1st TIP Student Congress with the Alumni – 2011

Technological Institute of the Philippines Student Congress

Hi guys! I was fixing my things in my room when I accidentally retrieved my invitation last January 2011 to be a guest speaker for my Alma Mater’s Student Congress. I remember I got absent for work that day just to attend the said event. The good thing is, it worth it.
The invitation says…

“The Office of Student Affairs and Alumni & Placement Office will hold the 1st Students’ Congress with the Alumni on January 28, 2011 (Friday) at 1:00 P.M – 7:00 P.M. This activity aims to foster connections between alumni and current students to enhance the students’ experience while in school. Specifically, to share alumni experiences as students and how these experiences had an impact on their professional lives. Also, for the alumni to share valuable knowledge, career experiences, and inspirational stories about the alumni’s journey in the career path they have chosen.
In line with this, we would like to invite you to be the guest/ resource speaker of your department to give a 20-minute talk about the nature of your work, the company you are connected with and your experiences from the time you graduated up to your present position. You may opt to use a PowerPoint presentation in your discussion.”
I felt happy when I received this invitation. It will enable me to share something that could be useful or helpful to our college students. But at the same time, I felt surprised. I thought “What? I’m almost like a fresh graduate! (I graduated college on April 2010)”. Anyway, I still want to thank my former professors who qualified me to give a talk in this special event.
My talk that day went something like this…
Good afternoon everyone.
I wanna thank the Office of Student Affairs and Alumni & Placement Office for inviting me here to see and speak to you guys. I hope everyone is having a great day so far.
Okay, so let’s get in, I have a date today. Just kidding. In my short talk with you, I wanna tell you about the nature of my job, the company I am connected with and my experiences in it and then go back to my college life here in this institute.
I wanna tell you first about the nature of my job. Currently I’m a Junior Software Developer, which means, I’m a member  of a team who develops software products. This also refer to the activity of computer programming, which is the process of writing and maintaining the source code. But in a broader sense, it includes all that is involved between the conception of the desired software through to the final manifestation of the software, ideally planned and structured process. (Yes, the definition comes from Wikipedia, but I must say that this is exactly what I do right now. I memorized it and explained it more to the students. Haha!). And the company I’m connected with is an IT Solutions Corporation… (Then I presented slides about our company)
I feel glad everyday with my job, because, this is the job that I really love doing. This is the job where I can express myself, use my core skills and enjoy a good company (My co workers are really cool!). This is my career.
Let’s define “Career” – It is an individual’s work and life roles over their life span. A person is required to have some level of skill or training. This means that having a career is a serious matter. You have to work on it over your life span. A skill or training is truly required, and these things should be hone while you are here in our college. You have to use all our resources here. We have lots of IT related books in the library, we have free Internet, etc. You have all the advantage and all you have to do is to use them wisely. Do not waste you time for you cannot bring back your time here.
Stressful times… but with good news! Yes, sometimes (or most of the times for some people), my job is stressful. In my case, I am stressed when I have to talk to the client. To tell you the truth I don’t like talking to clients, all I want is to do programming with a team.  Sometimes, the client and I have misunderstandings because of some factors for example, they are not that literate yet with our software or they are not our direct contact personnel with the project we are working with. The good news is, as time goes by, I learn lots of things about communication and business (This is your advantage if you want your own business someday!).
Another is when you are assigned to a module or project where you have no idea how to code them because you haven’t done it before and you are not sure if you can do it. I must advice you to believe in yourself. Besides, we have our best-friend Google, Stack Overflow and our Senior Software Developers. Do not quit and never give up easily.
Happy times. Yes!
  • Software Development. This is what I love doing. I help the team to design or engineer software applications.
  • Bonding with Co-Workers. We share some common interests. For example, they love music. I love music. I love reading, they love reading too. Eating, swimming, etc.
  • Flexible time in. I can go to the office anytime between 8 am and 10 am. (Well, this depends to your company policy, luckily, we have this one!)
  • Acquire new knowledge. I love learning new things.
  • Cool bosses. I feel like my superiors are also my friends. Even at stressful times, it doesn’t matter. We still do some jokes that makes us smile and chill. We laugh at problems while enjoying the process of getting solutions. At the end, we are able to solve the problems together.
  • Makes me a better person everyday. I do my job with passion. It makes me fee fulfilled everyday.
  • Help support my family. Yes, I can now give something for my family. Unlike before, all I can give are lots of moral support. But now, I can do financial support.
  • Becoming more thankful to God, thus being closer to God. I believe that without Him, we are nothing.
I hope I was able to give you a picture of my professional life now. As I’ve said, we’re going back to my college life here.
Tips for you students. I wanna give you a quote. 
“For changes to be of any true value, they’ve got to be lasting and consistent” – Anthony Robbins
Many youth today said that they want to change for the better. We can say that we give our efforts to change. But the question is, is it lasting and consistent? Think about it.
Plan. I have two simple rules of planning:
  1. All important or difficult decisions must be made on paper. If you’re just gonna think about it, nothing will happen. It will just create an infinite loop inside your big head.
  2. Be clear about WHAT you really want (Objective) and WHY you want it (Reason), and HOW you will get it (Action Plan). We also call it the OPA step (Objective – Reason – Action Plan).
Prevent Distractions. Most people fall in life because they major in minor things. Please note that we work with computers, the Internet, gadgets, etc. which gives us lots of entertainment. They are not bad. They just got to be controlled, or else, they will be a distraction which will make it difficult for us to achieve our goals.
Be Thankful. The healthiest of all human emotions is gratitude – Zig Ziglar. I believe this one too. Gratitude makes us feel humble and well loved.
Don’t blame. Instead of complaining. Start working, so you can achieve more, do more and have more free time. Isn’t it great? Free Time? haha!
Befriend Failure. “Failure is a detour, not a dead end street” – Zig Ziglar. Most of our life long learning came from our failures. Don’t be afraid to fail, it is perfectly natural. Remember that failure is an event, not a person. It would be much better if you know how to calculate risks.
Pray. It works! Just add… of course, your efforts. :)
I think that ends my short talk. I don’t remember if someone reacted violently or asked a question there. Anyway, I enjoyed the event. I met new friends, most are former students too, ahead of my batch, who are also invited to give a short talk. The event ended with a dinner with the school officials.
Thanks for reading!

Update: I didn’t get a copy of any pictures from this event. I didn’t have my own camera and I have a low-tech phone that time. All I got is this page from a TIP magazine. Good thing I found one.

Yeah, I was the one pointed by the red arrow. By the way, I was invited again to the 4th TIP Student Congress with the Alumni – 2014.