Real Talk: Rei Gonzales on INKOMPASS

Hello there, dear readers, it is I aka Justine Lara T. Chua, the shorter half of the dynamic duo behind The Border Collective, back with a second triple whammy: a solo post + an Intern-view + an INKOMPASS post! With only 7 days to go before signups close for INKOMPASS’ 2016 batch, I thought to run another INKOMPASS Intern-view in case you guys thought it was something only Chinese Ateneans only get into.

For today’s Intern-view post, I managed to snag some time from the ever busy Reynalyn Joy Gonzales to answer some other questions I think are important to know about INKOMPASS. Rei’s Intern-view is very different from Greg’s Intern-view, because they worked in different departments (sales vs finance) and come from different backgrounds.

For starters, Rei lives in Bulacan, commuted back and forth everyday, and only got about 4 hours of sleep every night during June-July 2015. And for some reason, she was totally OK with that. (I got 6 hours of sleep every night, which seemed terrible until I found out how she was living.) Plus, she owns her own business, a polymer clay shop where she makes clay jewelry and souvenirs, and is frequently best dressed with her hubadera (as little clothes as possible) style, which I really want to copy in this summer heat.

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R: This is not related to INKOMPASS but since you said I’m hubadera, I felt like I need to prove it.

Rei is a 3rd year BS Stat student from UPD who started out in Civil Engineering, then shifted to Interior Design before finding her true home in Statistics. I asked her for 5 random facts about herself to help you imagine what she’s like and here they are, in her own words:

  1. I can’t swim but nagcliff diving and snorkeling ako before. Almost died both times haha dunno why I’m proud of that.
  2. I really love heights! My dream is to go skydiving somewhere in Scandinavia. Also to try out all the crazy rollercoasters around the world.
  3. I hate listing down my plans. I’m very spontaneous so I always keep my schedule flexible and open for on-the-spot ganaps (happenings).
  4. I’m a self-proclaimed artist hahahaha. When I get bored (which happens oh so often), I doodle, paint, make mini sculptures, take random photographs, create ribbon flowers, and whatever artsy shit I can think about. I looove folding tiny origami pieces because it’s so challenging to do. Some of the stuff I make I turn into jewelry pieces and sell to whomever is interested haha.

And lastly, she’s currently the AVP for HR for UP Advertising Core , which is one of the biggest and the youngest org in UP (R: We’re celebrating our 10th anniversary this year!)

How I did this Intern-view post though is pretty much the same as how I ran Greg’s. In the first half is the generic questions we ask all our guest writers. But on the second half though, I asked Rei some questions hyper-specific to her experiences. Some of it may sound like inside jokes so tell me if you want anything to be clarified over on The Border Collective’s ask.fm!

This is also the most picture-laden post we have ever done on The Border Collective, because Rei sent over a lot that she wanted featured. I also butt in from time to time to translate Rei’s words into English, or to clarify somethings. 😀

Thanks for reading and hope Rei answered something useful for you!


Please explain how you found out about INKOMPASS + your INKOMPASS joining process.

I was at my friend’s house playing Ace Attorney when I got this notification on Facebook about a certain paid internship. It got my attention at “paid” (J: Same, the word ‘paid’ woke me up to it hahaha,), so I dropped my game for a while and filled up the application right there and then. 😛

When I finished my game later that day, that’s when I read the details of the internship. I remember thinking it was sketchy that they’re willing to pay 50k+ to sophomores, but I proceeded nonetheless.

Several days later, I got this invitation to answer an online test (two online tests, actually). The first one was a no-brainer, just a situational “If this happens, what will you do?” kind of test. The second one, a math test, was also fairly easy for me since I’m a Stat student. But thanks to my crappy internet connection, I almost failed to finish it! So you guys out there planning to join INKOMPASS, here’s a pro-tip: MAKE SURE YOU HAVE GOOD INTERNET CONNECTION WHILE ANSWERING THE ONLINE TESTS.

The next step after that was an interview. It was very casual, I almost feel cheated for getting nervous in the first place hahaha. I won’t spoil the questions but I think it’s more or less the usual ones asked in job interviews. 🙂

Then on May 7, 2015, we had the on-ground assessment! That’s where I met Ven, one of the other interns. We were teammates! The activities on that day were nothing like I imagined. It was the perfect blend of fun and challenging, and it was awesome to see so many competitive students gather in one place.

And then it was the excruciating waiting time. (J: It was really painful and I remember having to tell myself repeatedly to not jump for my phone every time it rang.) Two weeks later, when all my hope of qualifying has been lost, I got the call from Makaw telling me I was selected! Best. Phone. Call. Ever!

Let’s be honest, INKOMPASS was really sketchy when we all applied 😀

What were your initial perceptions of it, and what is it now to you?

