Friday, June 15, 2007

A Tale of Two Offers

Upon the near end of my last semester, I was blessed to receive invites from numerous companies that eventually led to some job offers. By the time I had finally graduated, I had narrowed down my choices into 2 companies: SMART Communications Inc. vs. BiT Micro Networks Inc.

At first, it was a battle of choice between software vs. hardware programming. SMART offered me a position at its Convergent Processes Group (CPG) specifically under Networks. I would be some kind of a Junior Developer, with C/C++ as my basic language, to implement new systems not only for SMART but also for the whole PLDT company. Actually, during my last interview at the SMART IT Summit (where the interviewer did the convincing), he brought up some projects/responsibilities that I may be involved in with respect to my field of specialization. So perhaps more was yet to come.

On the other hand, BiT Micro's offer was for me to be one of their ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit) engineers. Being a student affiliate from IML, I had been trained to think hardware; thus, BiT Micro had the advantage in terms of relatedness to my specialization. BiT Micro's headquarters is located at Silicon Valley; BiT Micro - Philippines was set up by 2 Fil-Am brothers with the help of some UP EEE Alumni (which included former instructors). Years of work with this company could be a good step if I am to pursue the field of microelectronics.

In terms of pay, the 2 companies had different ways to compensate their employees. Let's just say that both companies offered me the same basic salary (taxable income). BUT, it does not stop there. They have their own compensation schemes that I shall share in this post.

BiT Micro claims that in about 3-4 years, salary could increase to about 3x more than the starting. This is possible because performance evaluation recurs every 6 months. Meaning, you get the chance for a raise at least twice a year. Another compensation feature of BiT Micro is the stock option. You get to be an employee and a stockholder at the same time. BiT Micro-Philippines is yet to reach its 4th year. By the time the company gets a big big break(= stocks soar), everybody in the company becomes happy -- this includes the janitor-stockholder. Based from the given compensation scheme plus the 4 year bond, being employed at BiT Micro seemed to be some kind of self-investment.

Meanwhile, SMART already has a name; it being one of 2 major communication networks in the country. Their compensation package goes straight to the point. The company is giving company-performance based bonuses. For the last 2 years, SMART gave at most 21-month bonus pays to all of its employees. This means that your annual income becomes 'monthly salary 21' instead of just 13 (whereas a 13th month pay is government-required). With this, you get to have a monthly salary that is approximately twice the given basic. Isn't SMART already giving too much? Well, the whole of the company (including the employees) benefit from the generosity of its 25 Million subscribers. Aside from the monetary compensations, being an employee also gives you full medical benefits. Parents (both) are also given a premium on their medical needs. Not to mention a lot more of freebies, perks, etc, etc.

What would you choose if you were in my shoes?


posted by ScIoN 1:19 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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