Internship Series: “Questions, Anyone”?

Graphics by Gia Vejerano

Another year, another round of the Enderun Entrepreneurs Society and the Office of Career Services’ (OCS) internship series. It is one of the most awaited events of the year because it covers an exciting and critical part of every Titan’s journey, their Internship. This year’s theme was a question and answer forum entitled “Questions, Anyone?” wherein the OCS and guest speakers answer burning questions from students. The event was held last September 29, 4:00-6:00 p.m, at the CA Amphitheater and in Zoom.

As usual, it had a star-studded speaker line-up guaranteed to enlighten and uplift the curious minds of students. The event was graced by the presence of key people within the OCS, Gaby Serquina and Janina Ibazeta. Also in attendance were course representatives Zoe Chan from Business Administration (BA) major in Financial Management who interned at J.P.Morgan Chase Philippines, Angeli Sato from BA major in Operations Management who interned at Colourette, Joy Tagle from BA major in Marketing Management who interned at Benefit Philippines, and Ashley Perez from Entrepreneurship who interned at Plug and Play.

From left: Ms. Gaby Serquina, Zoe Chan, Angeli Sato, Ashley Perez, Joy Tagle, Yza Candava, Ms. Janina Ibazeta, Queenie Orcoso

Prior to the event, students received questionnaires to input their internship inquiries in advance for the OCS and speakers to address. The following key takeaways were rendered from the event:

A. What are you most curious about when it comes to internships?

Undoubtedly, the students have a long list of questions when it comes to internships. One of the most burning questions is the expenses. Local internships solely depend on the properties. If your internship is outside of Manila, there might be additional expenses such as airfare and accommodation fees. On the other hand, international internships have expenses and are shouldered by the students themselves. There are also additional costs such as accommodation, transportation, and visa applications. In line with this, the student will be responsible for handling all visa requirements from application to booking an appointment at the embassy. There are also companies that offer a work-from-home set-up.

During the application period, students should apply for a position related to their course to ensure qualification and possible employment. Once you’ve sent out your application, be ready for an interview. For Ashley, their approach was very casual. Though Zoe did emphasize that each company has its own style. Some will ask typical, “get-to-know” questions, while others will focus on situational ones. A tip would be to present how you think and to thread gently–stand out the most but remain respectful. The first responding company that accepts your application will automatically be your internship company. Students are also allowed to outsource internships. This being said, be mindful of the application period as some companies are strict. If you want to have an edge, the OCS advises you to make the most of your certificates and badges as they help build your resume and LinkedIn profile. Joining organizations help build soft skills that companies look for such as time management, project management, and people management.

If you were to ask our interns, the questions you might ask are how was the internship experience or how can I get absorbed after internship? Well, each experience differs, but nevertheless, worth it. If you want to be absorbed after the internship, you have to be outstanding and leave a mark that would make them want to employ you. The company won’t automatically offer you a full-time position and it is not up to the OCS to secure that for you, but rather your performance.

B. What are your top 3 priorities when looking for a company?

  1. Work Environment (conventional, innovative, artistic)
  2. The work environment should not necessarily be a top priority because what’s really important is that you’re passionate about the company. Personality is what recruiters look for and make time to develop healthy relationships with your seniors and workmates.

  3. Benefits/compensation that the company has to offer
  4. It’s great to have benefits/compensation, but it’s best to step back and consider that it is not the most realistic thing, especially for an internship. It’s a matter of perspective and mindset. For companies that don’t provide compensation, look at the silver lining. You should prioritize building an experience that in the end, you know you’re worth as an employee and settle for a company that knows your value monetarily.

  5. Type of industry
  6. The type of industry is an important aspect because it should be what you like and resonate with. Each industry has different activities or works with brands that you may or may not like. That being said, it’s important to have a sense of direction in where you best fit and take control of where you want to be post-graduate. You wouldn’t want to be stuck in a place wherein you’re unsure. The OCS would advise you to take your first internship wherein you don’t see yourself working in 5/10 years, whereas in the second internship, you see yourself working for a realistic comparison.

C. Do you have any concerns?

Each student has their own set of concerns when it comes to internships. One of the top concerns is the duration of the internship. For BSBA students, local internships usually offer two to three months maximum, while international internships range from an average of 3-6 months. As of now, physical international internships are banned due to the pandemic. However, if it has been lifted, do initial research on which companies are open. Keep in mind that the countries are still cautious, therefore prepare documents such as insurance coverage. For accommodations, you can look from Google, family and friends, or ask the host company if they offer housing. For BSE students who only have 1 internship, you are allowed to go international as long as you coordinate with the OCS. For graduating students who lack internships, the OCS will allow you to graduate and take your internship as long as you have a placement before June. However, you won’t receive a diploma just yet.

Another burning concern is the grounds for termination. You are responsible for your own actions and therefore, should act according to their policies, otherwise, you are dismissed. If you’re unhappy with the company, it is not an option to quit, but consult with the OCS and state your reasons why. It is important that you manage your expectations. It takes time to adapt to a new environment and with that, keep an open mind and continue to learn. It gets boring and tedious along the way, but it is not meaningless. Don’t discount boring tasks as they can create a big impact. Another is to be proactive. Don’t wait around the bush and take action. If you’re feeling anxious about applying post-graduation, the OCS will be there to assist you and prep you for the real world.

If you have more questions, you can book a one-on-one appointment with the OCS. You can also attend the Overview Seminar on October 5, 1:00-3:00 p.m., or on November 10, 3-5 p.m.

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