What it does:
Smart Communications, Inc, or ‘Smart’ for short, provides 2G, 3G and 4G LTE wireless communications networks to 95% of the Philippines.
Smart generates 90% of its revenue from mobile service fees with 58.3 million mobile subscribers, making just 6% of its revenue on handsets. As part of an infrastructural oligopoly, it generally sees positive returns year on year, with an anomalous 11% drop in revenue between 2016 and 2017.
Hands-on experience with new communications technology. Renowned for solid training and certification schemes. They care about employee development.
The not so good:
Low pay and long hours. Overtime and working through weekends are expected to meet network demand.
Hiring grads with degrees in:
Information and communications technology
Accounting and finance
Smart was founded in 1991 by a group of Filipino investors. Over the coming years it gained the necessary government approval to begin operating mobile phones through the aid of strategic partnerships. The company made a name for itself with its ‘man with a bat’ campaign, where a man would be depicted smashing metaphorical barriers preventing low SES consumers from having mobile phones. It earned 360k subscribers in its first three years, making it the largest mobile provider in the Philippines by 1996. It has been a telecommunications giant ever since.
Smart accommodates many different graduates, but applicants from ICT or electrical engineering backgrounds will benefit most. While salary packages aren’t the most competitive, their training programs are ideal for starting a career in the telecommunications sector. Advancement within the company is possible, but it comes at the cost of long hours. Enthusiasm for new technology is essential for progression.
It’s possible to apply either online or by referral, the latter being the preferred choice. Applicants can expect up to four interviews, depending on their field. First is generally an interview with HR, either over the phone or in person, the purpose of which is determining what kind of person you are. Expect classic interview questions here, such as:
Why should we hire you?
What are your weaknesses?
Why do you want to work here?
After this, your experience will differ depending on specialisation.
If you’re an engineer or ICT specialist, expect a technical exam next. These will feature questions you’ll likely have to answer on the job anyway. If you pass, you’ll then have a technical interview with the department head.
If you’re going into a business analysis role, expect up to three more interviews designed to test logic and verbal reasoning.
If you’re after a marketing position, expect roughly two more interviews. You’ll likely have one with your potential boss and another with the department head, who will ask about the details of your previous experience. If you’re fresh out of university, they’ll likely ask about your grades and whether you’ve failed anything before.
If you get through all that, you’re in!
Part of the Smart philosophy is moving quickly, but always being eager to learn from others. This is why continual training is a priority for them. Employees gain access to numerous certifications they can leverage for promotions within the company, or taking elsewhere.
Long hours are a staple of working at Smart. Practically all of the Philippines relies on them for stable access to digital communication, so any and all efforts have to be made to ensure smooth daily operations and calm management in a crisis.
It’s an attractive place for graduates interested in telecommunications, as there are constant opportunities to prove themselves.
Smart seeks to deliver communications services to Filipinos, regardless of wealth. Its vision is to connect as many people as possible. This pledge is fortified by four key principles: