Inarguably, the pandemic altered our lives profoundly, especially in how we work. To adapt to the enormous changes that occurred due to the epidemic, we had to be more innovative and efficient. To prepare students for these changes in their future work environments, UMak’s Center for Linkages, Career Development and Placement (CLCDP) organized the career forum entitled “Celebrating the Past, Igniting the Future for the Evolving Employment Landscape”. The program intended to inform the student interns, about the changes in the job market and different industries over the last two years.
Co-organized with CLCDP’s media partner, JOBS180.com, the program was divided into four portions, with two keynote presenters covering their separate subjects followed by two roundtable discussions composed of industry experts from different sectors and fields. Giving her insights on the “Employment, Skills, and Workforce Strategy for the Evolving Employment Landscape,” Mrs. Dominique Rubia-Tutay, Assistant Secretary of Labor and Employment and concurrent Director of the Bureau of Local Employment emphasized that job seekers or someone looking to change careers must examine their interests, seek out appropriate institutions to enhance their skills, and, most importantly, acknowledge their welfare and rights.
As they traverse the “new normal” workspaces, the first roundtable discussion were perspectives from the Arts and Media represented by Mr. Jaypee Zuniga of Knowledge Channel Foundation and Mr. Badong Abesamis of Gigil Advertising Agency, the Business and Marketing sector represented by Ms. Donnalyn de Chavez of StraightArrow Corporation and Ms. Milet Ismael of Aboitiz Power Corporation, the Tourism and Hospitality represented by the President of the Tourism Congress of the Philippines, Mr. Jose Clemente III, and Mr. Paolo Bayangos of Shearwater Health for the Communication industry.
“… We’ve learned from the pandemic that there is a smart way of doing things. We don’t have to go to clients to present stuff to them. We can make use of technology and it saves us time. It saves us exasperation in traffic. Things that we’ve learned during the pandemic, we will also be able to use to our advantage after.”
– Mr. Badong Abesamis of Gigil Advertising Agency’s answer to the question “What were the changes that you experience in your own workspaces/industry now that we are in the pre-pandemic to a pandemic, pandemic easing to the new normal?”
They pointed out and agreed on how every industry has adjusted to the pandemic through new working set-ups, such as online and hybrid work arrangements, and is continually developing new and more innovative working styles. They also opened the discussion on how careers may also be viewed as a personal journey towards growth.
“I think hindi lang siya one-sided. Ano’ng mage-gain ko dito? … It is also good to consider what you will be able to contribute to that organization. Dapat give and take. Dapat hindi lang ikaw ung magbe-benefit, pati ung organization na ijo-joinan mo, dapat magkaroon ka ng footprint doon or marka na gumanda ung organization na yon when you joined….”
– Ms. Milet Ismael of Aboitiz Power Corp. answers the question “What are the things to consider in choosing your career?”
Steering the conversation from careers to the bigger picture of things, the second keynote speaker is Ms. Dulce Esguerra of FEU Makati, a registered Guidance Counselor, a licensed Teacher, and a Medical Professional who continued the program toward viewing career from a personal standpoint especially since most of the questions in the career forum wished to address personal dilemmas of our student interns and graduate students. She explained how career planning and development can be practiced based on one’s personality and aspirations through one’s personal (1) assessment, (2) exploration, (3) preparation and (4) implementation, (5) decision-making, and (6) making it happen.
Specific to the nature of the hard sciences, the second roundtable discussion focused on the landscape of the industries on IT and Computer Science, together with representatives from tech giants in the country such as Cognizant Philippines’ Mr. Aaron Ancheta and Accenture’s Mr. Alex Gomez, Engr. Joal Hilario of DPWH gives his perspectives on the Construction and Engineering industry, the Medical and Health Science Ms. Nerissa Lagarico of Makati Medical Center, Mr. Lorenzo Reveldez of Paideia Professional Development Institute, and Ms. Vera Tabuzo of Kooapps Phils. Most of the discussions explored how working arrangements changed and organizations’ adjustments to provide the safest and healthiest environments to their employees.
“…For those who survived the online learning for nurses, don’t worry because if you will be entering the nursing profession, especially in Makati Med, we developed a training plan for you that includes the skills needed, the clinical skills needed and the knowledge that you need to learn. You need at least three: the right knowledge, the clinical skills and the right attitude…”
– Ms. Nerissa Lagarico, MAN, RN gave advice to healthcare student interns who are anxious to enter the workforce due to gaps in the online learning for their target professions.
Other than changes in the workspace, the pandemic also steered different industries to innovate and adapt through creating new learning opportunities and professions. Directly hit by the pandemic, most healthcare students are anxious if they are capable of delivering quality work due to shifting to online learning since the pandemic started.
“…Most of the companies now are looking not just for game changers but also game definers. You have to put yourself where your head is above water to be ahead of the competition…To bring about a more agile business process, as we all know, if you want your business to succeed in this very competitive world, you need speed. You need speed in order to be ahead of everyone else. That’s the reason why the race for automation is evident globally.”
– Mr. Aaron Ancheta, Sr. Recruitment Coordinator of Cognizant, shared how to stand out when entering the workforce and the emergence of new career paths in IT.
Every speaker and panelist in one way or the other expressed that the pandemic has taught us that working more intelligently, efficiently, and productively can be accomplished anywhere. Aside from insights on the industry landscape, they also shared some emerging trends that provided new perspectives on how leadership, management, and empathy shared between the management and professionals in its organization is the key towards finding solutions to existing workplace limitations and impossibilities. The Virtual Career Forum became a productive space where our student interns gained a better understanding of how they may approach future workspaces, environments, and their career path in their chosen industries.
The University strongly supports the distribution of knowledge and know-how such as those discussed in the forum; please see the following link for the whole video: https://fb.watch/dLElG9oLqC/