I remember telling myself “Shit, networking ata ‘tong pinasukan ko.” HAHAHA. But I really wanted to do an internship (I was already planning to apply for Philippine Stock Exchange at the time) so I just said “What the hell, I’ll just quit if networking nga.”

Now, I totally understand why they paid me 52k. The job was legit. I really worked my ass off for it. Totally worth it!

 

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The giant chair that has come to represent how small we are in light of this huge job lol.

Do you regret joining INKOMPASS?

Aside from the fact that it’s against my life principles to regret any of my actions, WHY THE HELL SHOULD I REGRET INKOMPASS? (Calmer version: I don’t see any reason why I should. It was the highlight of my 2015!)

 

If you had to go back and do it all again, would you do anything differently?

Whatever I did last year got me into the program, so no, I won’t do anything differently. I don’t want to ruin my chances hahaha.

 

What did you do during your internship? What kinds of tasks and projects were you given?

I signed a non-disclosure agreement so all I can say is that I conducted a market research from beginning to end. As in, they gave me a dataset and asked me to plan a research with that info as my basis. I did the planning, data gathering aka fieldwork, and analysis by myself (of course with advice from a lot of people but the ideas had to come from me and they’d just give comments).

I did A LOT of reporting. There was the at-least-once-a-week presentation to my coach so she could see what I’m doing and give recommendations. Mid-internship, I also did a progress report to all the Southern Tagalog sales executives where they grilled me about every single point in my study hahahuhu. And I think Justine has already written about our final day where we presented our projects to the management team. 🙂

It doesn’t sound so bad right, since I’m a Stat student anyway? Well the thing is at the time, I still didn’t know how to conduct an actual survey. So I really had to learn on the fly, and learn super duper fast.

 

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R: With the people from Sta. Rosa’s Sales Office!

What would you say were the worst parts about your internship (or interning in general)?

THE TRAFFIC! The commute was horrible. But with the actual internship, I don’t really have a lot to complain about. Just that they could have planned the events better. It was really disappointing that I wasn’t able to go to Paul Riley’s talk because I was doing fieldwork at the time. 😦

(J: The events she’s talking about are the “classes” we take to learn things, like public speaking, components of a great presentation, etc. Paul Riley was the president of PMFTC at the time of our internship, and is now currently the president of Philip Morris Japan. He was one of our staunchest allies, taking time off of his busy schedule to teach us how to present. We got to meet him again for dinner when he came to the Philippines with the PMJ interns!)

 

 

What’s the coolest thing or perk you got from your internship

The satisfaction of being 1 of the 17 selected out of 4501 applicants. AND OMG THE PROFESSIONAL PHOTOSHOOT!!

No, but seriously, it’s the knowledge that I was able to contribute so much to the company despite my lack of experience. They were able to use my findings to plan for future sales programs and that’s something I can consider my legacy in PMFTC. [Edit: I just met with my coach for lunch a while back, and she told me about how their current programs are based off my research findings. It’s not just plans anymore!]

 

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R: I don’t know who took this photo haha but this is us on our flight to CDO! My first flight ever! Haha

What’s the most interesting experience you had at INKOMPASS?

The CDO trip! It was my first time riding an airplane hahaha. Working for half a day in the tobacco fields also made me appreciate farmers a thousand times more.


And now for the fun part aka the part where I ask hyper specific questions about Rei’s experiences during the summer! I didn’t even know what she was going to say, because we rarely saw each other during the summer. 

One of your group mates, Ven aka Mother Perpetua, became our fellow intern.

What was she like during the on-ground assessment?

(Context: Ven is very reserved, so I really am curious as to how she was like at the on-ground.)

Matakaw siya like me! 😀 There was an ice cream booth and everyone was so shy, they kept on saying they didn’t want any (what the hell?!). Ven and I were the first ones who unabashedly went to the booth and asked for ice cream. #grepa hahaha

Food aside, she’s very friendly. She had a lot of questions about what we do in our courses, why we joined Inkompass, how life in Manila is, etc. And since she’s from Cebu, she also had lots of stories to tell us about her life there. It was fun having her as a teammate! When we saw each other again during orientation aka first day of work, I was not surprised at all that she got in. 🙂

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Ven, Rei, and Shai when they went to Ayala Museum!

Rei, were you the one who didn’t want sales, as in you flat out said “I don’t want sales”, but still got assigned to it?

Yes, that’s meee! Hahaha I wanted to be in marketing or finance or product dev, basta anywhere but sales. Pero ayun I got into sales (Murphy’s Law at work?)

 

As someone who didn’t like sales in the beginning but grew to love it,

What advice would you give to people who end up in a path they initially didn’t want?

Take it as a challenge. You may end up loving it, or hating it even more. But the experience will change you into a better version of yourself. It certainly changed me.

