April 23, 2012 4 Comments
Yesterday, five years after donning it for the first time, I finally wore my sablay again. It is done. If I choose to, I may now append “MTM” after my last name.
Truth be told, I decided to take graduate studies primarily to redeem myself from the mediocrity that was my bachelor’s degree. Don’t get me wrong, getting a Physics diploma is no small feat, and I’m not short-changing myself. I just knew then that I didn’t do as well as I could have.
I believe I’ve achieved that goal. There was still the occasional procrastination and last-minute cramming – ok, fine, maybe not just occasional – but by and large, I’m proud of how I handled the course and of what I learned beyond all the theories and frameworks we covered. I would’ve said that the proof was in the waaay better general weighted average I got this time around, but I would be kidding myself. I recognize that it really is with the practical lessons and valuable connections I’m taking away with me after those three quick years. Cliché, yes, but no less true.
I’d like to share this speech that my co-graduate delivered during our commencement exercises. This guy has a lot of things going for him: comprehensive exam top scorer, a final GWA of 1.06 AND he’s on his way to Cambridge for another Master’s degree. Certainly, no one can argue how deserving he is of the title “most outstanding graduate student “. Thanks for allowing me to post this here Stephen. I’m truly excited to see what’s in store for you.
(By the way, he gave this speech with such gusto so much so that simply reading this is actually an injustice. )
Prof. Edison Cruz, Ms. Edna Barin, professors, family, friends, my fellow graduates, a good morning.
As I was preparing my speech, I asked myself, “What are the top 3 things that I will remember the MTM program by?” On one hand, I will never, never forget Schumpeter’s Creative Destruction Innovation Model, Osterwalder’s Business Model Framework, or even the Posadas’ Ladder of Firm-Level Technological Capabilities. Yet on the other hand, what are the little things that will forever remind me of MTM? Without much ado, here they are.
Number 1: The 6 to 9 Classes.
While I tell my parents that the reason why MTM classes are at night is because most of us are working students, I love to think that the real reason is that we need time to cram in the morning. A month ago, I chanced upon a comment in our batch Facebook group. It read something like, “Yes, beat the deadline by 15 minutes. O di ba? Pwede na akong double degree! Bukod sa MTM, I can go for Masters in Requirements Cramming!” Itago nalang natin siya sa pangalang Ver Ramos. Wala naman siya dito.
But I would like to take this opportunity to thank our loved ones, our families, our significant others who are our bosses, I mean, and our bosses for bearing with us as we crammed our way to the finish line. Let’s give them a warm round of applause.
Number 2: The TMC solar-powered signage
I hope all of you have noticed that for the past 7 months, the TMC signage has been a source of guidance and inspiration to many of us. That signage has yet to fail to light up from sunset to at least 9pm, when the latest of the late students finally arrive. It’s now easy to tell the taxi driver, “manong pasok po kayo doon sa may lighted solar-powered signage.”
I would like to proudly inform you that that signage was my TM 291 project along with fellow graduates Mark Nicholas Angeles, Joyce Pagkaliwangan, Mae Joyce Calag, and Cristina Ang. It is the product of our blood, sweat and cash.
That project is truly a work of management of technology. While it may seem simple, we were actually able to apply many of the concepts we learned in class. We applied technology marketing as we tried to solicit funds, technology entrepreneurship as we couldn’t find the funds and had to use our own money, technology acquisition as we negotiated with suppliers, and finally, anger management as we had to talk to stubborn people.
Now is the perfect time to thank those who taught us everything there is to know about technology management, our beloved teachers. Isama narin natin ang lagging maasahang sina Ms Tonette, Ms Rose and Ms Ellen. Maraming salamat po.
Number 3 are the summer workshops held at Jollibee La Vista.
During those summer workshops, I had very serious questions that needed answers: 1. Is the MTM program sponsored by Jollibee? 2. Is Jollibee also the venue for our 6-9 classes with free Chicken Joy? And as I found out that Ms Edna Barin was speaking today, I just had to ask Ms Tonette, are we having Jollibee for lunch? To my great disappointment, the answers to all questions were NO.
We all came from different backgrounds. We had as many different reasons in taking up MTM as there are strands of potatoes in an order of French fries – yung large para marami. Some of us enrolled to learn something new; others wanted a promotion; while a few wanted some nights away from the missus. But I’d like to share with you my personal goal:
In the Philippines, a science graduate is by its very nature less lucrative and marketable than a marketing or management graduate. Biology graduates, like me, either proceed to medical schools or to graduate schools to pursue research, which many have described as akin to taking a vow of poverty. Moreover, I have seen many a physics or chemistry graduate end up working as sales or marketing executives at multinational companies. This is exactly the reason why my passion lies in bio-entrepreneurship.
After obtaining my Masters in Bioscience Enterprise from Cambridge, which I plan to do this year, I will return to the Philippines and establish my own biotech company. It shall offer employment opportunities to science graduates of local universities. In order to convince more Filipinos to take up careers in science, we must show them that science and innovation are lucrative alternatives to becoming overseas contract workers or call center agents.
It is my ultimate dream to lead in the establishment of bioscience entrepreneurship as an industry that significantly contributes to the Philippine economy. With a critical mass of young, bright Filipino scientists, the Philippines might someday be recognized as a country of innovations.
As graduates of MTM and the University of the Philippines, we are privileged enough and entitled to dream as big as we can. In fact, let’s dream big enough, my fellow graduates, so that others may dream, too.
The summer workshops were particularly memorable because those were the first and last time that an entire batch was to be complete. I guess in anything that we do, whether it’s a project, a job or a business, it’s actually the people that we meet and friends we make that truly make something unforgettable. And I am very happy to be graduating among friends. Sabi nga ni Jollibee, dito ang saya.
Once again, congratulations my friends and fellow graduates. So paano ba iyan, kita kits sa labas.
Thank you and good morning.
So what now? Another degree? A PhD perhaps? Naaah. At least not yet. One word my friends: rest. Haha! Andaming sleepless nights din nun no! One thing is for sure though: “finishing my graduate degree in Technology Management (still in UP)” has now been updated to “continuously learning“.
Finally, congratulations again to my fellow graduates. Special shout out to my very own Batch Tuna Pie and my adoptive Batch 2010. Cheers you guys! We did it.