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Please help me to evaluate my job offer

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sambosoul
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Please help me to evaluate my job offer

Postby sambosoul » Thu, 26 Jan 2012 2:10 pm

Hello Community,

I'm desperately looking for help to evaluate a conditional job offer.
Just some quick facts about myself:

- 26 years old
- trained as an IT Specialist (2004-2007) => 3 years work experience
- graduated from a prestigious German University in July 2011 in Management Information Systems with GPA 3.5

During my studies, I worked for a major american car supplier company in Bangkok, Thailand (1 year).
Upon graduation in July last year, I've been working for this company in Shanghai, China, supporting several IT projects and also leading one of them.

I have applied for a M.Sc. IS course at both NTU and NUS. In case I get admitted, I could start working for the same company in our Singapore office. :)

the conditional offer:

S$ 3500/month
+ full paid studies
(downside: 2 year commitment to stay with company upon graduation)

+ 15% bonus p.a.

Currently, there's no housing allowance agreement.

This is a local contract.

What do you guys think? According to various Singapore Salary sites, S$3500 can be considered as an average starting salary for a graduate.

But in my opinion, a graduate is defined as a young post-student without working experience. I've got pre-graduate AND post-graduate experience. Shouldn't that be considered too? :?

The job title would be "IT project coordinator". In the long-term, they want me to become the IT Manager Asia-Pacific (bear in mind, this could be wishful thinking though).

Any advice or ideas are highly appreciated.

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BillyB
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Re: Please help me to evaluate my job offer

Postby BillyB » Thu, 26 Jan 2012 3:08 pm

sambosoul wrote:Hello Community,

I'm desperately looking for help to evaluate a conditional job offer.
Just some quick facts about myself:

- 26 years old
- trained as an IT Specialist (2004-2007) => 3 years work experience
- graduated from a prestigious German University in July 2011 in Management Information Systems with GPA 3.5

During my studies, I worked for a major american car supplier company in Bangkok, Thailand (1 year).
Upon graduation in July last year, I've been working for this company in Shanghai, China, supporting several IT projects and also leading one of them.

I have applied for a M.Sc. IS course at both NTU and NUS. In case I get admitted, I could start working for the same company in our Singapore office. :)

the conditional offer:

S$ 3500/month
+ full paid studies
(downside: 2 year commitment to stay with company upon graduation)

+ 15% bonus p.a.

Currently, there's no housing allowance agreement.

This is a local contract.

What do you guys think? According to various Singapore Salary sites, S$3500 can be considered as an average starting salary for a graduate.

But in my opinion, a graduate is defined as a young post-student without working experience. I've got pre-graduate AND post-graduate experience. Shouldn't that be considered too? :?

The job title would be "IT project coordinator". In the long-term, they want me to become the IT Manager Asia-Pacific (bear in mind, this could be wishful thinking though).

Any advice or ideas are highly appreciated.


Don't fret too much about the pay - it's a little low - but at least you have a job offer and the company is willing to pay for your studies, and it sounds like their is career progression ahead if you work hard.

What are the penalties you face if you leave upon graduation?

P.S. The grass is always greener on the other side, remember!

sambosoul
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Postby sambosoul » Thu, 26 Jan 2012 3:24 pm

Billy,

Thanks for your timely response. Well, if I would leave right after graduation, I would probably have to pay back the tuition.

I'm even thinking about to pay the tuition by myself and not to make this commitment. I guess both NUS and NTU offer great career services.

Anyway, from your opinion, what could be considered as an appropriate salary? I would be satisfied with S$5000.

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Postby BillyB » Thu, 26 Jan 2012 3:40 pm

sambosoul wrote:Billy,

Thanks for your timely response. Well, if I would leave right after graduation, I would probably have to pay back the tuition.

I'm even thinking about to pay the tuition by myself and not to make this commitment. I guess both NUS and NTU offer great career services.

Anyway, from your opinion, what could be considered as an appropriate salary? I would be satisfied with S$5000.


To be honest, I'm not sure of salaries for IT grads / experienced hires in any industry other than banking & finance.

Ranges can swing from $1-2k pm for someone doing manual data entry / back-office type positions, up to $50k+ pm for for very senior IT managers.

