One of the most significant legacies of the late President, Professor Tomas B. Lopez, Jr, is the Industry Partners Recognition Day (IPRD). Even with his passing, UMak continues to honor this yearly event and fittingly so on November 24, 2021 – his birthday.
This year’s theme is “Strengthening Partnerships Toward Future Readiness” and, in keeping with the times, was celebrated virtually for the second year in a row. The program began with a nostalgic video clip of the last message delivered by the late President Lopez for the IPRD in 2018 as he recalled its beginnings. A total of 66 active partners were recognized and nine partners were given special awards for their exemplary contributions to UMak through the Zoom online platform and live streamed on the official UMak Facebook Page.
After more than two decades, the IPRD has evolved from a mere impromptu party to a time-honored and vital tradition for the learning journey offered by UMak for its students and stakeholders. Amid the pandemic, nurturing and strengthening these partnerships have become even more critical to ensure that the gaps brought about by the constraints of online learning are bridged through meaningful experiences and opportunities between our students, the university, and our industry partners.
With the transition to flexible learning, Dr. Elyxzur C. Ramos, OIC-President and concurrent Vice President for Academic Affairs, revealed in his welcome message that one of the many concerns of academic institutions today is the inadequacy of online and modular education to prepare students for the needs and demands of their chosen career paths. Recognizing the value and contributions of the industry partners to UMak students’ education and program offerings, he commended them for continuing to work hand-in-hand with UMak especially in the last year despite experiencing their own challenges in their respective industries.
These partners from various fields that range from the academe and education, business and financial services, communication and media, to medical and allied health, retail and manufacturing, technology and BPO, and to government and non-government organizations have supported and engaged UMak on internship, student development, curriculum intervention, scholarship, employment and job placement, faculty development, infrastructure and facilities upgrading, donation and sponsorship.
They were also lauded by Makati City Mayor, Hon. Mar-Len Abigail S. Binay in her inspirational message. She emphasized the significance of the industry partners with the unprecedented changes sweeping across the globe: “The pandemic has drastically changed our way of life, including the way we work. This has made our partnership and synergy even more crucial. Given the variable demands of the industry in the new normal, UMak students need to be guided by both the academe and industry practitioners”.
Presented with special awards for their outstanding partnership with UMak, not only through the pandemic, but also through the years and toward future readiness of our students and alumni, were Building Owners and Managers Association of the Philippines (with the College of Business and Financial Science), Jobs180.com (with the Center for Linkages, Career Development and Placement), Luis Co Chi Kiat Foundation, Inc (with the Center for Admission and Scholarship), Marketing-Sales Executives of the Pharmaceutical Healthcare Industry (with the College of Allied Health Studies - Center for Pharmacy), Mind You Mental Health Systems, Inc (with the College of Science), PJ Lhuillier Group of Companies (with the College of Computer Science), Red Dragon Farm (with the College of Continuing, Advanced and Professional Studies), Smart Communications, Inc. (with the College of Technology Management), and St. Mary's Academy - Pasay (with the College of Education).
The IPRD would not be complete without the testimonies from the student and alumni beneficiaries of the partnerships forged. There were eight select students/alumni from the College of Allied Health Studies (Devine Joy Baillo), College of Business and Financial Science (Michael Jay Castro, Michael Anthony Guzman), and College of Education (Christine Bombane, Brian Medina, Reuben James Ramos, Mark Lester Redrico, Ariel Reginald Rivera) who affirmed how these connections with the industry have, not only prepared them for the realities of the volatile workplace, but have also encouraged them to soar higher in their line of work. Their success stories have validated that the UMak linkages with different stakeholders have indeed paved the way in providing them the best quality education and the competitive edge in employability over other graduates.
Concluding the program was the message from the University Secretary, Engr. Luke Ivan B. Moro, who thanked the industry partners who are always ready to help. At the same time, he appealed to them to continue enriching their programs, particularly for on-the-job training, so that students are well-honed on the appropriate skills connected to the concepts they learned in the classroom to give them a taste of the real world so that they are better prepared in the future for whatever path they choose to take after graduation. Acknowledging that UMak cannot single-handedly mold the knowledge and abilities of a student, he said that “it takes a village to raise a child,” highlighting further the important role industry partners play in education.
The IPRD 2021 was spearheaded by the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs - Center for Linkages, Career Development, and Placement (CLCDP), with assistance from the City Government of Makati (Office of the Mayor and Information and Community Relations Department), Management Committee. College of Arts and Letters, Corporate Communications Center, Center for Culture and the Arts, Rimport, and the different UMak colleges and centers who contributed content for the special industry partner awardees and the student and alumni testimonials