Hey there! I’m Justine Chua (but to differentiate myself from the hundreds of Justine Chua’s, I use Justine LT Chua), the founder and writer behind The Border Collective.
And I write about internships, job hunting, careers, and my experience with all here in the Philippines for college students who hate how there’s no clear process or guide for it.
My mission’s super simple: to demystify the whole process of college to career by talking about it in great detail. And looping friends, coworkers, and strangers to talk about their experiences too because I don’t know everything.
Did you know that if you googled for career advice here in the PH, you’ll get generic articles that are <1000 words, and with no useful processes or tips from actual internship and job seekers? It’s just “conventional wisdom” type articles. I found this out the hard way, by going through 100 pages of Google and thousands of articles that were so unhelpful. Which is why I built the blog.
I wanted to build the guide that teaches you how to go from classroom to career in a snap. Mainly because it was way too hard for me when I was starting out, and I don’t want anyone else to go through that hassle.
Think of this blog as my gift to you, the last class you have to take before graduation: Careers for College Students 101, with a special focus on the Philippines
I do that roughly, by answering any and all of your questions in depth (all sourced directly from you!!) and with the stories I feature here on the site. Most people who succeed utilize their social circles and student organizations for professional development. But if you don’t have the right kind of friends or orgs, you’re not going to get where you want to go.
And that’s unfair because unfortunately, not everyone has access to these organizations or information.
But this 2018, I’m getting intentional about it. So, post-rebrand, everything on the blog is centered now around resource guides and actionable steps anyone can take to have a better career. You can do whatever you want with this info, run with it, scoff at it, but it’s all yours for the taking.
I don’t want you to go through the hassle I had to.
If the blog still looks the same like it did when I first started it in 2016, then it hasn’t been rebranded yet. Thanks for the patience, as I fix everything!
*If you’re wondering why the name’s so weird, head on over to About The Border Collective where I explained it.
So, who am I?
I’m Justine LT Chua, 22 years old when I write this in January 2018. Last December 2017, I graduated from Ateneo de Manila University with a degree in BS Management, Major in Communications Technology.
And that’s it. I don’t have any minors or majors, I just graduated a semester late because I spent every summer interning rather than going to class.
Things to Know about Me aka Justine LT Chua that my friends have unanimously agreed are important for strangers who want to take my advice.
- I talk fast, frankly, and filled with excitement, so much so that most of my friends liken my high pitched voice to a machine gun. They can also recognize my voice in a crowded room, and up to 100 feet away. I’m not some tall, serious dude. I am a short, excitable girl.
- I’m very aware that I’m an airhead, which sucks cuz I’m a commuter. Not the cushy “I take an Uber everywhere” commuter, I mean, I walk and take jeeps and the MRT/LRT everyday kind of commuter. So, I understand the hassles Filipino commuters face and insert that into my tips. (Tbh I think people who say they’re a commuter and they only take Ubers are wusses and I don’t take them seriously.)
- My motto in life is “Ask for forgiveness, never for permission.” because as a small Chinese girl, permission is very hard to get. It is easier to explain myself when the thing is done.
- Being the founder and writer of all things on The Border Collective fulfills an old childhood and pre-college dream of becoming a writer.
Graduated last December 2017 from Ateneo de Manila University, studying BS Management, major in Communications Technology, I will always be the first to admit that I’m not a very good student. My transcript can back up this claim. (The highest I ever hit was 3.25 and that was just on my final semester where I got to pick classes first lol.)
So for those with average GPA’s, it’s not the end of your career life. I am living proof that it’s not just amazing grades that get great opportunities.
Now for the part where I prove to you that you should listen to me.
In the 5 month summer after sophomore year:
April 2015, Justine LT Chua was the first sophomore to ever intern for Citibank Philippines, with only 5 lines in her whole resume and 0 actual experience.
May 2015, I passed a ton of tests and was part of the first batch of INKOMPASS interns in the Philippines. (This is Philip Morris’s university activations.) Out of 4500 applicants only 17 made the cut, and I just happen to be one of them.
June 2015, made it to the top 50 of Maybank’s #GOAHEAD challenge, and was one of the youngest in the room. Literally everyone else was a junior, senior, or supersenior. It was pretty lonely.
During junior year, as in while I had school,
When school started in August, Justine worked part-time as an Accounts Manager for Blogapalooza, the Philippines’ biggest business-to-blogger event, on top of joining Barefoot Philippines, UNICEF’s arm in ADMU, and Microsoft Student Community, Microsoft’s arm in ADMU.
Her stint with Blogapalooza ended in November 2015, but she signed on as an Accounts Executive again in January 2016. That stint just ended in May 2016, but once again, Justine signed with Blogapalooza as a Content Writer from June til December 2016.
During June-July 2016 though, Justine returned for her second stint at INKOMPASS, traveling around 12 provinces all over the Philippines while redesigning an integral job in PMFTC’s supply chain. Still as an intern.
Justine is also a Unilever Business Week 2016 alumni, P&G CEO Academy 2015 alumni, and P&G CEO Challenge 2016 alumni.
Without realizing it, Justine ended up in problem solving project management because it combines her favorite things. Chaos and quick thinking.
If you like my writing and are contemplating hiring me, here’s a repository of my work.
Connect with Justine here.