Companies and Impressions

Being a third year undergraduate student on internship I come into contact with several corporate types everyday. Although this is usually on the lift to work (23rd floor) where I am making fun of their atrocious attire (pink is NOT a formal colour!), I sometimes google the companies to find out a little more about them. I’m surprised at the range of attitudes of different companies which reflects in their website (check the faq’s, really gives you an idea).
Some of them actively solicit future employees. Others are brash. Others are extremely humble.

A study in contrast are PWC and AP Moller’s (Maersk) websites. While PWC is good, although theyre huge they make a genuine effort to answer queries. (FAQ: Since PWC is so huge will I just be an insignificant player?) . AP Moller meanwhile says that after their two year training program its possible you might not even get managerial responsibility. They talk about long hours and a corporate culture of facing “brutal facts”. PWC talks about an active social life and sports events.

Not so long ago I was looking for an internship for 6 weeks in the period of June-July. I called up several companies to find out if they can accomodate me since summer internships usually last 10-12 weeks. The responses of certain companies can only be characterised as “nice”. I spoke to HR of Deutsche Bank (DB) and DBS in Singapore. DB was great, they said they realised that third year undergrads are on internship and they tried to accomodate them but due to rotation issues here they just couldnt. They were also straightforward and asked me not to apply. DBS went a step further and said they could accomodate me for 6 weeks so could I please submit my resume.

The others were not so great particularly Goldman Sachs and Lehmann Brothers. Goldman Sachs replied saying that they dont take calls unless I know who I want to talk to. I said I have a genuine query and am not a madman (who does that anyway?). I was asked to leave my query on voicemail and if someone picks it up and is not busy then theyll try to get back. They didn’t.
Lehmann Brothers said their summer internships were closed although their website clearly stated that it was open. When I asked about this they said “Sorry, internships are closed”. Not once but twice. Basic Tip: maybe you should update your website then.


5 thoughts on “Companies and Impressions”

  1. To be really honest, its not just for internships, it happens when you are applying for a job also.
    To be really really fair, quite often, they get so many people calling in and they are in no shortage of applicants from around the world that companies can bluntly say no because these are the companies mostly every1 wants to join.

    Another thing is that for a 6 week internship, big companies MAY NOT always have aproject for you to work on, instead you might end up working in projects where you are merely “learning” by observation and dont get really much hands on experience.

    If your aim is to add value to yourself and skill set and merely have a brand name on your resume which says you did your internship with so-and-so big company, then you can look at slightly “lower down the ladder” companies also.

  2. I meant to say …

    “If your aim is to add value to yourself and skill set and NOT merely have a brand name on your resume “

  3. hey preeti
    i was just trying to say that companies can be courteous. i frankly dont care if its a small/big or no brand company. i would have complained either way. but u expect the bigger ones to have better hr.

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