Monday, March 12, 2007

29. Going Through the Gauntlet

It was on a day in early December that I had a scheduled second interview in PRC. This was a few days after my first appearance. I had taken the preliminary interview with a supervisor in Personnel and was administered the usual routine of filling up information about myself and the basic tests prior to being interviewed by the higher ups.. I told my wife to say a prayer to help me make a good account of myself with the interviewer. This interview would be one among the many that I went through in addition to the IQ tests and other tests that the Personnel Department subjected all applicants to.

From what I heard the selection process was a rigorous one. I was not worried about the IQ tests. I knew from previous tests that my level was way above average. I remember that a lot of the questions asked were easy and I guess they were more a gauge of comprehension more than anything else. The semantics and the spatial relations portions of the tests were a cinch. The numeracy portion proved to be a challenge but somewhere embedded in the shirrings of my brain my father’s genes stirred and came to the fore and got me through the tests. I got this interview by answering an ad in the newspaper that said that they were looking for aggressive young people who have had experience in advertising to handle the marketing of consumer brands. The position was supervisory, a grade prior to becoming a manager. My advertising experience was extensive. The absence of a job description in the small ad agencies that I worked in contributed to my well-rounded advertising savvy. I would never have had this opportunity had I applied for a management trainee position, which was the usual entry point of would be brand managers in a multinational marketing company. A management trainee position in PRC was one of the most coveted jobs among the best and the brightest graduates in the country. They said that the whole screening process is summed up by just two screening questions. After answering the question”… Ateneo, Lasalle or UP?” this would be followed by… Summa, Magna or Cum?” Although this was said in jest the response to this is taken with more than just a grain of salt. I was kicked out from a premiere learning institution and completed my education in a downtown university. The only qualification I had was my advertising experience. This was why prayers had to be in earnest and answers desperately and urgently sought for.

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