Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Jobba d' Hunt (Interview at Trend Micro)

I am not a bum. I am just waiting for an opportunity (job) while being a student. This employment hiatus gives me ample time in choosing for my future career paths. I am expecting action starting next week as this month is when the Eng'g and Univ Job Fairs are to be held.

Just recently, I had devoted this day solely for Trend Micro. Starting 9am, I went to the P&G room where the seminar was held. Dropping by the BE tambayan, I used the stairs up to the 5th floor. I forgot Eng'g already had its elevator functioning.

The Talk
The morning session was dedicated to a talk from the HR, a testimonial from the Head Engineer of the AntiVirus(AV) group, and a technical talk from one AV engineer. The Head Engineer was a graduate from UP Engineering, particularly from EEE. In fact, he was also from UP-IML and was part of the team who worked on the DLX III. He stressed out that the culture we have in UP EEE is not far from what they have there. Even though being an AV Engineer means dealing mostly with software programming, he is a proof that it was not hard to adjust from hardware to software programming. The company would provide all the necessary training and would even shoulder expenses for certain professional certifications.

Most of the attendees at the talk are EEE students. Even the 190ers were there. There was a funny moment with AllanOstrea because he was sitted alone on the front. He still has the habit of jotting down notes! Complete with matching doodle of Trend Micro logo! haha. The time came when there was a question and answer portion, for which you have to enumerate your answers. Allan was a shoo-in to answer all the questions, as if he had copied all the powerpoint slides into his notebook. Who would have known, the prize for answering those questions earned him a boxed set of PC-Cillin Antivirus! His diligence surely payed off! woohoo! MarkDespi got the other boxed set - well what would you expect? Despi becomes hyperactive and all-knowing when it comes to things related to computers. hehehe

The Exams
Anyway, we had 3 sets of exams. First was the IQ test. Darn, when you say IQ test, it is great pressure enough not to fail it. Especially when almost all the people taking the same exam know you! The exam was to be done in 30 mins. First, I just answered slowly and tried to be sure, until I realized I may not have enough time left. One part of the IQ exam was driving me nuts, this involved the pattern finding of a series of shaded/unshaded,small/big shapes. I thought I became dull, but I realized at the end that all of us had a hard time on that part. Whew! Good thing everybody passed (and was saved from embarassment).

Next came the technical exam. They gave 3 algorithm questions. Basically that's just it. The exam was bearable though unlike the others, I got careless so I was not able to ace it. Anyway I still passed. One thing I've noticed is that I answered rather slowly, till I eventually rushed in the end. Rushing due to lack of time is bad. One couldn't think better. It's either I was not psyched up enough for the day or my brain needs some sharpening. Actually, I've even enjoyed the Canon exam more than this one. I guess this may also mean that I am more fit into hardware rather than software programming - which is good, since I'm trained to be a hardware engineer anyway.

The Interview

So "Congratulations, you may proceed to ...blah blah". Alright, I passed again! What a relief! I told you taking exam with fellow UP students gives you a lot of pressure. You don't want to be the 'only failure'. hehehe

When it comes to interviews, I feel a bit confident. Just don't let them ask those technical questions as if I had just reviewed all my past subjects the night before the interview. It's really important to know what type of job you are getting into, so that you know how to prepare yourself. Fortunately, the person assigned to me was the Head AV Engineer (UP IML alumnus). ArmanCatapangan (not yet sure with the spelling) started at Trend Micro on 2003 as a fresh grad. Now, he's the boss of all AV Engineers. He says that the employees in TM are young. After some minor technical questions, the conversation turned to my group's thesis (his thesis was also based on DLX architecture). To sum it up, the interview was fine. It was the 2-hour wait that sucked. hehe

Boon or Bane?

TrendMicro's (TM) research arm is here in the Philippines. Meaning all of the virus solutions come from the Filipino engineer's minds. Arman proudly says that what they do can not be found anywhere in the Asia Pacific region. Travel opportunities are good as Arman's engineers are sent worldwide to train (take note: not to be trained) other TM engineers. In terms of salary ranges, Arman only gave a vague statement: "Pag ikukumpara niyo ang salary namin sa iba, I'm sure you would take ours". I don't know if he is aware of other company's salary ranges, he may have underestimated them. Or, maybe he refers to his salary (which should really be good given his position) as point of comparison. Well, I hope he is right on what he says, surely that would be an eye-opener for us.

The End
Anyway, we ended the day by riding the Eng'g elevator. hehehehe... first time! (can students freely use it, or is it for janitors to carry tables?)

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posted by ScIoN 8:05 PM


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Location: Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines

ScIoN is a former Systems Engineer in Japan who specialized in industrial imaging and digital hardware design. He is now back in the Philippines pursuing graduate studies in Finance at the University of the Philippines - Diliman.



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