A Struggle of Being A Job Seeker: College Shopping Corporate Secretary Pertamina (2016)

Hi! Few times ago, I decided to apply a position in PT Pertamina Persero, through college shopping track was coordinated by ECC Universitas Gadjah Mada. During that process, I was feeling grateful because God let me pass every stage, through a LOT of ups and downs.

Perhaps, it was the longest and most complicated journey for me as a job seeker. I even cried when in the end, the journey did not end well. However, I was very grateful because I met a lot of good people who did not afraid to help me unconditionally; Wicak, Ibu XXX from Faculty of Psychology Sanata Dharma University--I totaly forgot her name)--Mas Nur, Cynthia's family, Pak Mindarto and dr. Mutiara. Through this blog, I would like to thank  them and dedicated this article.

  • Step 1: Registration
It was 21st August 2016. I was told about the college shopping PT Pertamina Persero from Wicak, my friend in Faculty of Law. After a lot of hesitations, I registered myself in ECC Universitas Gadjah Mada's office, 23th August 2016.

Wicak was worried because the staff in ECC Universitas Gadjah Mada said that the vacancy was addressed only to students who had been graduated since April 2016 and the following months. Meanwhile, I was worried because I had  no TOEFL ITP certificate, only TOEFL-like certificate which score fulfilled the requirement (450+). The staff also said that only shortlisted candidates who will be given the invitation to the test. 

  • Step 2: Test about Basic Potency+Psychologist Interview
It was around 17th November 2016 when I received an invitation via sms to the following stage. It was like a chaos. We received three different sms in different times. First, it invited us to the following stage. Then, it explained that the previous sms was wrong. Last, the sms asked us to ignore the prior sms and showed the last one to the staff as a token entry.

The growing issue said that there was a miscommunication between PT Pertamina Persero and ECC Universitas Gadjah Mada about the shortlisted candidates. At first, PT Pertamina Persero wanted to test only the male candidates, but the sms had been already delivered to the female candidates also. I did not know if the issue was right or wrong because when the sms was delivered, I was praying at church, so I had no time to think or even worry, hehe.

Night before the test, 18th November 2016, the candidates were asked to complete their bio and upload some documents in www.recruitment.pertamina.com. Then, 19 November 2016, the test was held in Auditorium UIN Sunan Kalijaga, Yogyakarta since 08.00 AM.

Honestly, I was quite confuse when I saw the shortlisted candidates. The previous requirement said that this vacancy was addressed only to students who had been graduated since April 2016 and the following months. However, Wicak and my senior in Communication Studies, who had been graduated around two years before, also received the invitation. In other hand, my friend from Mechanical Studies who fulfilled the requirement got no invitation. Once again, I did not know what was going on. 

The test itself was quite simple. I forget the details of the basic potency test, but I remember, it included Baum Test, Draw A Person Test, Wartegg Test and Pauli/ Kraepplin Test. I was quite relax yet on fire because the test was adjacent with PCPM Bank Indonesia 32 and KPK test. So basically, I could call myself as an experts, hehe.

After the test, we were asked to wait for the result which will announced around 12 AM. So, along with Adam, Tantri and Endang, I spent the lunch time in KFC Jalan Solo. The result was announced on time and it left 10 people to Corporate Secretary position. The four of us were included, but the announcement made us confuse. As a communication scholar, all of us were expected that we would be placed in Corporate Communication division, not Corporate Secretary.

The interview test itself was quite simple, but the waiting time was unbearable. I got the seventh, so my interview was finish around 05.30 PM. It made us could not go to see Ngayogjazz 2016 performance in Brayut Village, huhu. At the interview, the psycholog asked and confronted about the characters and values which candidates posses in life. Such as about how you deal, cooperate and negotiate with people, how you prove your integrity, honesty, etc. 

My interviewer herself was very kind. We talked casually and she listened attentively to me. She also did not hesitant to stop when at first, I talked hasty. Then, she helped me by explaining the difficult word such she asked, such as "assertive", etc. In the end, she realize that I came from a SHS in Semarang, which included in same foundation like her office. I guessed it was the one that made her understand about my value better.

  • Step 3: User Interview
I have to admit, after the psychologist interview, things were going worse. At December, I was called by Mas Nur from Pertamina who said that because of the signal error, my application was not recorded in www.recruitment.pertamina.com.

What made me confuse, it was only happen to me. So, you could imagine how stress I was. I did not know what was going on, it took dozens of times to call him and ended up with nothing. I mean, I will not be panicked if he did not call and tell me that there was something wrong in my application,. Because of that problem, I was even trying to call HRD office region of Central Java, email PCC and recruitment PT Pertamina Persero and doing other attempts. But my Dad and friends reminded me that Mas Nur was kind. He had an option to keep silence but he was not doing that. Therefore he had to suffer the consequence, getting distracted by my problem, huhu.

