Step Up Sa Pangarap Virtual Summit kicks off day one with career talks from industry leaders, working students

Mapúa Malayan Digital College (MMDC), the premier digital-first college in the Philippines, celebrates modern day working students with Step Up Sa Pangarap: A 3-day virtual summit from May 10 to 12, 2023 dedicated to empowering working students to step up their skills so they can thrive in their career, achieve work-life-school balance, and manage finances.

May 18, 2023
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Day one, May 10, focused on stepping up in the careers of working students, and it kicked off with industry leaders as well as former and current working students sharing their experiences on how to step up and achieve personal and career growth.

Bryan Ordas, a former working student and now a Senior Software Engineer at Accenture Philippines, shared that his work experience early on helped him hone the skills that he would later use in his career. “I guess the basic skills that employers love is having soft skills,” he shared. “Working as a student assistant gave me the opportunity to learn [people and communication] skills enhancing my character traits.”

Industry leader Vett Watson, Modern Work & Business Security Lead at Microsoft Philippines, was also a working student in his college years and graduated Summa Cum Laude. He began by sharing a quote from Microsoft Corporation CEO Satya Nadella “The learn-it-all does better than the know-it-all” and stressed the importance of having a growth mindset. “When I joined Microsoft I continued to take technical certifications. I kept practicing and acquiring not just technical but also soft skills,” he says. “I continued to make myself uncomfortable by trying out things and learning new skills. It’s always great to have a balanced skillset.”

Another keynote speaker, Frances Teopengco, Talent Acquisition Manager of McDonald’s Philippines, had great advice as well to working students who want to step up in their careers. She shared, “In order for us to better understand where we want to be in life, we must have a clear vision as it defines who you want to be and what you want to be known for and a set of experiences and accomplishments you aim for.” She added that there are two things to keep in mind to be successful in one’s career and in life. “First you have to step in, you have to get hired. When you get hired, you need to step up and get promoted.” She emphasized that both hard and soft skills are equally important when working towards getting one’s dream job. Along with breaking down the steps on how to get started and stepping in, she encouraged the participants to still focus on oneself and what one enjoys doing, and then see the bigger picture. Stepping up, Frances mentioned, is working towards career advancement by working on one’s communication skills, staying curious, and being results driven, to name a few.

The last speaker for the day was MMDC Chief Learning Officer Derrick Latreille, who started off by encouraging the participants to ask themselves a tough question: Who are you? “Spend a lot of time figuring out who you are – your strengths, your weaknesses, what you’re capable of, what you really like doing, and what you hate doing. Really know you. It’s okay to have a foggy view of where you’re going, that will clear up in time, [but] it’s not okay to have a foggy view of who you are. That's the key to figure out your next step.”

Derrick also shared what motivated him as a working student. “I wanted more in life. I wanted to give myself more opportunities, I wanted to give my kids more opportunities. I was honestly just motivated to get ahead. I just wanted to have a better life and to provide a better life.” He also gave sound advice when it comes to balancing everything that you have going on in life. “Learn to manage your calendar. Learn to sit down at the end of every week before the next week begins and budget your time. You will always be too busy to study if you do not block the time.” Lastly, he shared, “There’s nothing wrong with wanting to get ahead. Don’t apologize for the fact that you’re trying to get ahead and that you’re trying to step it up, that you’re trying to get to the next level financially. It’s okay to have that goal but know that your goals are going to evolve when you get older.” Your goals will also grow once you are more financially secure. You will be more mindful of who you share your time with and also work on making this world a better place. He said, “Your goals should evolve like you evolve.”

Step Up sa Tagumpay Awards

If you are a working student, who participated at the event, join our competition for the best stories of how you can step up in either your career, life, or finances. We are looking for the most captivating stories that showcase your unique journey as a person juggling work, school, and life, and how you will triumph with what you have learned from the Step Up sa Pangarap Virtual Summit. Winners will receive a Continuing Education Scholarship in MMDC and other exciting prizes. Learn how you can join here.

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