Monday, June 18, 2007

None of the Above

My previous post covered a brief overview on 2 companies that I could have worked at. All of us have our own decisions to make; whatever our choices may be, it should be supported by reason.

Between the two, I chose to work with SMART. One of the main reasons was that it offered stability. A good pay with an outstanding bonus, topped with full medical benefits, and other company perks you could get by working with an established company such as this one.

BiT Micro should have been my ideal company with regard to what my training as a Computer Engineer (Microelectronics – Digital) is concerned. They say that the work environment in BiT Micro is nothing different from what a typical UP EEE graduate had experienced. As of last year, BiT Micro had successfully hired most of the EEE graduates. In fact, BiT Micro became a ‘default’ company for graduating IML affiliates. Maybe it was the ‘UP-like’ factor that appealed to them. But for me, it didn’t.

When I had my interview at BiT Micro, I had seen many familiar faces I had encountered at EEE. Same old people; some of them were my college contemporaries. During that time, I was in formal wear; they were in their casuals. It was very evident that I was their applicant, and I felt like hiding then. I got delayed in UP for one year just because of 8 units. Soon I get to realize, starting with BiT Micro means starting with an already delayed career. Not to mention the 4 years of bondage, it was really hard for me to risk on something I am not even sure of.

This probably attracted me more to SMART. No recent EEE graduate had probably worked here before. There would be lots of new people to meet, new grounds to explore, and perhaps a territory to cover. It would be a refreshing way to start a career. The position offered to me doesn’t even have a bond. I may be able to transfer to another company some other time; either because of discontent or maybe for career improvement.

But just when I was all ready to work with SMART, I got stalled with the medical results particularly with my blood pressure. For a month or so, the over-the-counter pills prescribed by the infirmary doctor had not taken effect; consequently, I just had a full summer’s worth of vacation. Thankfully, SMART didn’t give up on me; that the job offered to me was still in place. All I needed was a lowered bp which a proper medication could easily fix.

Even during the time that I had made up my mind on SMART, I did not let go yet of BiT Micro or any other company that came my way. I still kept my options open. By May, I encountered a job advertisement from one of my yahoo groups. It was also the same job that was referred to me by a brod, that he eventually saw in jobstreet. What was wanted was a ‘Bridge Engineer’. 2 main skill sets needed that struck me: knowledgeable in VHDL/Verilog; proficiency in Nihonggo a plus (for Japan). Shoot. In fact, the whole job description seemed to be written exactly for me. Now, since this ‘new’ job was related to my field of specialization, the only question left was if it would be financially worth it. Could it match SMART’s standing offer? I guess it did.

Once, I had regretted for not being able to graduate on time. But now, I am very much thankful for that one year that became an opportunity for me to slow down a bit and contemplate on the future. Most of those who aimed to be ‘on time’ were busy finishing/excelling their remaining academic load that they no longer have the time to prepare themselves for the job fairs and attend as much interviews as they can. Upon graduation, they were still not sure where to go; thus, the tendency for them to grab the very first job offer they encounter.

I am grateful that I was given a choice. Given the fact that I am able to choose, it means that I am still in control of my life.


posted by ScIoN 4:18 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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