From college to career

MIKE ABOUT TOWN - Mike Toledo - The Philippine Star
From college to career
Jonathan Juan Moreno.

We are now in the season of graduations, as well as “level up” or “elevation” ceremonies, perhaps the second time under this pandemic. Bereft of the pomp and pageantry attendant to ceremonies such as these when held face-to-face, the importance and significance of these events are never truly lost despite them being held virtually or online.

Around 700,000 students will be graduating college this year and are expected to join the workforce.

And because it is the season for graduation, it would be but fitting and proper to have activities or initiatives that are geared to preparing the youth as they move on forward — and hopefully upward.

Jane Pulma.

Preparation in anything is always de riguer. As Alexander Graham Bell, the Scottish inventor of the practical telephone, once said, “Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.”

College students must be adequately prepared to journey into the life beyond graduation — further studies, perhaps, in pursuit of a career path (like that with the British government, for example), or job applications, or to kindle the passion of an entrepreneurial spirit.

Gone are the days when it was acceptable for the youth to slack off after graduation — not in this highly competitive and VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous) world we live in — or to venture off into the world without the necessary knowhow and tools.

It is in this regard that the Office of Rep. Ron Salo of Kabayan Partylist, together with the Chevening Alumni Foundation of the Philippines, Inc. (CAFPI) and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), launched “C2C: College to Career,” a 14-part webinar series for graduating college students. The webinar series also has the Cavite State University, Cebu Normal University, Eulogio “Amang” Rodriguez Institute of Science and Technology, Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP), and the Tarlac State University as its partner educational institutions.

Juan Luis Pimentel.

The Chevening Alumni Foundation of the Philippines Inc. (CAFPI) is the organization of graduates of the UK Government’s global scholarship program that offers future leaders the unique opportunity of studying in the United Kingdom.

University of the Philippines president Danilo Concepcion is the chairman emeritus, with Rep. Ron Salo as president. I am privileged to serve this group as its chairman.

The first of the webinar series tackled the topic “The Ultimate Guide to Job Hunting: Marketing Oneself Effectively.” This session was all about personal branding: resume preparation, writing an application letter, and acing an interview.

Speakers were Jonathan Juan “JJ” Moreno, chief strategy officer of Metro Retail Stores Group, Inc.; Juan Luis Pimentel, HR manager of Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC); and lawyer Arnel Jose Bañas, deputy secretary for administration and finance of the Senate.

In this session of the webinar series, the university that co-hosted was the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, and it was moderated by Jane S. Pulma, chief of the university’s career placement services.

Lawyer Arnel Jose Bañas.

The first speaker, JJ Moreno, a fellow Chevening scholar, gave proper tips on how to prepare for job application. A graduate of the Philippine Military Academy, JJ gave a concise yet strategic approach on the groundwork the graduate must do before actually sitting down and writing that resume or curriculum vitae, akin to a field commander knowing the terrain before going into battle. In the end, he shared some vital points from his message to his son Niño, who was also graduating that year.

For his part, JL Pimentel, HR manager of Metro Pacific Investments Corp., shared current recruitment trends, particularly in consideration of the COVID-19 pandemic. Of course, everything now is digital and with this, there is a tendency to speed up things, including the hiring and application process. The key therefore is to make one’s digital presence felt. He advised the graduates to be honest and professional, create a story with their (social media) profile, and expand their network.

On the other hand, lawyer Arnel, another Chevening scholar, gave suggestions or tips on how to ace job interviews based on his years of experience both as an interviewer and an interviewee. Doing your homework, as Arnel points out, still extends beyond graduation, as job applicants must know the company they are applying to beforehand. And job interviews must also be carefully planned and prepared for, especially now that they are conducted online.

I laud efforts such as these to well-equip our graduates with the necessary knowledge and tools to move forward in life beyond graduation. In the past, graduates, especially from the provinces, are left to fend for themselves, and this oftentimes does not end well. The more we equip our graduates, the more chances the country has in a competent and productive workforce.

Dr. J Prospero De Vera III.

My heartfelt congratulations to the college graduates of 2021. Having hurdled your studies despite the pandemic and the lockdown already makes you winners in my book. Now, go out there and ace that job application with flying colors. Godspeed!

Manuel Muhi.
Rep. Ron Salo.

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