Ask @thebordercollective:

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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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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Hi guys I need advice! I got an internship offer from Company A and accepted it (signed an acceptance form already) because I thought I wouldn't get into my dream company (followed up with them a lot but no reply) but dream company called me the next day for a final interview. What should I do? :(

Betina: Don't back out of Company A until you know for sure that you have Dream Company. Do your interview at Dream Company and make it very clear that you have to hear back in x number of days because you have another offer and need to make a decision ASAP. Good luck!

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Hello! Would there be any paid internships for sophomores you guys would be able to recommend? I'm an incoming junior but I'd like to think that I have a pretty impressive resume. I've interned quite a few times already and I've got plenty (and diverse) extra-curriculars. Thank you!

Justine: Dude, you just missed out on the most well paid internship for sophomores in the whole Philippines aka INKOMPASS which pays 26k a month, happens for 2 summers in a row + tons of free perks like a free trip for all interns to Cagayan de Oro.
I can't really recommend anywhere to you since A) you didn't say what's your skill set though. Are you an HR person, Sales, Marketing, IT, programming genius?? and B) a lot of the well known internships are already taken since most of the hyper competitive companies (Uber, P&G, Unilever, Samsung, etc) are done choosing their interns for the summer.
A cursive search online shows that Coins.ph is looking for interns and they've disclosed the salary online too, at Php6-8k a month. Hope this helps! And if it doesn't, just email me at justine@thebordercollective.com and I'll try to help some more?? Good luck!!

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Hello! I'll be attending the on-ground assessment of Inkompass this weekend. I'm super excited and scared at the same time. I'm scared of the technical math questions because I might forget how to solve them. Do you have any tips please :(

Justine: Last question about on ground assessment please hahaha why don't any of you want to go in blind??? It's fun. Ish.
Be the best version of yourself, and if you're a great fit, they'll pick you. And if you're not one of the top 15 out of the 9000 applicants, it's fine, there are a million other internships out there. Just none quite like INKOMPASS. (I'm super biased ok, I love them so much as do my fellow co-interns lol we can talk about how much we love them for hours. Even Greg who lacks emotions.)
So do your best! And good luck!

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Hi!! I applied for Inkompass two months ago and today, I found out that I made the top 100 and I will be attending the on-site assessment on May 8. Since Is there anything in particular that I have to expect or prepare for the on-site assessment? :)

Justine: Nothing can ever prepare you for on-ground assessment. It's like a religious experience only the 100 of you will go through. There's no preparing necessary, and I can't tell you anything that happens because where's the fun in that? You either have the skills and potential within you or you don't. Good luck!

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I'm a fresh grad and I still don't know in what field should I venture in. What advice can you give me? Should I apply for an internship first?

Justine: Most places bind you to them for 2 years minimum, so if you want to test first your love for this industry or position, I suggest you get an internship first. Not only is it a good practice run for what marketable skills you have, it's also a temporary situation. I think that you'll learn more about yourself in an internship with a clear start and end date than you would trapped for a long period of time in a field you're not sure about.
Plus you can figure out what culture you like, what are the success factors that drive you, what kind of work you're more attracted to through a test basis. Just make sure you get a working internship and not a photocopy and scan stuff one! Good luck!!

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Hey guys! I'm assuming all Future Leaders for Unilever are already chosen? How about the regular interns tho? Is the application process already over?

Betina: Yup! All accepted applicants were notified last week.
Unilever accepts interns on a rolling-basis, year-round depending on the need. So, no the other regular internship slots aren't technically closed, but they might not be open either. The only way to find out is to ask them.

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Hi, Justine! This is directed to you because of your Citibank experience. Do you think an engineering student can find a fit in the financial industry? To get you started, I do not have any practical IT/coding background; all I have is an engineering backpack.

Justine: I come from a communications and marketing background; I have never thought of myself as a finance person EVER, so going into the financial industry for an internship was really a step outside my comfort zone. When I see lots of numbers, I zone out because I'm more of a words type of gal.
Yes, you can find a fit anywhere you want, not just the financial industry, but literally anywhere you want. //so long as you are willing to admit you know nothing but you are ready to spend every waking moment learning//.
If you express interest compounded with a willingness to learn, many people will be willing to teach you the way. Tons of people love to talk about what they know. So I suggest you go wherever interests you, and don't look back. Don't let your course define your future.

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@Justine, how was your internship experience in Citibank? Can you tell us more about the application process and the work itself? Not sure if you could feature this in your blog so I'll ask here instead.