After all this chaos, the second temptation came. We did not get any feedback for months, we received no official schedule, but in the middle of January, PT Pertamina Persero suddenly opened another vacancy in Corporate Secretary division via Freshgraduate track in their website. Which means.. people all around Indonesia could apply and competed in that track.

I was getting confused because of this, so once again, I emailed PCC Pertamina and they were told me that if we did not received any feedback in a month, it means that we failed for the process. (FYI, I heard that Wicak's friend who applied for other division in college shopping Universitas Gadjah Mada was taken user interview around December 2016-January 2017). 

Then, finally, at 7th March 2017 afternoon, I received a call from PT Pertamina Persero. Yes, it was Mas Nur again. He was sorry because we did not receive any response for several months and asked us to prepare for user interview, 9th March 2017 in PT Pertamina Persero Office, Medan Merdeka, Jakarta. Because of the announcement, I decided to spent four nights in Cynthia, my SHS friend's family home in Pondok Indah.

Then, about the interview day.. Honestly, I was not surprised when Mas Nur looked tired when he finally met me, haha. He later explained that the user interview process for Corporate Secretary division actually was held for three days, and we were on the second day. Moreover, there should be two users who would interview us, but because the second user was not coming yet, we would be interviewed with the Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) first.

At first, the 12 of us--it was corrected and became 11 because one of them turned out to be double registered at PT Pertamina Geothermal Energy (PGE), so he had to choose one--were surprised because we did not expected to be placed in CSR division. While about the test.. umm.. how could I describe about the interview process? Well, if people said that user interview was aimed to test the compatibility and competence between the company and candidates, then perhaps I was the one who did not compatible with the user. But I would not complain. I tried to be positive by thinking that perhaps, he was doing that because he did not want the girls to be accepted then would be placed in Sulawesi or Papua for CSR project.

Later, Mas Nur told us that there was a changing plan. The user decided to hold a second interview for the selected candidates. We guessed that it was a good news because the user attracted and wanted to know us better. There were only six candidates in this process, four males and two females. Unfortunately, my friend, Endang was not included in this stage. The female candidates only consisted of me and Wiwin, my junior in Department of Communication, Universitas Gadjah Mada.

The officers said that the male candidates would be interviewed first, so the female were left outside to have lunch. However, I was surprised when I finally knew that they held a Locus Group Discussion (LGD) inside. I mean, if the fourth of them were doing LGD first, then it might be impossible for Wiwin and I to discuss because there were only two of us! I was more surprised because someone told us that the user had already chosen two males for CSR division. Then, the other two males who did not get selected were asked to wait outside for second interview.

So, here we were. Two men and two women, waiting to be interviewed by the second user from Board of Directors (BoD) Support. Actually, the waiting time was nothing until we accidentally heard a surprising conversation from the first user who made us quite surprised.

But I felt better when it was my turn to get interviewed by second user. Pak Mindarto, the Head of BoD Support, was very kind and objective. He put respect to people and made me happy because he wanted to listen us attentively. Several questions were asked by Pak Mindarto and other two HRD officers who participated in the prior interview.

The three of them asked about candidate's family background, my vision as a (candidate of) career woman and the impact to my (future) family life. They were also asking about my organizational activity, how would I propose a new idea to forum, how did I deal with people, how did I spend the waiting time since graduation, asked me to write a sample proposal and diagrammatize the journalism process which I did in my prior internships, asked me about why I did not pursue my dreams in media and journalism, how would I contribute to PT Pertamina Persero with my journalism skill, how do I prove my English ability and honesty as my value, etc. I tried to answer them as best as I can and happily went out from the room because of Pak Mindarto's attitude. I mean, how could you not feel happy when someone treated you respectively? 😇

But, I was quite disappointed when 15th March 2017, Wiwin told me that Try, her classmate who also my junior in Communication Studies, Universitas Gadjah Mada, was interviewed in third day by Wianda Pusponegoro, the Vice President of Corporate Communication. I adored her since long time ago because I respect people who came from media industry and could take care of media information well. To be honest, I even mentioned her name when I was asked by the director (G6) of Bank Indonesia, at the final interview, about who is the good spokesperson in Indonesia, in my opinion. My admiration was growing when Dad told me that before she works in PT Pertamina Persero, Wianda worked as an anchor in MetroTV.

  • Step 4: Medical Check Up
Then, at dawn, an invitation email from PT Pertamina Persero came. It asked us to get prepare for Medical Check Up, 17th March 2017 in Prodia Laboratory, Semarang. But suddenly, the third temptation came. When I went out and printed the invitation email at Platinum Cafe Yogyakarta, I fell from motorcycle in the circular parking derivative. My knee bleed, my thigh scuffed, and the worst, my right shoulder and palm bruised. Despite all the pain, I was panicked because the Medical Check Up required Rockport test to check our endurance. 

