Earn a living or finish your studies?
Achieving a healthy work-life balance is challenging enough, but even more so for working students who struggle between making a living and following their dream of getting a college degree. These challenges would unfortunately compel them to choose one over the other. During a regional roadshow in 2022, the IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) found out from local government units that there is a low number of senior high school students who carry on with their education. The rest are driven to take a step back from their studies and find a way to earn a living for their families.
Understanding the challenges unique to a working student, Mapua Malayan Digital College (MMDC), the premier digital-first college in the Philippines and the IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP), together with their partners Contact Center Association of the Philippines (CCAP), McDonald’s, Concentrix, Genpact, and Globe Business, are taking strides to empower these working students to continue their education with Step Up Sa Pangarap.
This movement brings together the academic and business communities to acknowledge, support, and empower working students nationwide. Since its launch earlier this year, it continues to feature powerful stories from working students who overcame obstacles to follow their dreams and inspire others to do the same.
Finding success through MMDC
Jezzel Garcia is one of the students who are looking forward to IBPAP and MMDC’s Step Up Sa Pangarap. Now a BPO manager and a first year Operations Management student at MMDC, she initially struggled with being a working student and a mother. But with grit and determination, she pushed forward and created a routine and an environment that allowed her to balance her family, her work, and her studies.
Jezzel’s day starts at 12 noon, during which she helps her kids get ready for school. She takes her online classes between 1PM and 5PM, bonds with her kids afterwards, tucks them to bed by 9PM, and readies herself for her 10PM work shift. She takes on her school assignments whenever she can while at work.
With MMDC’s guidance, Jezzel has been able to more effectively manage her time and find work-life-school balance. The best part, she added, is how MMDC helps her bridge the gap between the technical and communication skills she has with leadership and other skills needed in the workplace. She also inspires her colleagues and others who want to work in the BPO industry to finish their studies and to keep learning and upskilling.
“Since I am already working from home and homeschooling my kids, I wanted to look for an online school that would cater to my needs while at home,” she said. “There’s a heart behind the structure and model of MMDC. They are not just concerned with helping you finish your education, but they are more concerned with your growth and the values that you have learned.”
Empowering working students
In Step Up Sa Pangarap, powerful stories like Jezzel’s are celebrated. These stories inspire the working student community to keep working hard to achieve their dreams and goals in life.
“Since we opened our doors, almost 60% of our learners are currently working students. Through this campaign, we aim to empower more potential returnees across the country to pursue a college degree that will make a difference in their career, at an institution that supports their needs.” said Derrick Latreille, Chief Learning Officer of MMDC and Co-founder of Ayala Education.
That is why Step Up Sa Pangarap is gathering the working student community, as well as various industries and stakeholders, for a 3-day Virtual Summit from May 10 to 12, 2023. The summit will bring these stories to life, provide guidance to working students, and give them access to coaches and mentors who can further help them Step Up in their careers, lives, and finances. The speaker lineup includes business leaders, influencers, and working students who found success in their respective fields and careers. Empowering this amazing and hardworking community of working students will only propel our nation’s growth further by molding exceptional talent for the future of work.
“Step Up Sa Pangarap is an ideal platform that we are happy to roll out to our BPO players so that we can design even more flexible programs for our employees that can help us achieve our own objectives of job generation,” said Celeste Ilagan, IBPAP Chief Policy and Regulatory Affairs Officer. “This also helps working students achieve their personal goals of succeeding in life, getting better jobs, getting higher pay, and a lot more.”
Sign up at mmdc.mcl.edu.ph/step-up-sa-pangarap to attend the three-day Virtual Summit. For more information, follow MMDC on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Enrollment applications are currently accepted for the first term of the school year 2023-2024.