Justine: The app process was really simple for me, I applied at career fair, they called me while I was in class one day, I cut school one Thurs to go to Citibank Eastwood for what turned out to be a same day hiring for internship, went out for lunch at 10am, had my interview at around 1pm, and by 3pm, they told me they wanted to hire me. After that was filling out all the requirements and when I finished that, I signed with them.
My job was to make vbasic codes that moved 19 different excel files worth of info into one new sheet at a click of a button. I said I knew some from school, and that I could learn on the spot if they took me in, and they took my word for it. In good news, I can still recreate all those codes lol. It was interesting in that it was a challenge, but some might call it menial since it was just vbasic programming. I liked it though.
A lot of my job involved confidential things, so I don't really talk about it because I'm not sure how much I can say?? But that's the long and short of what my work was. I spent a lot of time on Google and Excel, but one of the perks I got was learning how to read stocks to know which to short.
Ask more specific questions na lang and I'll answer them, I really don't know what part of work you want to know about hahaha

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What if the employers ask us to direct all our apps to the company website? Should we still e-mail them our app to show our enthusiasm or will that just clutter all their files? :-j

Betina: Follow what the recruiter says - if you can't follow simple instructions as an applicant, what more as an employee?
If you want to convey your enthusiasm, do so through your resume and cover letter / application answers if applicable.
E-mail them if you don't hear back after a considerable amount of time (2 weeks+) to confirm that they received your application.

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So assuming this holds true (E-mail > Company Website > Jobstreet, LinkedIn, etc.), does this mean employers will look at the apps in their e-mail first? What I mean is e-mails won't have an advantage just because of the level of effort but also in terms of priority in a rolling basis scheme? :)

Betina: 1. Recruitment is a holistic process. The resume with the greatest advantage is the resume with stellar content which is read by the recruiter. The means by which they receive the resume is not all that important.
2. Not necessarily. I can't give an order for what gets looked at first. That's like asking you in what order you do your homework. It's a personal choice.
I said e-mail is most likely to be looked at because this is the 21st century and it's difficult to ignore a notification on your phone.
Company website applications are also supposed to be reviewed, especially if the company accepts on a rolling basis.
Jobstreet,LinkedIn,etc. is the one that is least likely to be reviewed because it's the one with the highest percentage of useless applications and the greatest number of applicants, so it's easy to 'lose' your resume in the pile.
3. I think you misunderstand the idea of rolling basis. There is no priority is rolling basis. There is only 'accept', 'deny', or 'we'll see' - sending it via e-mail has no bearing on that decision.

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What is a good time to do a follow-up on a pending job application? Like let's say I apply right now and the job is June-July and they didn't mention any dates regarding the app process. Also, how would you go about it? Like what's a good way to start the e-mail?

Betina: Follow-up every week/every 2 weeks for a pending job application.
"Hi Ms./Mr._____ Good morning!
I would like to follow up regarding my pending application for at , may I please know what my application status is/when I can expect to hear back from you?
Thank you for your time.
Regards,
"
Justine: "1 week after you sent in your resume, and you know they saw it. Use an email tracking chrome extension to know if they opened your email; I use it all the time.
I usually send a completely different worded email to the same email address to just remind them I exist. I can't really say "hey, saw you open the email I sent you twice, do you want to hire me???"

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Hi! I'd like to ask if you guys know any good company in Ortigas or Eastwood area that has a good internship program? :)

Betina: There's a lot of smaller companies based in Ortigas and Eastwood :)
ADB doesn't officially take interns at undergrad level, but if you have a connection that can get you in (as a lot of my ISM friends did) that's very solid experience. If you're talking MNCs, L'Oreal is in Ortigas.
Eastwood is good if you want to get some experience working at BPOs (which is actually excellent training) since there are a lot of call centers there.

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Hi guys! So I applied for some jobs through sites like Jobstreet. I made sure my resume is tailor-fit but the question is, do employers actually look at apps from these websites? Or do they check first OR prefer apps through e-mail and the company website?

Betina: E-mail > Company Website > Jobstreet,LinkedIn,etc.
The thing about the e-mail or direct career website is that it entails effort which conveys passion (or at the very least interest) on your part. Versus the websites where it's extremely easy and takes zero effort to hit a button and apply...
But depending on the urgency of the position and the match of your profile, they should at least see your resume if submitted through a website. If I were you though, this would be my last resort way of contacting a company.

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Hi! Does getting into Unilever Business Week automatically mean you'd intern for them as well? Or is there like another application process?

Justine: Morning! Yup, getting into Business Week means we all automatically get an internship with them because it's their on-boarding process. We're their summer interns! (Although, I won't be coming in June-July because I already signed with INKOMPASS since December.)
They won't be accepting any more summer program interns, but they do accept regular interns all throughout the year!

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