Day two of the Step Up Sa Pangarap Virtual Summit shines light on work-school-life balance

Following the success of day 1, speakers for the second day of the Step Up Sa Pangarap Virtual Summit shared their first-hand experiences on how to balance work, school and day-to-day life, and how they achieved their success today. Each speaker also gave the participants nuggets of wisdom that left them inspired to stay persistent towards their goals in life.

May 18, 2023
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The first speaker of the day was Jonathan De Luzuriaga, President of the Philippine Software Industry Association and CEO and Founder of Spring Valley Tech Corp. His talk focused on how one can be the best version of oneself and also gave recognition to working students. He said, “You’re working but at the same time you’re trying to obtain a degree. That takes courage. That takes a lot of determination.” He continued on and emphasized what qualities are important in order to succeed in one’s career and in life. “You have to be an explorer and step out of your comfort zone and continue to be curious. You have to be a visionary. You have to believe in something bigger. It’s not just about earning money or gaining revenue or being popular. You have to equate this with something higher,” he shared.

Being a founder of a startup company himself, his advice was very much aligned with how being relentless amidst the struggles one faces will pay off in the long run. “You have to be unstoppable. There is a particular quality of all startup founders that is very difficult to define and that is grit. The best way for me to define this is persistence and passion rolled up in one.”

Up next was Rosario Cajucom-Bradbury, Managing Director of Contact Center Association of the Philippines (CCAP), who proudly shared her life journey and how she climbed her way up and stepped up in both her career and life. As a working student herself, she believes that one has to own their future and accumulate the right network in order to succeed. Rosario shared that she did not come from a well-off family but her parents gave her the best education and she believes that this is one of the main things that led to her success. Apart from her schooling, being persistent, entrepreneurial, and focused are some of the qualities that helped her get to where she is now. “In high school, I was already a working student. I was selling life insurance. I was selling Hong Kong items, Sanrio [products], Hello Kitty [items],” she shared. “Hindi ako nahihiya. There’s nothing wrong with earning a clean living.” In college, she worked at McDonald’s, flipping burgers while trying to finish a degree in Communication Arts with a full load. “I felt empowered to be able to fund the things that I wanted to buy.”

From a telephone operator to executive secretary, Rosario learned the ins and outs of the industry that she worked in and connected with the right people until she was on the top of her game, even traveling the world because of her people skills that she honed as a working student. “The experience I gained as a working student has humbled me. I understood hard work, I understood [that I needed] discipline to be able to finish my education and still get passing grades. At the same time, I was earning money, and I was very empowered and financially independent.”

More relatable stories were shared by the very first student of MMDC, Kyla Besanez, who said being a working student has taught her so many life lessons that has made her into the person that she is today. Her mom passed away from ovarian cancer in 2020, and although this tragedy was very difficult for her and her family, she was inspired by how hard her mom tried to get better. “I work as a customer lead engagement associate at Mapúa Malayan Digital College. I work from home Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm and attend online classes on Mondays and Tuesdays.”

The flexibility of MMDC has helped her work and school life a lot. Apart from this, Kyla is also under maintenance medication for her mixed connective tissue disease (MCTD). She can’t be overwhelmed with stress and though she has a busy schedule, she reminds herself to breathe and pause. “Though there are a lot of challenges as a working student, I take this moment to learn and to build character. My message to working students is to keep pushing forward. Don’t let the challenges of balancing work, studies, and your social life deter you from your goals. Remember to take care of yourself and seek support if needed. Breakdowns will become breakthroughs. Malayo pa pero malayo ka na.”

The last speaker for the summit was Jayson Lo, a public speaker, an author, and an entrepreneur. Similar to the previous speakers, Jayson was already honing his entrepreneurial skills at a young age and was taking in new opportunities whenever he would get the chance. As a working student, he shared that he would sometimes be late for school, because he was also busy hustling for his side jobs. “Time management is first and foremost knowing your purpose in life because it is difficult to manage our time,” he shared. “You have to live your life with a compass, and not a clock - compass meaning it’s your purpose so that you will have inspiration. Purpose doesn't have to be altruistic, it doesn't have to be big, and it can start wherever you are.”

Jayson also emphasized that energy management is just as important as managing time, and where one puts one’s focus does affect how one grows in one’s career and as an individual. He added one should be focused on one’s schedule as opposed to time one has in a day to help one become more productive with the multiple things one has to juggle and take care of.

He ends his talk with this: “The quality of our life is determined by the questions that we ask ourselves. This question is the focusing question. It goes ‘What's the one thing that I can do such that by doing it everything else will [become] easier.’ What’s that one thing that you can do?”

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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