Sometimes it's not always about what someone else earns, it's about what is comfortable for you, what you feel you are worth, and what you need to have the life you want.

sambosoul
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Postby sambosoul » Thu, 26 Jan 2012 5:13 pm

Billy,

Thanks again for sharing your experience with me. I'll try to squeeze the orange dry :D

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Postby Strong Eagle » Thu, 26 Jan 2012 6:04 pm

a) You don't have an EP yet for your job, do you? I imagine that the company will not file until you commit. You should _probably_ qualify for an EP but these days it is a lot more of a crap shoot.

b) You are going to school full time and working? That's a mighty nice company. If full time studies, I don't think you can commit to the level that someone not going to school could... therefore, S$3500 isn't so out of line. And, I dunno... can you go to school while working on an EP?

c) Your salary might be slightly low, but not by much, especially as I don't know exactly what you do. A person capable of running infrastructure projects with 6 to 8 years of experience will make S$6K to S$8K per month. The best will make more... we're talking about competent... or maybe no so competent. Could you manage the refresh of 7000 PC's across Asia? I had a tech PM that did this for me at S$8K per month.

d) Finally, the plus side for you is a foreign education and previous MNC experience... this could kick you into a better pay grade. The negative side is that there are thousands of Asians/Indians, who, while lacking the context of a foreign education, are nevertheless quite bright and willing to work for less than you are; hence the downward pressure.

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Postby sambosoul » Thu, 26 Jan 2012 6:33 pm

Strong Eagle,

Posted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 6:04 pm Post subject:
a) You don't have an EP yet for your job, do you? I imagine that the company will not file until you commit. You should _probably_ qualify for an EP but these days it is a lot more of a crap shoot.


That's correct, I do not possess an EP yet. Of course my company will take care of all these things e.g. work permit etc. The whole process kicks in upon agreement.


b) You are going to school full time and working? That's a mighty nice company. If full time studies, I don't think you can commit to the level that someone not going to school could... therefore, S$3500 isn't so out of line. And, I dunno... can you go to school while working on an EP?


No, I would study part-time. It's gonna be tough anyway because I would work from 8AM - 5PM and have classes from 6PM - 9PM. Therefore, they would also just pay the reduced PT tuition.

c) Your salary might be slightly low, but not by much, especially as I don't know exactly what you do. A person capable of running infrastructure projects with 6 to 8 years of experience will make S$6K to S$8K per month. The best will make more... we're talking about competent... or maybe no so competent. Could you manage the refresh of 7000 PC's across Asia? I had a tech PM that did this for me at S$8K per month.


Well, currently I'm responsible for the Business Process Redesign. Basically, I am pointing out the current "as is" process and highlighting the weak spots in terms of costs and time. This is a preparation work for the upcoming ERP system change in Summer/Fall this year. Within this major system change, I am the business leader for the future IBM Cognos BI Reporting.

Furthermore, I am the IT Leader for the implementation of a supplier collaboration/communication system. I will also conduct the training of our staff and partly the suppliers.

Although I'm "just" playing a supporting role in this major ERP system change (due to my lack of experience), this is the beginning of a major rollout within Asia Pacific. I would be involved in future rollouts in Japan, Thailand, Singapore etc.

Again, in the long-term, they need "new blood" and an IT Manager for Asia Pacific (this position is currently nonexistent).
I identify myself with my proposed position for Singapore (IT Project Coordinator).

d) Finally, the plus side for you is a foreign education and previous MNC experience... this could kick you into a better pay grade. The negative side is that there are thousands of Asians/Indians, who, while lacking the context of a foreign education, are nevertheless quite bright and willing to work for less than you are; hence the downward pressure.


I am aware of that, yes. But I do not entirely agree. When I look at my office, most local people (chinese) do not deserve the title "Manager" or "Supervisor". They lack of assertiveness, aggressiveness. They could never sack somebody because they always want to be friends with everybody. This is a fact. At least in my office.
Last edited by sambosoul on Fri, 27 Jan 2012 6:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby BnJoe » Thu, 26 Jan 2012 11:50 pm

Personally, I don't think you've met a real Chinese manager yet. And for a whole year in China, you show some lack of understanding. At least in your last post. Do you speak Chinese? Should be a given after a year.

Second, I think the salary's fine. Don't think the distance study is easy, I've been doing this for quite some time and it can be really tough sometimes. You can't really contribute 100% to your work, since that would require overtime every once in a while, which is impossible with your studies. As for your work experience, the training doesn't really count, the rest is internship. So leaves you half a year upon graduation. No offense, it is experience, but in Germany it wouldn't be paid either (a Fachhochschule graduate doesn't receive a higher salary than a University grad, even with all the internship exp.) Don't forget taxes are a lot lower than in Germany.

May I ask which university you graduated from? Also plays a role in assessing salary. Anyhow, I think you got a very good offer (with the part time study paid).

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Postby sambosoul » Fri, 27 Jan 2012 7:25 am

As I said, I'm sharing my experiences I have made so far. They might not represent the real world due to my lack of working experience in a foreign country. Again, I'm just telling you what I have experienced.

I don't speak Chinese. Firstly, because Chinese lessons are not part of my contract. Therefore, my company does not paid for it. English is not a problem at all in the company. We expect applicants to apeak good english as we ate
dealing with international customers and suppliers. Secondly, I'll be staying in China for just a few months anyway...

