If Plan A didn’t work, remember that there are 25 more letters in the alphabet. In my case, there were 29 more companies I had to apply to, before landing my first engineering job. Yes, you read that right—and 30 companies isn’t a joke.
Source: Slide Share
A lot of people, including incoming engineering graduate students, think that once they graduate and pass their respective board exams, jobs would come flying towards them and they could easily choose which job they’d want. Well, they’re wrong… very wrong, especially for students with average grades like me. Getting an engineering job right after your board exam can be challenging, especially in the country where I’m from, the Philippines.
I was already warned by my parents and some engineer friends who are already working in the engineering field. But, I knew that nothing would come out of worrying, so I began my job search by creating a resume. I followed the style of some standard sample resumes I’ve seen online.
Source: University of Potomac
I began by submitting to 10 large semiconductor companies via their online application system. I thought that this effort was enough, all I had to do was wait for replies and I was good to go. Unfortunately, it didn’t work that way, I waited for days, which turned into weeks. I didn’t get any replies, except automatic mail letters that said something like “Thank you for your application, we will inform you for further updates.”
When I got tired of waiting, I figured that I needed to submit my applications personally. So I visited the 6 engineering companies that were located in our city and submitted my resume. None of them called me back.
I felt sad, and my negativity was starting to take over. But, I always tried to look for a different route. Luckily, the following week was my birthday, and my brother who lives in Manila (the capital of the Philippines) asked me what gift I wanted. I asked him to drive me to as many engineering companies as he can. And so, I travelled to Manila and submitted my resume to additional 14 engineering companies. It was then and there that I said to myself, “This is it. I did my best, now it’s time to wait.”
Out of the 30 companies I applied to, 5 called me up for interviews (3 of which were multinational companies). My feelings during that time was beyond happiness—it was a combination of excitement and relief. I knew I couldn’t blow these interviews plus, I was an average student in engineering, so I wasn’t really sure how I was going to stand out from the other candidates.
I did everything I could, from watching YouTube videos on how to answer difficult questions on technical interviews to reading different engineering interview questions on the internet. I even took the time to search of the perfect outfit, and practice how I was to introduce myself in my bedroom mirror.
In the end, it was all worth it. I was accepted into 3 of companies who interviewed me, all of the companies were Manila based. It was a difficult decision, but at last I was able to choose one! (I’m actually celebrating my 6th year in this same company in a few weeks!)
This job hunt was a long 5 month journey that felt like a year! But in the end, I believe that this story of mine proves that if there’s a will, there’s a way. So future engineers, especially those in the Philippines, never give up, and always think outside the box!
Pinoy Electronics Engineer