It was the 30th of June when I was informed that I would be a part-time lecturer under the Department of Marketing & Law in my alma mater. Despite the earlier struggles of balancing my Saturday morning classes with my full-time work, I could say that teaching last semester was such a rewarding experience for plenty of reasons.
Four and more
First, it allowed me to share real world experiences to college students in their penultimate year. As Juniors under the School of Management, they’re nearing the point where they think of their careers in the future. While there are those who are certain to pursue specific fields, there are some who are banking on their experiences in school to determine what to do as they go down from the hill. As someone who has always advocated for people to pursue Marketing, it was a great opportunity to share certain realities about the industry. Safe to say, I was able to persuade some of them to consider the field as something viable and exciting.
Second, I am now able to manage my time better—allowing me to cut non-value adding activities out of my life. I remember back in High School when one of my mentors taught us in student council that it is exactly because we have so much on our plates that we should be driven to improve our time management. At first I thought that balancing time should be easy. It wasn’t really the case because I underestimated the time needed to check papers, do consultations, and constantly prepare for the 3-hour sessions. A lot of sacrifices had to be done if I wanted to excel in teaching without robbing time from work, and the other way around. The end result? I constantly pushed myself allowing me to balance both and thrive even under great pressure.
Third, and I know it’s pretty much the essence of being a teacher, but what I find to be the most important one is being able to be a mentor or another “adult” figure in the lives of my students. Being able to share life lessons as random as following the proper steps to ensure one has amazing skin to something as serious as the importance of lending a hand to those in need, I’d like to think I constantly make an effort to enrich the lives of my students. I always keep communication lines open because I believe in the importance of guiding them to enable them to be better individuals.
And fourth, having a great set of students who despite the crazy schedule of the previous semester with the holidays, and work piling up, are able to pull through. They served as a reminder of how to constantly thrive despite the heavy demands, and of the potential in everyone to be great. All 26 wonderful students made me, I believe, a better manager at the workplace. There were a lot of takeaways in every session, in each interaction, and the end result, ultimately, was me pushing myself to be a better mentor at work, and be a better person, in general.
The faces behind it all
There are a couple of folks who have supported me in this life goal and endeavor of mine, and it would be unfair not to recognize them.
First, there’s my Marketing 101 prof back in 2011—Wilson Gan. He never failed to make the Friday night worth waiting staying in school late for, and Saturday morning classes worth waking up for. From the he way he taught and challenged us, and the insights he shared, he, more or less, made me yearn to learn more about Marketing. And that’s why I pursued a career related to it. My Marketing 101 groupmates also played a role as I think if I had been placed in any other group, I wouldn’t have enjoyed doing the project despite the demands of the semester coupled with my extra-curricular commitments.
My OpMan prof, Allan Ko, apart from inspiring me to teach, is also the same guy who opened the opportunity for me to get a “foot into the JGSOM faculty door”. One day he messaged me asking if I was interested to take his place to panel a MKT101 defense because he wasn’t feeling well. A few exchanges revolving around self-doubt then led to him making me believe in myself, and me reaching out to the department. It’s because of how sir Allan and sir Wilson handled us which inspired me to be kind and be relatable to my students, among others.
Peachy Abaño, the Department’s secretary and “boss”—as how Doc Pindy fondly calls her—has been quite instrumental as well. Since the very first instance that I served as a panelist, she has always invited me back. Actually, she’s the one who finally urged me to apply, after a year of constantly delaying (and sir Allan telling me to already give it a try). She’s the one who never gets tired of updating me with all the news, of listening to my stories, and much more. She’s truly a peach and I could say that my first semester would have been really difficult if it weren’t for all her help.
Speaking of assistance, there’s also Rhem Magsino who has been helpful to me since I was in first year college. Every Saturday, on the way to the faculty area, it’s Rhem who greets me with a smile. He’d share my frustrations whenever the elevator isn’t working (note that the JGSOM faculty area is now on the 5th floor). Whenever I have items to be printed, he’s my go-to guy. I’m really grateful that until now he still remembers me and always makes the work lighter through his own ways.
The one who took a chance on me, the lady who made it all happen, the woman whom I can’t be anymore grateful to, the Department Chair, Doc Pindy Mendiola. She initially had doubts of getting me because my background is Public Relations—just one aspect of the whole crazy that is Marketing—and because I don’t have a remarkable track record yet. She gave me a chance despite her initial doubts, and here I am preparing to make the Saturday mornings of my students-to-be very worthwhile.
And of course, my students, who didn’t not only make Saturdays worthwhile, but made waking up to a new day something to look forward to.