Feb 28, 2021 marked the end of the first Online Synpulse Project Management Academy (eSPMA) in the Philippines. I am so lucky to be one of the participants of this great program. Despite the different set-up this year, I was able to really enjoy the experience as I learned more about project management and I bonded with my batchmates There have been challenges along the way, especially since we're taking it alongside our classes, but there is a certain joy knowing that we have an opportunity to learn something more outside of our classrooms.
Raiza (2nd photo) with her groupmates during a Sunday Synchronous Session
When I first learned about the E-SPMA, I did not think twice and signed up immediately for the event. It's rare that I see workshops like this outside of school and I was really happy that I can go through this experience with my Pathways batchmates. Synpulse sponsoring the event also piqued my interest as I was already familiar with the multinational company beforehand. In fact, I was so excited that after the orientation, I immediately tried to connect with the mentors through LinkedIn. I was touched by how approachable they are.
As a Management major, it's a huge part of our program to learn about how to properly manage projects and work with other people. Personally, it has been a struggle of mine to act in a leadership role especially when I was put in a group with a lot of talented and confident people. However, as my previous teachers said, it's a good practice to learn about working with different people and leading them despite your differences. I have been trying to push my limits and get through my insecurities, and the E-SPMA became an ideal channel for me to test what I can really do.
One thing that really got me hooked on this program is the fact that we have actual professional consultants as our mentors. When I first met them, I almost felt starstruck seeing people living out my dreams of being successful in their fields. Although I did hear about consultancy from other professionals and was really interested in it, I never actually considered it to be a profession fitting for my introverted self. With their job that requires constantly dealing with different companies and other professionals, I couldn't bring myself to imagine to be like one of them. However, as I get to know Ate Perrine, Ate Claire, Ate Shih Yen, and Kuya[i] Isaac, they inspired me to think of the "what-ifs".
A special mention to my mentor, Ate Shih Yen! I am really grateful for all the advice and stories that she shared with me. We spent our whole mentoring session talking about her industry and I was really amazed and fascinated by just how different banking and finance really are in the real world.
I'm still a freshman in college and yes, I still have a lot to learn about myself. But I am thankful that I was able to discover this passion as early as now. I did not expect to realize as much of a deeper fascination with management as I did at the start. It was scary knowing that in just a few years’ time, we have to be adults who seem to be always ready about life. However, the personal experiences and stories the mentors and speakers shared with us were able to motivate me to look forward to all the possibilities and opportunities out there.
Group 4's Online Coaching Session with Synpulse Mentor Isaac Ng
I also want to thank Ate Claire and Kuya Isaac for guiding us in building our business project proposal. My groupmates and I still can’t believe that we won first place. 😭 Although we did claim to ourselves that we would win the prize even at the beginning of the academy, after seeing the other groups’ outputs, all of us believed that any of the projects deserve the prize. I saw how much effort all of us put into our own projects and this is just proof of how impactful this program has been for us.
On behalf of my E-SPMA batchmates, I would like to thank all the mentors and volunteers for the time and effort they gave just to make this academy possible. I hope that we can still meet each other face to face once this pandemic ends. Keep safe and may God bless you always!
Raiza Kylene Ragay is a freshman student studying BS Management Engineering at the Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines. Their group project, “Brandable: A project that provides marketing services for startup businesses,” won 1st prize in the first ever Online Synpulse Project Management Academy in the Philippines held from 31st Jan – 28th Feb, 2021 via Zoom.
written by Raiza Kyle Ragay
[i]Ate means older sister and Kuya means older brother. They are Filipino honorific terms used to address someone older even though you are not related by blood.