YR 47 Issue 1 2011
Batch 2012 graduates: Where do we go from here?

The country’s employment rate reached 38.5 million or 93.6 percent as indicated in the data of the National Statistics Office (NSO) last October 2011.The figure posed a slight increase from October 2010’s 92.9 percent when employed Filipinos totaled to 36.5 million. Labor offi cials see the record as “a continuous improvement in the quality of employment in the Philippines.” However, as March 2012 nears, a questi on sti ll looms on the mind of soon-to-be professionals: Will the graduati ng students of the Faculty of Arts and Lett ers (Artlets) feel this positi ve change in the country’s economy? Or will they be like the many fresh graduates who are suff ering from unemployment?

A NUMBER of graduati ng Thomasians believe that tough competition and unemployment possibilities await
them outside the walls of the University. Despite doubts that cloud them, they believe that the quality educati on they have gained through years of studying will help them overcome threats and eventually succeed in their chosen fi elds.

Faculty of Arts and Lett ers (Artlets) Dean Michael Anthony Vasco said it is really hard to tell what opportuniti es await graduati ng students, but he believes that Thomasians can really put a good fi ght in the professional world.

According to Alumni Aff airs Director Michael Angelo Malicsi, there are rich and varied career opportuniti es that await Artlets graduates.

“The multi -faceted nature of Artlets compliments the diverse needs of many industries,” he said. “There is an emerging trend for corporate social responsibility which Artlets graduates could venture in.”

He added that many industries are giving opportunities in the fields of media, journalism, research, foreign service, academe, human resource, and many others. However, he noted that the slowing down of global economy is an emerging threat that can decrease the demands for jobs.

“This should not impede our graduates to muster enough will and determinati on. All of them will eventually fi nd their own place under the sun,” Malicsi said.

Employment and unemployment records of Thomasian graduates are yet to be prepared by the Office for Alumni Aff airs, but Malicsi noted the good feedbacks given to the work performance of Thomasians.

“We have just started to insti tutionalize the preparation of data for those who are employed and unemployed. As of now the data is not yet available,” he said.

“I am always delighted to hear that Thomasian graduates are favored and wellliked because of their perseverance, dedicati on, docility to learn, and humility. I believe these (atti tudes) make Thomasians stand out,” Malicsi said.

Adding to this, senior Political Science student Jester Ivan Ricafrente said that Thomasians are endowed with various characteristi cs that help them overcome threats of unemployment.

“Being a Thomasian gives us an edge in employment opportuniti es because first and foremost, a Thomasian is endowed with virtuous qualities like being competent, compassionate, and committed individuals,” he said.

“If there has been signifi cant change or ‘improvement’ in job opportunities, it must be really felt by the people in the grassroots,” he added when asked about the employment stati sti cs released by the NSO. “Or else, statistics will remain as numbers and will not transform to tangible results.”

Senior Journalism student Debbie Tingzon said she is willing to accept job offers in any field for practicality reasons, but she admitt ed that she prefers pursuing a job related to her course.

Senior Behavioral Science student Patrick Remo said otherwise and believed that it is important to get a job related to the course one pursued in college.

“I want my fi rst job experience to be an applicati on of the theories, laws, and concepts I learned from my four-year Bachelor degree,” he said.

Employed status

Unlike some fresh graduates who had a hard ti me finding a job, some Artlets alumni had no difficulties looking for a job since they already had an eye for the career they wanted to pursue in the future.

“There was no waiti ng period for me. I did a few freelance writing and styling gigs,” Journalism alumna Carolyn Hamilton said. Hamilton was one of the Artlets alumni who immediately landed a job aft er graduati ng. She started as a freelance model and later on landed a job in adverti sing. “I remember sending out a few resumes to the companies I wanted to work with like magazines and networks,”

Hamilton said. After her sti nt in the field of advertising, Hamilton now works as a trainee news reporter for Solar News.

“Being part of the media has always been my dream. I could say that getting in to broadcast journalism is not easy. I just got lucky and I am very thankful for it,” she said.

Just like Hamilton, Communication Arts alumna Kati e Magno got employed only a month after graduation.

“I worked as a Competitive Intelligence Marketing Research Associate from April 2010 up to April 2011,” she said.

She resigned after a year to look for better opportunities, adding that she wanted to enroll in graduate school.

However, not all Artlets alumni experience the same luck in fi nding a job. Some had to go through the eye of a needle just to put up a fair fi ght against other job hunters.

Ara Pader, another Artlets alumna, had to wait for three months before she got employed. At present, she works as an English as Second Language (ESL) Tutor at the Metro Korea Internati onal Language School.

“Despite being employed, I am not satisfied with my current work because I want to have a job that is related in my fi eld,” Pader said.

Career mismatch

Aside from unemployment issues, problems concerning career mismatch also face fresh graduates. Some get themselves employed on a job different from the course they took in college, while others realize that their passion lies in another field.

The same story goes for Communication Arts alumnus Arjelo Veneracion who entered as a Junior Bank Specialist in the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI). “It is a totally different one because I entered a financial institution,” Veneracion said.

His desire to tread a different path was brought by the seeming growth of career opportunities in the banking industry. “As for fresh graduates, the starti ng offer of BPI is bigger, not to menti on their quarterly bonus and great benefi ts,” Veneracion said.

Given these cases, it just shows that reality at times may be far from what statistics show. Still, it is important to note that no matt er how unfortunate circumstances may seem, success certainly comes to those who painstakingly chase it.

This is reiterated by Malicsi who reminded the graduati ng batch of students that doing well in one’s job springs from showing the right atti tude.

“Academic qualifi cati ons may land one person a job, but it is the right atti tude that makes him sustain and improve his career,” he said.
Year 47 |  Issue 3 |  2011
Year 47 |  Issue 4 |  2012