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The Border Collective
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Hi! I fortunately came across your blog from a year ago (14.5 Things You Didn’t Realize Had Resume Value), and I just wanted to ask about one of the items you listed. If I wish to include my thesis work in my CV, where exactly does it fall under? Thanks so much!

Justine: It can fall under Work Experience, since you can detail all the research and work you put into it, or under Papers Published (if it's been published), with a bullet underneath outlining your conclusions and how you got to them,

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Hi! I'm sorry if this question has been asked already (new reader here woo!) but I wanted to ask...and this'll sound silly but...did you speak mostly Filipino during your internship? (I recently had an internship and my colleagues all made fun of my conyo-ness HUHUHU)

J: 1st, that wasn't silly, that's a completely normal and routine problem Ateneans face when going to work places that are not populated with our fellow conyo's.

2nd, I don't speak Taglish much, and Betina almost never does because she was raised in Europe. So, don't worry. You're in good company.

I only spoke in Filipino when I knew for sure the people I was talking to didn't know it well. And even then, i was given an interpreter because my bosses truly thought i would die out in the remote provinces of the Philippines without one.

3rd, I think this is something you should make peace with. Idk about other people, but in my opinion, making fun of someone's grasp of a language is something immature and kind of hints at the those teasing you being close-minded people. A person is struggling with a language means that they know another language better. As long as you are trying to speak and learn a different language, you're already doing great. So kudos to you!

Just smile and politely laugh when people do that for the sake of pakikisama. And never stop trying to learn how to speak your other languages better. Take it from me, I have an elementary grasp of both Tagalog and Mandarin, but I still try my best to speak it, even if everyone makes fun of me in the process.

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do companies judge based on your course? because the course is like one of the first things they see in your resume. and like in ateneo pa lang our fellow schoolmates discriminate based on course :(

B: Traditional companies still tend to judge by course but a lot of the more progressive companies (eg. all the places I've interned) focus more on the holistic skill set.

I'm AB Interdisciplinary Studies and I'm not doing so bad, so don't worry about your course holding you back so much :)

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Hi guys! Just wondering. I just graduated and I've been taking a break so far. How long of a break is acceptable before employers start getting worried/suspicious?

B: Personally I'd say 1 year max. But you're at the disadvantage if you wait too long and the batch after you already starts applying, so I'd start job hunting after 8ish months. :)

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How did you manage your time interning and studying at the same time? I want to intern but i don' t know if I can, there's always loads of schoolworks plus I spend almost 3-4 hrs commuting and its very tiring. 😩😩

B: It's a boring answer, but I just work ahead and really prioritized interning and school over everything else.

I get to the office early and do my homework before my boss gets there. If I'm just sitting around I'll study ahead for class. I stay sane by scheduling my friends into my breaks, so every week I hang out with at least 5 different friends.

Re: commuting, I feel ya. I'd suggest looking for a flexible internship that can be partially done online or at home. 👍

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hello is the Ateneo Jobs and Internships FB group still up? can't seem to find it, thank you so much

Justine: Yup, it's still up and really active considering that the -ber months are about to start. It's a secret group to make sure it's Ateneans only. You need to find a friend already in the group, to add you in.

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Halu! Can I ask what kind of portfolio Annisa showed to Ogilvy and Mather? And if she applied as a creative or an account manager?

From Anissa: "I didnt originally apply as accounts but given my background in management that's where they put me! I didn't have to show any portfolio. The interview questions revolved around how I managed my projects and how I was as a leader."

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Hi! Quick question about INKOMPASS because I'm an incoming sophomore whose curi0osity is building - if you're taking a 5 year course (like BAA), are you supposed to apply at INKOMPASS when you're a sophomore or a junior? Or can you apply as either? Thank you!

Justine: For INKOMPASS, you just need to be 18 and to have 2 years left in school when you apply , so for BAA, you need to be an incoming 4th year! When our pioneer batch started, all our graduation dates are 2017 (so we'll probably be going to each other's graduations lol), and for the second batch, they're all graduating in 2018.

For the incoming INKOMPASS 2017 batch, they need to be graduating in 2019 to be eligible! Hope this helps clear it up!

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Hello! I recently got an internship at a small advertising agency, which I'm super proud of! Unfortunately, my parents want me to quit because the company is, quoting them, "too small to matter". I really want the job, though... is it possible for an internship to be "worthless"? Thank you!

Betina: Absolutely not. No such thing as a worthless internship. Every experience teaches you something. You either pick up new skills, or figure out what your deal breakers are when it comes to work.

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Hello! For inkompass, are there rejection emails? And in the inkompass facebook page, one of the candidates in my day was featured. Does it mean she got in already?

Justine: In a few days, not super sure when, there'll be regret emails, since the ones who passed have been contacted already! With regards to the FB page, INKOMPASS indiscriminately takes posts using #Inkompass, whether or not you are an intern or not. Good luck!