I never mentioned a distance study program...I would work, live and study in Singapore.
I graduated from the University of Applied Sciences Esslingen, a university which closely collaborates with companies such asm Daimler, IBM, Robert Bosch and Festo. The university is among the top universities of applied sciences in Germany for Engineering and its MIS program.

http://www.hs-esslingen.de/en/the-university/profile/ranking/2011.html
Last edited by sambosoul on Fri, 27 Jan 2012 3:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby BnJoe » Fri, 27 Jan 2012 3:12 pm

Sorry, mixed up your one year in Thailand with one year in China.

Anyhow, i think distance study or part-time evening study doesn't make a difference, after all you have to do it besides your job. I'm doing a distance-study program at the University of Hagen in Germany (you might be familiar with it) and it really keeps me busy sometimes besides a full-time job. On top of that, don't underestimate the different demand from a Fachhochschule and a University (as the NUS). If you expect to get by with the same workload and similar grades, it's not gonna work. Just my 2 cents to keep you from any unrealistic ideas. Any recruiter in Germany expects someone from a FH to have a GPA a full score lower at a University. So I wouldn't stress the GPA that much, it's not comparable. Nobody knows the FH system outside of Germany, the term "University of applied sciences" is misleading.

Of course, work experience is much more important, but since you're just a graduate, I think the offer really is good. I wouldn't aim much higher when I go to Singapore (probably 4500, as this is the requirement for the P2 pass), but with more experience and a better university. Just take the offer and make the best out of it :)

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Postby sambosoul » Fri, 27 Jan 2012 3:55 pm

BnJoe,

I appreciate your justified criticism and valuable advices for a greenhorn like me :roll: :)

I am aware that the NUS expects a high work ethic and ambitious students, but I am confident that I fulfill these requirements.
During my undergraduates studies, I had the chance to study one semester at a good american university in front of the gates of Detroit, MI. I took 4 classes and achieved an overall 3.3 GPA. Unlike other students, I focused on my studies there instead of partying every weekend. This semester gave me the confidence to apply for a M.Sc. in a foreign country and to take the challenge.

I am not a genius, my ambition probably exceeds my talent, but I know what I want and what it needs to achieve my goals. I am convinced of my personality and character and I am ready to take the challenge with a graduate study at NUS or NTU (or any other grad. school in the world).

btw, I fixed the link in my last post.

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Postby beppi » Fri, 27 Jan 2012 5:36 pm

The starting pay for a fresh graduate in Singapore is S$2400-2800/month.
Thus your offer already considers your prior work experience.
Given the fact that they also pay your tuition, and that you'll not be available for them as much as a non-studying colleague (even though notionally you work full-time), I think the offer is very fair.

But you should change your arrogant attitude towards Asian managers: They know better than you how to achieve things under Asian circumstances. If you don't open up and realize you need to learn from them, you will fail in the long term!
(In my opinion, good managers, although rare everywhere, are more often Asian than Western. I definitely prefer to work under an Asian boss, because of the generally more collaborative approach.)

P.S.: I am near Esslingen right now. But I don't think anybody other than their own marketing brochures say that the Esslingen FH is "top" (although the international MBA program is pretty good).

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Postby sambosoul » Fri, 27 Jan 2012 6:09 pm

I have never said that asian manager lack of balls. I just said that I have made this experience in my company. People like to show their business cards bearing the manager title on the front, but when you look at these people, they usually lack of of the aggressiveness and assertiveness you usually expect from a manager. Again, this is my personal experience in my company. :)

My former boss in Bangkok, Thailand is native thai, and I highly respect him from what he has achieved so far. I consider him as one of the best managers of all our branches in Asia Pacific.

Please do not simplify my statement. It just represents the colleagues in my office, not in entire Asia. :) :wink:

Concerning my previous university, all I can say is that the University of Applied Sciences Esslingen is highly regarded among companies in Germany, especially South Germany due to the close collaboration with the local industry. And I am convinced that the annual rankings support my opinion.

By the way, I weakened my previous posting in order to cool down the situation. I apologize if I gave the wrong impression. That was not my intention.
Last edited by sambosoul on Fri, 27 Jan 2012 6:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby beppi » Fri, 27 Jan 2012 6:16 pm

sambosoul wrote:People like to show their business cards bearing the manager title on the front, but when you look at these people, they usually lack of of the aggressiveness and assertiveness you usually expect from a manager.

This is because aggressiveness and assertiveness are not the best way to achieve things in Asia!

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Postby sambosoul » Fri, 27 Jan 2012 6:23 pm

beppi,

maybe we should both get back to topic :) I respect and appreciate your different opinion, and I am sure that I will also make tons of new experiences in the asian working culture. I am probably still too much "westener" (and will always be, in certain ways).

So you consider my offer as fair? Are there any other typical contract terms I should pay attention to, any hints, advices regarding certain clauses etc.

Thanks in advance.


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