible and indisputable way of proving that you have what it takes to win. Enough said.
J: Competitions are also a great way to say “I don’t give up even when I lose” because you can visibly show them, “hey, I didn’t give up competing in this field even though I lost the first 7 times”.
B: … But if you lose really badly 7 times, you really ought to consider another career path.
Meet great people
J: If you want to meet driven, hardworking, and hungry people your age, competitions are the best place for that. The networking opportunity competitions present to find interesting people your age is incredible; it’s only second to conferences run by college orgs on topics you’re passionate about, in my opinion.
You can meet your future business partners, possible significant others, or even just an interesting person to follow on your timeline at these competitions.
B: I’ve met a lot of the brightest people I know both inside and outside of Ateneo through competitions back in high school all the way until college, so this is definitely true…. Also, “possible significant others” HAHAHA
J: Hey, I’d want a boyfriend that’s as driven as me, and a competition is as good a place as any to look.
Ok, full disclosure and story time. I joined Maybank Go Ahead Challenge way back in 2015, and I hated it.
It was badly run, and I felt my moral standards be called in question there. I’m not saying they’re bad or they suck or whatever; it’s just something I’m happy I went through because it taught me that I never want to be in an environment like the Go Ahead Challenge ever again. If you’re curious about the whole story, buy me a meal and I’ll tell you everything I hated from it and what it taught me about being more discriminate in what I join.
I am thankful to Maybank for 1 thing. And that’s letting me meet one of my fave people to talk career with and follow on Facebook, because of all his insightful opinions and shares on the current business environment. Giann Vega. (If his name sounds familiar, we featured him here way back in the day.)
So, no matter how bad the competition is, if you make friends there, you’ll gain a new great friend you can vent about this horrible experience with, at the very very ultimate least.
Foot in the door of your fave company
J: Much like how you court the dude/girl of your dreams by first introducing yourself and your wish to be with them when both of you are ready (unless you are a creepy stalker person), you want the company of your dreams to register your existence years before you are ready to commit to them.
Which in super simple English means, “To work at the company of your dreams, the first step is getting them to know who you are first.” It helps if they know you’re pretty great too.
B: This is true. If you stand out at a competition, the managers remember you and are already viewing you favorably before you even go in for an internship interview. I extrovert the hell out of my competitions and I’ve made friends with people who would later tell me “OMG I actually remember you from when we did P&G CEO Academy 2 years ago!” or managers who would say “I really liked the idea you presented during the sales challenge!”
Be memorable (for the right reasons please).
J: Yea, don’t be remembered as the person who yelled everyone into submission. Or the one who blocks all discussions with negative ideas and 0 suggestions.
At competitions like P&G CEO Challenge (not to be confused with CEO Academy) and Unilever Business Week, where you’re locked into the hotels with the HR of those companies for the purpose of a ~game~, you should be on your A-game all the time. You never know when they’re watching you or what they’re watching out for.
B: LOL Unilever had a master wall with all our pictures where the managers and employees would write comments next to our faces.
J: I wonder what mine says…
Putting that aside, this lock down is a double-edged sword since you get to know more about the company too from just chatting with them.
Take this time to ask subtle probing questions to people who work at your fave companies. Ask them what do they like to do for fun, and do they get to do that even though they’re working full-time? That talks about work-life balance in a snap. What vacations do they go to and how long were they there? That’s knowing if vacation time is sacred and respected at the company.
Good luck figuring them out.
Specific hard skills building
J: Do you want to know how to do a financial investment and portfolio analysis as an undergrad? There’s a competition for that. Do you want to know how to run an integrated marketing communications for a dying brand, with the objective of revitalizing it for the younger generations? There’s a competition for that. Do you want to build a bare bones business with a solid financial model that could receive funding if you pushed through with it? There’s a competition for that.
I’m not going to link you to those competitions though, because these all just finished in the last 2 weeks. Honestly wish someone would create a site just to compile them all to make stuff easier for us students. Maybe that should be a part of The Border Collective lol. What do you guys think?
But you know what, I’m sure someone out there is going to start up a new competition similar to those above or maybe something brand new, and you guys should join it if it interests you because how will you know if you want to work in that specific field without actually simulating what they do in that field. I don’t know, I just like knowing what I’m getting into before signing a contract.
Justine: Huge disclaimer: I hate joining competitions. Especially ones where you have to come in with a fully formed group, because it’s so difficult to get 3++ people to align their schedules and priorities to focus on winning a competition. But even joining a regular competition fills me with half dread and half excitement because I’m insanely competitive.
As in, when my family plays 94%, I start shouting out loud all the answers that come to mind. This is playing /with/ my family in a car. I have a problem, I am aware.
The only kinds I like joining are individual ones with a long screening process, and when you pass, you’re shuffled into a team that also passed that long screening process. And, preferably, you’re locked into a hotel with free catering for the whole duration of the competition.
But that kind of competition isn’t for everyone.
Here’s one that is.
“The Aspiring Professional Executives (APEX) Challenge is a three-leg business competition for undergraduate business students aspiring to become leading business executives in the future. This competition is unlike any other business competition in the country because APEX aims to expose business students to the profession of business executives and test them to the extent of their business knowledge free of charge. There is no application fee required for prospective applicants. The competition consists of a business acumen exam qualifier, business case competition, and an innovation challenge.
It has 3 objectives:
(1) to allow participants to apply their business knowledge in real life cases and challenges,
(2) to expose participants to real work of business executives as well as its impacts to their organizations, and
(3) to instill a greater appreciation for the practice of the different fields of business.
Learn more about the competition and the application process by accessing the primer here: http://tinyurl.com/APEXChallengeAppPrimer.
Apply now at http://tinyurl.com/APEXChallengeApplicationForm.
For more information and regular updates, make sure to like and follow our page at www.facebook.com/APEXChallenge2017.”
If you want to prove that you have guts, grit, and business smarts, then this competition was made for you.
When you join and win, but you don’t know how you’re going to write this into your resume, don’t worry. The Border Collective’s got your back. To prove that, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, no matter your ranking, and I’ll help you phrase this competition into your resume with a completely free resume consultation. I can’t believe I wrote that, but yea, completely free resume consultation.
Plus, I’ll even teach you how to talk about this competition in the chillest way possible during your job interviews.
If you have anything else you want to ask, say, or comment about to either Betina or me, email us at either email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org! For partnerships and business deals, like our features on Startup Weekend and Woman Up 2016, you can email email@example.com!
And if you want to get a faster reply, message us on The Border Collective’s Facebook page!
If you have any questions to ask us anonymously or anything you want us to write about, drop it into our ask.fm and Google Form! We’re always happy to help, though we may be slow in replying because of thesis this semester. 🙂
Thanks for reading and hope I wrote something useful for you!