College Days Insights

My Thoughts as a Fresh Grad

It fascinates me that after a seemingly losing battle with the panels of our thesis and our beloved school research coordinator, our thesis turned out to be really successful. Except that it has only gone through private alpha testing. I don\’t know if my groupmates are willing to pursue the commercial implementation of our web application. I have a business contact who shared interest on the possibility of creating a fork application using our thesis. I\’m still considering if that really is viable here in the Philippines. I\’m not even sure if our school would shell out money to BUY our software. Now, that\’s a different story all together.

Right now, my future lies ahead of me. I have the potential to create a bright future but I\’m still waiting for the best job offer. I can opt to start a new business but I think that the talent I have invested in IT may go to waste if I do not gain industry experience for at least 3 years. What I have learned in business so far, especially in IT, is that there are many companies out there that could eat you alive. In IT business, it\’s hard to stay afloat if you can\’t keep up with the skills needed. What more if you come from the bottom and just starting to climb up the corporate ladder? It\’s scary.

I decided to gain more experience from experts. I do not want to learn the hard way if there would be easier way. It\’s just impractical to beat myself up. This is the same reason why I do not hastily accept any job offer. I want the best possible option I can get and grow my career in one company steadily. I do not want to shift from one job to another. My father worked in one of the largest consumer goods company in the Philippines. He stayed there more than 15 years and as a result, his salary ballooned that it could even surpass the salary of an average senior manager in a medium-size company. Sadly, he had to retire early because of downsizing initiatives of the executive management.

After analyzing the problem my father had during his working days, I decided that the best possible option is to become a manager so that I am not directly affected by the management. I want to be the one making decisions, not the one taking orders. Well, of course I have to start somewhere at the bottom, as a prerequisite, to climb up.

I also thought that being a freelance consultant might be wiser than being a manager because even if you jump from one company to another, you can bid your price. Being a consultant can really take a long time though. It takes years to become one.

I have also considered being a professor or trainer but I have learned that having industry experience is priceless. Yes, teaching can be fun and it\’s a very reputable job. However, putting into another perspective, an industry practitioner can be trained to become a teacher through workshops and seminars; a teacher cannot be easily trained to become a practitioner, IMHO. Given that a UNIX professor has 3 years experience versus a UNIX administrator with 2 years experience and knowledge in system implementations; both are certified. If I am a recruiter for Project Manager Trainee position, I would choose the UNIX admin without a doubt even though both are certified professionals. Think about it.

To be fair enough, some professors I know had part-time jobs in their respective industries. Some had shifted from IT to full-time teaching. It really depends on personal preference. I know that professors in DLSU have to take doctorate degree before they can be full-time professors. I guess the hard work really pays off if one pursues the career he desires.

Call centers have tried to hire me countless times even before graduation. They have offered job positions like technical support representative (TSR) and the like but I did not take any of their offers not that I am boasting about it. In fact, I nearly ¬†accepted one offer after passing a screening exam but I was not able to appear in the final interview because I had tonsillitis and high fever, which is not my entirely fault. I was somewhat thankful that I did not accept it is because I really wanted to start my career on the right track. ¬†I have no problem being a call center agent but I am just not designed for that job and I know that I won\’t enjoy it. I want to do something that I really enjoy so that it won\’t feel like work because when you really enjoy what you are doing, work doesn\’t feel like a chore.

Ok, I guess I already made my point clear. To all the fresh grads out there, especially in the technical field like IT and Engineering, I hope you already have a good lead in the industry you want to pursue. :) It\’s a long way to go.

Good luck to all of us!

By Marck V.

Filipino IT consultant on enterprise software. On his spare time he do web project management, photography and blogging. Web 2.0 enthusiast.

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