So, there I was. In a mess because I arrived late in Prodia because Daddy's motorcycle tire leaked, got period for day three and still in pain because of the motorcycle incident. But I did not know that the situation could be getting worse.

At first, my blood had to taken two bottles. Then, I was asked to provide a bottle of urine (mine was contaminated with the blood from period, of course). After that, the nurse checked our height and weight--I was 170.4 cm and 50.50 kg, what a pity! From this point, we were not allowed to pee.

Moreover, Diba and Arindra, my juniors from Management Studies, Diponegoro University and I had to test our lung's capacity. Then, we moved to second floor to take audiometry test to check our ear's health, waited for the dentist and ophthalmologist who would check our tooth and eye's health, came back to first floor to take a rontgent, USG and do a physical check (including hemorrhoid check).

Here came the fourth temptation. At the moment I just knew that I had a slight of scoliosis on my back. dr. Mutiara, who checked me, intended to help because she was afraid that I would fail because of that problem. She contacted and discussed with the officer from radiology, USG and administrator--who intended to call the doctor/ person in charge in Prodia, to contact dr. Sari from PT Pertamina Persero region Central Java--and agree to take another rontgent of me. I was very thankful yet moved because they were very kind to me. However, I was also getting panicked and stress because I did not know how bad is my condition and how it could affect my possibility to be accepted as PT Pertamina Persero staff.

After all the mess, I were asked to eat, provide a sample of feses (only Diba and Arindra who succeed) and taking blood for the third bottles. Here came another problem. After my blood was taken, the staff called me once again because they forget to take another blood of me. So basically, each candidates only needed to provide three bottles of blood, but--I did not know what was going on and what was wrong with myself--the staff decided to take one more. Oh, why did this happen to me 😭😭😭

Then, around 03:00 PM, the staff drove us to GOR Tri Lomba Juang, Mugas, Semarang. There, we were asked to run, brisk, walk (whatever) surrounded the inside part of athletic field for four times, no longer than 12 minutes. I almost fainted at the third lap because the field was very hot, I was on the third period, and my blood was taken for four bottles. But the problem did not stop coming to me, everybody~~~

At the car, on the way backed to Prodia, the officer received a sms from her office which explained that I needed to take one more bottle of blood next morning. So yeah, to sum up the story, I provided five bottles of blood for this medical check up. 😫😫😫

  • Step 5: Yudisium
Perhaps you think that I complained too much in this story. Nevertheless, you need to understand that I had been giving my best in every stage, through the limitless problems, pains and emotions. That was why I perceived that this journey was a complicated yet tiring one for me. However, this had not reached the end yet.

7th April 2017, Diba, who was applying from Freshgraduate track and were interviewed by Vice President of Corporate Communication, contacted me and said she was called by PT Pertamina Persero, along with her two friends. They were asked to get prepare for offering salary process in Jakarta and on board, 17th April 2017. "The email would sent later," she said.

I was very heartbroken once I knew it. Suddenly I burst into tears. No phone yet email came to me, even after I waited for several days. Whereas Arindra, who took down his chance in PT Pertamina Persero and accepted the offering from PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia Tbk, also received a call from PT Pertamina Persero, 13th April 2017.

Once again, I cried a lot. I mean, if I were destined to be failed, then why He asked me to go through all the process, waited and hoped for eight months, faced unlimited problems, only to face a failure and cry a lot? Was there no birthday or Easter's miracle for me? You know, it was my second failure and what made it was getting worse because I received it from two biggest BUMN in Indonesia--first, PCPM Bank Indonesia 32 (2016) and now, PT Pertamina Persero--exactly after I had reached the final stage. I even thought, why I always reach the "almost" point? Untuk now, I even do not know what made me fail in this stage.

However, I tried not to search for the answers of all the "why" questions. I was brokenhearted, tired and did not want to burden myself longer. Later, I just realized that actually, what I wanted at that time was not the job, nor the company, but my expectation to live in Jakarta, to have fun and stroll around with my friends there, to gain knowledge and experience how to handle media from Wianda Pusponegoro or the Corporate Company division--if I have a chance--, to set aside some of my wages after a while and pursue my education further in Magister of Communication Studies, Universitas Indonesia at night, starting from September 2018, etc. It was my expectation that killed me.

You know, simply, I realized that I was not that sad because of the job nor the company, because I was not getting hurt whenever I see PT Pertamina Persero's logo--the different thing happened to me whenever I see Bank Indonesia's office. So, despite the disappointment and thought that perhaps, I dissipate the entire help from good people I met during the journey--Wicak, Mas Nur, Cynthia's family, Pak Mindarto, dr. Mutiara--I tried to forgive myself and believe that He asked me to wait for something better, very soon. I try to believe myself and I know that I can. This was just a chance for me to be patience, more sincere and be strong. *self-hug*

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Meet The Author

Inez Hapsari media & public relations enthusiast | children stories writer | jazz lover | I live to the fullest to be young and in love.