7:22 pm - Monday January 22, 2018

A Tale of Two Alphabets (P&G)


A punch in the guts, that’s how it felt like after seeing the electronically generated rejection email form P&G. Let me take the liberty of elaborating the feeling for those among us who can never be punched in the guts (for obvious reasons). The pain starts at the surface and then makes it way deep down to your very core and lingers there for a time that feels like an eternity. After the ordeal, all you want to do is lie down on the floor and curl up.

But first let me fill you in on some details. P&G recently conducted a test for their summer internship program. The test is the first step of their hiring process followed by four interviews. It’s quite intriguing that after clearing these hurdles, all you get is a summer internship and a shot at becoming a permanent employee. So I passed their test (like a boss) and found myself at the top of the world, being envied by a score of fellow students. I was then called for a screening interview. The interview was to be held at Harbourfront. For those of you who aren’t from Karachi and for those who live in Karachi but are too uncool to notice such a magnificent building at the sea shore, Harbourfront is a magnificent building at the sea shore.

From the moment I stepped into the Harbourfront I felt melancholy. I can’t exactly pinpoint the reason behind feeling sad and dejected all of a sudden. I do remember these two distinct thoughts that kept swirling around in my brain. After being blown away by the interior design of the building, I started pitying all those engineers who were involved in the building’s construction but never got to work inside it. The thing is, headquarters of all the major organizations are located at these elegant places and are mostly inhabited by business graduates. Whereas technical people who, no offence, do all the real work are stowed inside the production plants with a meager salary. That’s just unfair. My second thought was “Oh boy, this S*&% is for real”. Let me be more explicit. Up until that point I never really gave much thought to the whole process of finding a job. Somehow I always felt that my employer would be waiting for me outside my university at the graduation day, with his (or HER) arms wide open. I dreaded being the typical stereotyped fresh graduate who scrambles here and there in search of employment. So finding myself waiting anxiously for my turn to get interviewed gave me Goosebumps, to say the least.

The only prominent thing I could remember of the interview was the view. Seeing those waves from the twelfth floor gently kissing the beach was more like a spiritual experience. It made me philosophical beyond what is deemed healthy. That is why after the interview, it felt as if I just had a session with my psychiatrist (which shouldn’t be the case, trust me). That is the reason I didn’t knew for sure whether my interview went well or not; until that rejection email. After the surge of suicidal feelings passed away, my mind (thanks to my right brain) got filled with all those comforting thoughts that make your stay at looserville a little more bearable. Here is the complete list:

“Lobo Lester (HR manager), what a funny name.”

“Dudes at P&G just made the biggest mistake of their life”

“My biographer would mention this that after being turned down by P&G, sarim haq went on to create his own consumer products company that eventually bought P&G”

“Hey, why am I being so emo? I didn’t even think about P&G until those guys showed up at our university. P&G was never in my grand plan of complete world domination. Phew!”

“Head Shoulder sucks!”

“Ariel sucks”

Now that it’s all over, now that my mental condition has returned to its pre-P&G state; I look back at my experience and notice just one thing. Possibilities. The best way to deal with failure is to look into your treasure trove of infinite possibilities. The worst we could do is to think of our future as one dimensional. Interpreting your future through shortcomings of the present is our greatest folly. Who knows, maybe I will get employed by NASA or maybe I would end up making my own organization. “Connecting the dots” as Steve Jobs once said. Although he didn’t restrict those dots to triumphs only…

Filed in: Expressions

9 Responses to “A Tale of Two Alphabets (P&G)

  1. Rida Shazli
    May 14, 2012 at 8:58 pm #

    Nicely written Sarim! I felt your pain. I cleared the online assessment but failed the test. P&G manipulated us and made sure that by the end of the session we’d feel like nothing in the world could compensate for an internship at P&G. Not seeing my name in the list of the coveted students who cleared the test, I felt searing pain and grief. So I shed a few tears but now I want to get back at them. I’ll make sure I do something big. Something that makes P&G realize that I was far too good for them. Alas, I feel like I’m still wailing over my failure, but then aren’t we all?

    • Shehroze Umar
      August 20, 2012 at 6:54 pm #

      Negative! Two of my classmates are already interning at P&G, but I can feel for you. I would suggest you to look ahead and move on. You know there are many more opportunities. Moreover It’s no use crying over spilled milk, since you cannot change that now.

      • August 20, 2012 at 8:19 pm #

        Shehroze, you are right. This article was more like me crying over my defeat. You know, when i come to think of it…getting rejected by P&G turned out to be actually beneficial for me. I was able to do two internships instead of one and was also able to get my priorities right. Anyhow, thanks for commenting : )

        • Shehroze Umar
          August 20, 2012 at 11:16 pm #

          Well, I really appreciate your work and it was the first time I went through a blog. I would like you people to know that Mr. Ali Asad Rizvi (EL-2010) has been admitted to University of Oxford, which is indeed a great achievement for him and PNEC. We are all proud to have such intellectuals in our alumni. Meanwhile he has started up this great work, called blogging. And it is my pleasure to share his blogs with you. Hope you people find it useful:


          They are a guide for those who plan to go for higher education abroad in future.

  2. June 6, 2012 at 2:13 am #

    you have written very nice and open heartily. Tomorrow is mine turn for interview for same reason at same place, lets see what happens.

  3. tariq butt
    June 13, 2012 at 3:37 pm #

    I have da same feelings dude….these guys frm p&g selected almost lik 8 students frm giki and had 4 times da interview process n atlast said sorry we dun like any of them…..wat do they want n wat r they lookin for at r campus…… martians……….????????

  4. June 22, 2012 at 1:23 am #

    Ha! Things come and pass by, Sarim. Let us all be happy in working out grand plans and hope Allah plans the same for us! Stay calm n eat aam, here! 😉

  5. faizan
    August 1, 2013 at 3:59 am #

    i cn udrstand ur feeling buddy. actully it happend with me as well. bt world is not end on p&g . there are number of oppurtunity to come. and i hope u will get somthing big. all the best n gud luck. 🙂

  6. Owais
    May 23, 2014 at 11:59 pm #

    Bro, u rock:p. My p&g interview is tomorrow and I am glad I came across your blog… :p

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