College Days Insights

OJT Blues

Several days before Holy Week, some of my friends had a rush of OJT hunting. There are several companies I have applied at the very beginning of our school holidays; however, those companies are either mass hiring for full-time employees or they do not have slots for OJT (how stupid that some companies accepted OJT applications and yet they didn\’t even contact applicants. RAWR!!)

Anyway, I am very thankful that a friend of mine, P4, is kind enough to offer a chance for PLDT internship. Some of us simply freeloaded (like me). I don\’t know if that\’s the best term to describe it but during those dire times, most of us are very desperate to start working on our On-the-Job-Training already because some early birds are already earning OJT working hours during the holidays. We felt that we were left out of the OJT hunting game, but of course it is not just a game that you can give up easily. It\’s the prelude for the real world.

Based on the preliminary results of Philippine Labor Force Survey released on March 15, 2006, there are 2.8 million unemployed persons January 2006 already which is equivalent to 8.1% unemployment rate. That\’s slightly better than last year\’s 8.3% unemployment rate. But still, recent graduates make the number of unemployed people bigger. The expected candidates for graduation this coming August are about to make that figure worse. Scary.

OJT in IT is not simple as it seems to be…. well, at least in my experience. Not so many companies are willing to take in inexperienced college students for them to train in a specific IT field such as Cisco networking, Java programming, UNIX or Solaris administration, blah blah blah… most of the times these positions already require at least a year experience and there are very few companies who entrust their projects to interns. That\’s understandable but that\’s not the problem. Some IT companies accept OJTs just for the sake of it without offering real training. Some give interns clerical work, typing jobs, all-around assistant positions and whatnots. It\’s silly. Some OJTs I found in Jobstreet simply requires you to know MS Word! You won\’t even find this kind of OJT serious. If you want to get into a big company and find a serious OJT, it often requires skill aptitude test, screening and some interviews. In reality, finding a company for internship requires a more complex procedure. Your \”connections\” inside a company such us your relatives, your parent\’s friends and sometimes, your friends\’ friends to the nth degree, is proven to be very effective to boost your chance of getting accepted. It\’s not always helpful though.

Enough ranting. I will now chronicle what happened in my three weeks OJT hunting.

Right now three companies have entertained me in internship — Trend Micro, PLDT and CA (in order of date of application). I couldn\’t wait for Trend Micro for their confirmation because two weeks before Holy Week I already took their test and a whole week had passed without any call or email from them. So, I didn\’t want to waste more time and tried my luck in PLDT. The process was not easy at all. We had to go at Mandaluyong several times just to complete the requirements. At the verge of giving up, I also applied for CA before Holy Week and I was immediately considered for interview after Holy Week. We went back at PLDT the other day and apparently our OJT application in PLDT had been approved. P4 worked some magic. I thought I will settle for PLDT…. that\’s what I thought but CA already clouded my decision. It is really tempting — free breakfast, it\’s in Makati, P150 allowance a day, real training and requires me to get up later because the office hours starts at 9:00 AM. I\’m probably crazy if I refuse the offer. Although PLDT would provide good internship, I don\’t think I\’m built for long journey everyday. I could rent a condo in Pasig but it is not practical right now.

The Holy Week passed by so quickly. I have unwound for a while, visited some relatives and breathed fresh air in Batangas. That\’s about it. Nothing more exciting.

The OJT blues continued. It\’s already the first week of 4th term. To my uttermost surprise, Trend Micro HR department called and I was scheduled for an interview at Libis. OMG… now that\’s more trouble. What if I pass the interview, how I do choose the best option? I don\’t even know how to go to Eastwood. I rode Taxi when I took the exam three weeks ago! I asked Carl and Lloyd about the proper directions and landmarks. I\’m really grateful that they doodled for the sake of the improvised map of Quezon City, Pasig and Makati.


The interview in Trend Micro was ok and I went home thinking that there is a possibility to get the OJT. However, it is very tiring. It\’s even farther than PLDT Pasig. It seems that CA is still the most practical choice if I get selected there for internship.

Two days later after my interview in Trend Micro, CA scheduled my presentation and interview on April 20th. I delivered the presentation well but I was nervous. I have not presented in front of a total stranger before in my entire stay in college so I think it\’s normal to I get a shiver in front of them. The day after, CA called about the orientation on April 24. Eh? Did they confirm my slot in CA already? Was it implied? I\’m not sure but it sounds like they actually accepted me in internship already.

By the end of the day I have decided to go for CA. I know those people who came with us in PLDT would understand my situation, especially P4 because I have discussed this issue with him long ago.

Let us do our best!

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.