 

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R: With the Sta. Rosa Business Building Group aka my drivers and bodyguards and best friends durng fieldwork  🙂

How was it like waking up at 3am everyday just to commute to and from work?

I live in Bulacan and I commute everyday, so I had to wake up at 3am because any later and I would have to face the hell that is Manila rush hour traffic. But the waking up part is actually the easy part, it’s staying awake that’s difficult. I had to rely on caffeine to keep me functioning – and you must know that before INKOMPASS, I only drink coffee at most once a month.

 

What motivated you everyday to go to work in those hellish conditions?

DEADLINES. Hahaha. I had this timeline for my whole project and I had to strictly follow it if I had any hope of finishing on time. And the 26k salary, of course.

 

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R: My first week was full of meetings. This is me after the last one (for that week), happy with the first of many free dinners. 🙂

Undoubtedly, Rei, you are the most hardcore out of all of us 17. You went around the last few weeks of work sick, you did the craziest commute, and we at TEC (the main office) saw you so little that I only found about your project during the final presentations. Not to mention the fact that you seem to still be very in touch (as in in contact kayo often) with your coach.

How does all of that feel to you? And also, what do you think helped you guys form this tight-knit bond?

The Laguna Sales Office culture is super different from the TEC culture; they’re just like a huge barkada there, throwing jokes and insults at each other. And I was their only intern, so I instantly became their baby! The whole office would have lunch together, sometimes even dinner (which means I never had to pay for food hahaha).

My coach and buddy, they’re like my mother and brother who always looked out for me, making sure I conducted my field work safely and that I had everything I needed to accomplish my tasks. They’re very passionate about the project and they have 101% confidence in my skills, and I think that’s what strengthened our relationship.

I was not a mere intern; I was a colleague. And it was their dedication and trust that pushed me when the stress and lack of sleep finally caught up with my body. Those last few weeks when I got too sick to work, all I had in mind was “I have to finish this. I have to make them proud.” The whole Laguna Sales Team helped me with the project, and the least I could do was give them results.

 

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R: With my coach, Ching, and the ever-helpful Brett Cooper. This was taken after final presentations.
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R: With my buddy, Gelo!

On a scale of 1-10, how great is Justine Chua for you?

Is this question really required? Hahaha sige na nga, a perfect 5/7

… but she sucks out all the energy within a 3-meter radius so beware.

 

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R: The 4 commercial interns, plus Justine Chua.

Do you have anything else you want to say to the readers?

I would give you advice, but to be honest, the experience still feels so surreal to me. I still don’t understand how I got in, so I don’t really know what to tell you except the cliché “Be yourself.” Just be the most confident version of yourself. Believe. And dasal lang. Dasal lang talaga. (Moreno, 2015)

Also, please follow me on Twitter @ForeverHungrei and Instagram @reign_of_rei.

Lol I’m not joking. Please follow me and boost my ego by liking my posts hahahaha

 

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R: I visited TEC 3 weeks ago to meet my coach and palibre ng lunch HAHAHA. With us in this photo is Mabs who replaced Gelo (my buddy, who recently got promoted). Coach has a new team but I’m still their baby! 🙂

 

And there you have it, a quick peek at being a Sales – Commercial Planning intern for PMFTC from Rei’s Intern-view post! Rei signed a non disclosure agreement, so she really can’t talk about her project by law, so if you have any in-depth questions about what exactly Rei did, they can only be answered by becoming an INKOMPASS intern and asking her directly.

For those of you interested having an insanely unique journey of your own to one day talk about here on The Border Collective, sign up for INKOMPASS here at inkompass.global. Even if you don’t fit the criteria for INKOMPASS itself, you can apply for regular internship through there and even employment (just attach your resume there). If you’re encountering any difficulties, feel free to email me about it and I’ll do my best to help you out!

But if say, you want to intern elsewhere, like maybe at a software company called Saperium, BPI, Globe, or even a digital marketing agency called Jump Digital, The Border Collective’s got you covered. And if you’re already going into the interview stage, we’ve also written about acing your next phone interview, things to keep in mind during an interview, and about a failproof pre-interview routine here on TBC as well!

Up next here on TBC is our Unilever Business Week adventures as well, so stay tuned! We’ll be locked in a hotel with the 43 other participants for 4 days and 4 nights, so it’s bound to be fun! 😀

If you have anything you want to say to us, email us at either justine.ltchua@gmail.com orbets_ong@yahoo.com! For partnerships and business deals, email us at theborderc@gmail.com! Follow me on Twitter and Instagram as well @ChaiXingJun!

If you’ve got any other questions you want to ask her or any of the other INKOMPASS interns, just drop it in our Google Form down below or our ask.fm and start it with @name!

Thanks for reading and hope Rei answered something useful for you!

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