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Hi! Do you know any companies that offer internships/volunteer work/ OJT for high school/Grade 12 students? 😊 Thank you!

Betina: Hi! I'd suggest contacting CAMP Philippines or YouthHack Manila (both of my orgs!) since we have an internship database and programs specifically aimed at high school students looking to gain internship experience :)

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Also, when are we supposed to hear back from them? The wait's almost agonizing. Not that I'm betting on it too much haha. Thanks!

Justine: You will most definitely know if you got into INKOMPASS before June 1. Because that's the day we start work and pick projects hahaha. We waited for about 2 weeks before we knew, and then the week after that was spent rushing to get stuff like NBI and medical certificates. We all will probably know who the top 15 (potentially more) will be by next week at least, so you guys will have time to habol requirements.

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Hello! I remember reading somewhere on your blog that you believe design internships should be paid due to the nature of the work being done. Would you know of any paid design internships that you would recommend? It could be in an ad agency or design firm!

Justine: Hey there! I did say that, and I still do believe in it, but because I have 0 graphic design skills at all, I don't know any paid design internships to recommend. :( When I asked my friends, they generally do freelance work because design interns, /normally don't get paid in the industry/. It's BS our generation needs to change but as of now, it's stuck.

Freelance at least, pays.

The best ad agency I know is Ogilvy and Mather, but they're looking for all around creative people (aka graphic design, video editing, conceptualizing) as backup manpower for their campaigns.

Sorry I couldn't help, good luck!!

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I'm the gamer type and I'd like to get involved in eSports one day. But for now do you think any of those experiences can be relevant to a recruiter? (Playing with a team as a player, handling a team/organization as its manager, etc)

Justine: Yeah, you just have to know how to frame them right since eSports are technically a real sport too. Bring this up during the "Tell me about yourself" portion so that you can segue into your strengths and skills gained from gaming! Good luck!

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Just curious xD How do companies usually present the job offer? Do they inform you on the spot after the interview? (Won't this be awkward tho if you say you'll think about it first?) Or do they text it to you that you got the job hours or days later? :)

Betina: It really depends on how urgent the job is, how fantastic the interview went, whether the interviewer has the authorization to makes the offer, if they still have other interviewees lined up, etc.

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How should a resume look like for someone with nothing to put in it? (In applying for both internship and employment) No work experience, no org stints, little to no relevant skills.

Justine: There's no such thing as "nothing to put in it". You just need to look at the right places for inspiration on what to fill your resume with. We wrote something for that in the past, called the 14.5 Things You Didn't Realize Had Resume Value (here's the link:
http://thebordercollective.com/2016/02/07/14-5-things-you-didnt-realize-had-resume-value-part-6/ )

If you're super stuck and can't write it yourself, drop me a line at justine@thebordercollective.com

I do resume consultation or I could just write your resume for you. For a price. Good luck!

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Do you have any plans of pursuing MBA or MIR?

Justine: As of right now, I have 0 plans of going into further studies simply because I don't have the financial resources to do so. I'm the eldest of 3, and we go to really expensive schools. My parents literally are counting the days til they have to stop paying for my tuition, so if I'm going, it's on my wallet. And that's not in my plans now for the next 3 years, at least.

Betina: I'm considering an MIM (Masters in Management), an MBA, or an MS OD (Master of Science in Organizational Development). But I'll probably be using it mostly as a springboard to work abroad since a masters degree is usually the fastest route into the best companies and I don't have the patience to work my way up from scratch. If I know that I have a solid chance at getting expatriated without needing an additional degree, then I probably won't pursue any further studies.

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Hey guys! I kind of worry since I don't have a lot of experience in orgs and whatever accomplishments I've done in terms of acads are either "meh" or not totally related. Given that, is it possible that the skills that a person has, will be somewhat sufficient in a resume/CV?

Betina: Yup! My resume format is really just linking experiences (any and all kinds) to marketable skills.

I suggest you look at our article 14.5 Things You Didn't Realize Had Resume Value (http://thebordercollective.com/2016/02/07/14-5-things-you-didnt-realize-had-resume-value-part-6/) to give you ideas on how to properly frame your experiences in your CV :)

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Sa resume, is it better to put that you were dean's list for xx semesters or your cumulative QPI? or both?

Betina: The easiest number to process is the cumulative QPI, and ultimately that's the one that matters more, so as a recruiter I'd really prefer to see that :)

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Hi, I'm the person that asked about cancelling internship A for dream company. My fear in cancelling the accepted internship is that it might give me a bad name with A (that I don't stick to my word, I'll be blacklisted from the company etc). What are your view on this as someone from HR?

