About The Border Collective

The Border Collective is the Philippines’ premier blog on interning and job hunting for college kids, by a college kid.

It’s the place to get inspiration, no-bullshit guides, case studies, and tools for college kids who want to take their careers seriously.


You’re googling for career advice here in the Philippines. You want to know about internships in Manila, or how the application process goes for most companies in BGC. You go through dozens of search word combinations, but nothing’s useful.

If you’re lucky and the site is from the Philippines, the article’s <1000 words and you have a feeling you’ve read it before from one of those generic American career sites. You know, the ones Google showed you 3 hours ago?

I know, because I found the same thing out the hard way in 2015. By googling over 100+ combinations of keywords, combing through 100+ pages of Google, and skimming over a 1000 articles. Then coming to the conclusion that they were all so unhelpful to me.

Nobody laid out any useful processes for Filipino job seekers. Nobody had tips from actual internship here in Manila. Everything seemed eerily the same as American advice, which I knew wouldn’t fly here because we have a different society. It was all just “conventional wisdom” type articles.

So, to solve that lack of info, I ended up building The Border Collective.


What is The Border Collective?

In my 4.5 years at college, I (aka Justine) did 4 internships and got 18 job offers well over the average salary before I turned 22. Or even graduated.

Through research, trial, and error, I figured out the how to quickly game the Philippines’ career scene and self-improve exponentially using small tweaks. All while my grades stayed at a solid C+. (I graduated with a 2.7/4.) I did all this at a faster, but much less labor-intensive pace compared to my peers.

And now I want to share how I did that with you.

Justine in January 2017

The Border Collective is the place where I share the details of all my job hunting experiments while I was a college student. And my career experiments now as a fresh grad at my 1st job. 

Specifically, I detail how to make better-than-average and most-definitely-tailored-for-the-Philippines resumes, cover letters, portfolios, and interview practice cheatsheets. While answering in-depth any and every question you have about interning or job hunting. (That you turned into TBC’s Anonymous Question Counter.)

The Border Collective is where I also share :

  1. others’ career stories in the Philippines and showcase their successes in designing a better career for themselves with a little help from TBC,
  2. the behind-the-scenes action of my digital products, where I tell you step-by-step how I did a specific part of the job hunt, and
  3. my opinions and thinkpieces on Gen Z’s career problems, like on how broken the job application system is and how can we redesign it better

Through my writing, I hope you realize that you don’t have to go off for a year of bumming around in the name of ~finding yourself~.

You can do whatever you want, like join a social entrep, found a startup, or serve in the government. Or be like me, and join corporate with your eyes wide open. (Which I’m telling you now doesn’t mean you’re a sell out. I’ll tell you how to grapple with that somewhere on the site someday.)

Your career is your choice, and all you have to do is be intentional about it. And The Border Collective’s here to help!


What’s The Border Collective’s Mission?

TBC’s mission is simple and complicated at the same time.

Help 1 person get closer to their dream job everyday. Even out the playing field with information for everyone and anyone’s use. Get more “average students” closer to a Php30k starting salary, at the very least. 

Dispel the myths around interning and job hunting in Manila. Answer the questions around thinking about your career for Filipino college kids.

Get people to intern. To take calculated risks to get closer to their dream jobs. While making the process easier for everyone who comes after me. That’s it. 

I’ll teach you everything you need to know to get your dream job. If you don’t have a dream job in mind, that’s cool. I’ll teach you how to find opportunities that you want to do, not what your friends, family, or society thinks you should do. How you can go against the tide, do everything different (and better), and have a career you’re excited about right from the moment you’re reading this.

I want to help you get closer to who you want to be when you grow up.

So, if you’re ready to start taking your work life (aka 33% of your waking hours) seriously, sign up for my weekly newsletter. I talk quite a bit there on how to manage your career in college.


What Does The Border Collective Do?

So, I started The Border Collective as a way of democratizing information all the info I knew. I didn’t like how it had to be 1-to-1, where I’d share all I knew to just 1 person. And they’d take it and do whatever they wanted with it.

It all hinged on someone having to take action by asking me questions. But what if you didn’t know me? Or you didn’t know what to ask me? Or you didn’t know that I was running all these career experiments while we were at school? 

That was a lot of what if’s. To solve that, I decided to start writing down what I knew about internships, job hunting, resume advice, and generally anything Filipino college students needed to know about careers through TBC.

All for free.

With assorted guest writers coming in to share their knowledge too.

I wanted to break down the unseen barriers I saw while in college, that were formed by elitist social circles and student organizations. How information was weaponized and kept secret from people who weren’t deemed “worthy of it”.

I want to give anyone and everyone, whether I know you or like you or not, the processes I used. Like on how I managed to graduate late while pursuing a career I love and get paid well for.

Or how I used a method I perfected on over 200+ people to help them land jobs and internships at their dream industries and companies. I call it Career Consultations.

List of the top 25 most recognizable places I’ve helped people get into

Think of The Border Collective as your upperclassman that you can ask any questions too, and where you’ll receive no-holds-barred answers. That’s why you can ask anonymously: to hold no bias against anyone curious.


Why Is It Called The Border Collective?

(I want to start by saying that if I knew it would end up like this, I would have changed the name ages ago. But we bought the domain so, we had to commit.)

This was supposed to be an online zine for girls who were on the border of 2 stereotypes. We wanted to show them that they weren’t outcasts; they were part of a collective. Example, girls who looked really innocent but were actually into sex. Or girls who came from super religious backgrounds but were actually atheists. No to dichotomies, yes to holistic identities.

I started that version of TBC with a bunch of friends, but our 1st post about interning clicked into a weird overnight phenomenon. So it evolved into being about interning and job hunting only.

Another different reason from its zine days: 

“Because we aren’t like other mainstream bloggers, who only talk about “food, fashion, and life”. We talk about relevant issues that are always bordering our minds.”

Sounds a bit pretentious in hindsight but meh, we were 19.

And in a way, The Border Collective has stayed true to those founding principles. We talk about careers and professional development in the Philippines, from the point of a college student just starting out. It doesn’t get more borderline than that.

We’re rebranding and fixing the site, but keeping the name. Someday the name will change, but that day is not today. If you have any ideas on what to rename it though, please feel free to send them to me. I am terrible at naming things.


Want to Contact The Border Collective?

Check out our Speaking + Press page to see how.


Thank You For Your Support!

If you’ve reached this point in the page, then thank you so much! It means a lot to me for people to read and share TBC. You’re helping us achieve our secondary mission of helping 1 person everyday just by taking action on what you’ve read, so thanks!

If you want to help out in a concrete way, invite your friends to read up as well or share our posts on Facebook! I see everything in a non-creepy way, so I remember whose always sharing our posts.

For specific questions and ideas or a thoughtful thank you note, you can email Justine (justine@thebordercollective.com) or admin@thebordercollective.com. I really love thank you notes.

Support

My goal is for you to graduate genuinely excited for the fantastic job and career ahead of you.

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