Transitioning from school to work is daunting for many graduating students. It has become even more challenging for the graduates of 2022 as they are entering a job market that has been adversely affected by the global pandemic.
According to the Development Plan of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) for 2017-2022, the labor force will increase in 2022 as the first batch of K-12 students are expected to graduate from college. While youth unemployment is pegged at 22.5 percent, 1 million to 1.5 million jobs are expected to be created this year.
Times may be tough, but things can always get better. With the right mindset and motivation, they can surpass this difficult chapter in their young lives. And who better to help them develop the attitude and confidence to succeed than those who have undergone similar challenges themselves?
InLife’s alumni mentors help newly graduate scholars
Last May, 24 graduating students of the Gold Eagle College Scholarship Program of the Insular Foundation were given the opportunity to be mentored by eight of its alumni scholars from the University of the Philippines Diliman.
“This mentorship lessened my fear of the unknown, of unknown experiences and processes involved in stepping onto the adulting/workforce life that is yet to come for us graduating Gold Eagle Scholars. It also reminded me of the things I must do as my undergraduate journey comes to its end,” said Michaela Micole Derelo of UP Diliman, one of the graduating Gold Eagle scholars who underwent the mentorship program.
The student-mentees came from the Foundation’s partner-schools, which include Aurora State College of Technology, Benguet State University, Bohol Island State University, Central Mindanao University, Davao Oriental State University, and UP Diliman.
Edwin del Rosario, one of the Gold Eagle alumni scholars who mentored the graduating students, said that the program was a good initiative from the Insular Foundation.
“Looking back, I think this was something that I wish I had or attended just so it could ease my worries or anxieties as a graduating student back then. This was also a good way to reconnect the scholars and the alumni under the restrictions brought upon by the pandemic,” he said.
Preparing to enter the job market
As the Gold Eagle alumni shared their journey as student scholars and as young professionals, they imparted advice on joining the workforce. These included tips on how to come up with an easy-to-read and straightforward resume, build on their strengths, and harness their skill set.
The mentors underlined the importance of doing more research about the company and industry that the students would like to enter so that they could identify the skills and experiences to highlight. They likewise shared how to ace an interview and learn to keep their options open.
Learning skills that are useful in any workplace
The alumni scholars stressed the importance of developing practical skills that are essential in any professional environment. These include communication, teamwork, problem-solving, and leadership skills in the workplace.
The mentors also reiterated the need to continue personal and professional growth by working on personal financial management, connecting with professional associations, and taking professional development courses.
The mentoring sessions allowed both graduating and alumni scholars to exchange ideas and establish a support system for new and former Gold Eagle scholars.
Preparing the youth for the future through the Gold Eagle College Scholarship Program
The two-day Gold Eagle Mentorship Program is part of Insular Foundation’s holistic educational intervention for its scholars and other students, with the mission of creating an enabling environment for human development in the communities they serve.
“Building our youth for the future has been the purpose of Insular Foundation’s long-standing program, the Gold Eagle College Scholarship Grant. Our ambition for each of our scholars is for them to learn the right knowledge and skills, to prepare them for the future, as well as to cement the values, progressive attitudes, and mindset that are essential as they navigate the world outside of the university,” said Ms. Ana Maria Soriano, Executive Director of Insular Foundation.
This year’s mentoring sessions were conducted via Zoom in partnership with Edukasyon.ph, whose project manager, Neil Orillaneda, hosted the online program. Insular Foundation Program Manager Teresita T. Melad, meanwhile, gave the remarks as the program came to a close.
For more information about the Insular Foundation, visit https://www.insularfoundation.com.ph/.