(Cont) I really want this dream internship but I don't want to risk my reputation in the process, especially since the corporate world is a small place. If I do get in dream company, how do I tell Company A without offending them? :( Sorry for flooding and thank you for the advice!
_______________________________________________________

Betina: 1) The corporate world isn't as small as you think.
2) Unless you are a once in a lifetime candidate, then they probably won't remember you. I literally interviewed/screened thousands of candidates, and I can only remember a handful of truly excellent people. So don't worry about it too much.

3) Use the ultimate believable excuse and say that your parents changed their mind. We're still at the age where that excuse will fly (since we literally can't make decisions without their approval anyway) and it makes it seem like the decision was out of your hands.

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What did you answer to the interviewers when they asked you to describe yourself?

Betina: I usually talk about 3 things:

I'm a TCK (Third Culture Kid) which means that I grew up abroad in international schools. [This shows how I'm easily adaptable, global mindset, culturally sensitive, etc.]

I'm a connector. I have a super wide social network (which is kind of a given when you've been to 8 schools in 12 years), and I'm very good at connecting people to opportunities they'd be interested in or people they'd probably get along with. I've stopped counting the number of friends who I've hooked up to scholarships, internships, mentors, etc. [This shows how perfect I am for HR]

I'm extremely ambitious, driven, and goal-oriented. Clearly. 4 internships in 12 months culminating in an internship with Unilever does not magically happen. I made it happen. [Being stubborn enough to get shit done is probably the single trait that has taken me this far, so I'd be remiss to not talk about it.]

Note: Try to be memorable, somewhat unique, and please don't use cliches unless you're sure you can back them up!

Justine: The super short gist of what I say is

I love learning so much that it gets me into trouble. When I was younger, I’d finish reading my textbooks during the summer and during the school year, I’d read in class things like Latin texts, economics and probability textbooks which helped me make a small fortune at card tables with my uncles, or whatever else I could find. I read wherever I go, especially on the train everyday while I’m commuting. [see how detailed I made my learning ability look + just subtly told them that I’m a small, Chinese girl who commutes instead of drives]

I ask questions constantly, and I’m always seeking out people smarter than me to teach me everything they can. Because of that, I started interning since I’d be able to find brilliant people quickly. I realized though that the kind of info I was amassing would be useful for my peers, if I could package it well enough. So, I started a blog called The Border Collective in January with one of my best friends who interned far more than me. [always voices out opinions + humble enough to find experts to train me + interpersonal savvy with my peers’ problems + collaborative efforts with someone better than me, which shows I’m not too proud to ask for help]

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How do I answer the question "are you a team player or an individual worker" and phrase my answer to my advantage? Tewaaiii

Betina: Tbh, this works best if you answer honestly and just pick one, then frame it properly. Give solid examples of specific things that you've done, instead of just vague statements that anyone can use. Make sure you say that although you're better at one, you don't suck at the other.

Eg. I'm an individual worker. I can work well with others, but I find that I'm more effective and faster when I work on my own. For example, I wrote my paper for Dev Psych on my own instead of as part of a group because of scheduling conflicts, and I noticed that I was able to finish all 15 pages (true story) when I sat down in a coffee shop for 6 hours straight.

Alternatively,

I'm a team player. I can work well on my own but I prefer to work with others because I find that my ideas are more innovative when I'm working with a diverse group and I can build on constant feedback. An example of this is when I did Unilever Business Week and worked on a brand challenge with 8 other students. 9 students in a group is far from ideal, but my ideas were stronger when I was able to collaborate and bounce ideas with people from different functions and backgrounds.

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Hi guys! I want to start my intern life like you guys, so can I have the emails for the hr at the places you guys have interned? Or if ever you can't post it publicly, could I pm you guys for them? Thanks!

Betina: You can contact all my past and current bosses through LinkedIn :)

I don't want to limit you by giving you my contacts because there are hundreds of other employers out there, so I'll leave it to you to target the companies that you want to work for and find ways to contact them (through cold-calling, e-mails, LinkedIn, etc.)

If you really want to start your 'intern life' this is Step 1. Good luck!

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Hi guys. Let's suppose I'm interested in having a corporate job (around the FMCG industry) sometime in the future. Do you think an internship in a startup is relevant given my desired career track? I'm still trying to explore the possibilities, so I am actually considering a startup internship. Haha

Betina: Why not? The whole purpose of an internship is to develop your skill set for future employment and you definitely learn a lot from being in the small, fast-paced start-up setting! They usually give you more relevant responsibilities cause a lot of start-ups are undermanned, so you'll have a lot of potential to grow :)

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When HR people invite you for assessment, do they mean a typical exam or more like a psych evaluation of sorts?

Betina: Usually not a psych evaluation. Depending on your function, it'll probably be more similar to an SAT/IQ test. This is pretty standard. Basically they need to know that they aren't hiring an idiot.

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About The Border Collective:

2 college aged girls with a ton of internship experience answer your time-sensitive questions here!

Manila, Philippines