Discerning and Discovering Future Career Paths in CTM
I’m pretty sure that as a CTM major, you’ve heard someone say “Ahh CTM… ano ba yung course na yan?” or maybe you’ve encountered dozens of people who have mistaken our course as something related to computer technology. I wouldn’t blame them though, because up until 2018, I actually had no idea that the course existed. I only became aware when a friend, who was studying in Ateneo, suggested it while I was discerning. Back then, I had already decided on another course but I suddenly had this desire to explore the creative side of the business world. This is where CTM came into the picture. It provided the perfect balance between my two interests, business and communication, and had the right blend in terms of the subjects involved. I felt that CTM would prepare me for the career path that I wished to pursue, and in my 3rd year in the program, I’m more affirmed of my decision.
But wait, you might be wondering: “What career paths can I explore as a CTM major?” If you’re curious about what some of your fellow coursemates and alumni are up to, we’ve got 4 amazing people who are here to share their insights about the program and how it’s helped them with their careers.
We’ve got AD Santos: a junior who shifted from Management and is currently a Talent Acquisition Intern in Willis Towers Watson,
Alyanna Arches: a notable content creator on YouTube who shifted from Information Design and is in her final year in the program,
Noelle Amba: a newly-minted program alumna who is currently working as a Seller Solution Analyst in Lazada,
and lastly, Joddi Chua: ACTM’s President in the academic year 2019-2020 who is currently working as a Customer Happiness Representative in Who Gives A Crap - a social enterprise that donates 50% of its profits to help fund sanitation projects around the globe.
We asked them a couple of questions related to their career and discernment process, and we’ve rounded up their answers here for you today:
Question 1: How has the program prepared you in discerning what career path you would like to explore? How has the program influenced what you currently do?
AD: Given that the CTM program offers a diverse set of subjects, I was able to get a taste of all three aspects such as communication, technology, and management. From the [communication] theories and data management classes to the creative thinking and innovation management classes, CTM helped me discern that applying these concepts in a business setting is a practice I would love to do in the future.
Coupling this with our home [organization], ACTM, I was also able to venture into departments such as Human Resources (HR) and Project Management (PM), which all in all helped me land a position as the first Talent Acquisition Programs Intern in Willis Towers Watson. It was a combination of everything I have learned so far in the course as well as everything I experienced in ACTM. I owe the passion I have for HR and PM to the opportunities and insights I was able to obtain as a proud student of the CTM program.
Alyanna: I was actually majoring in BFA Information Design during my freshman year and I shifted mainly because I was unsure of what career path to take. Since art was already something I’ve been doing for years prior, I wanted to expand my skills and career options while continuing to pursue something in the creative industry. Hence, CTM captured my attention because it was still in the same field - but its curriculum is designed to not only hone my creativity but also provide essential business skills that I would need in the corporate world, such as finance, management, and human resources law. It exposed me to different areas of the creative industry - from marketing, to design thinking, strategy, and communications. It helped widen my perspective and understanding of the different parts of work-life.
As for its influence on what I do as a content creator, the program definitely helped me in becoming more strategic and analytical of what I post, when to post, and how I execute it. I always make sure that what I post is something that both my audience and I would enjoy. This is because my marketing and communications classes have always reminded me to put myself in the shoes of the audience and how they’re the most integral part of success. Audience engagement would always be more meaningful than the likes or follower count.
Noelle: If you were to ask freshie Noelle where I saw myself after college, I did not have eCommerce in mind. However, the combination of the CTM program and my IT minor has truly opened my eyes to the opportunity in the tech-related field. I realized that Digital Marketing is here to stay and will only innovate further. I also believe that the Philippines has a long journey ahead before achieving a seamless digital economy—and I want to be part of accelerating that growth!
Without CTM, I wouldn't know my fundamentals of marketing and knowledge when it comes to IMC (Integrated Marketing Communications). The program definitely helped me land a spot in an innovative and exciting marketing team! On a more personal note, I always loved everything that involves creativity but... I wouldn’t consider myself a “traditionally” creative person. CTM definitely pushed me to think outside of the box and it showed that creativity has a place in any career. Being a fresh hire is really scary, but the creative thinking that CTM instilled has helped me especially when pitching new ideas with my team!
Joddi: The way I thought about my career path had less to do with the role, and more to do with what it would contribute to. In this case, it was SDG #6. Since the CTM program is interdisciplinary in nature, I didn’t fall into the trap of tunnel-visioning into just one thing. This led me to expand my worldview and consider even the most unlikely of industries.
Who would have ever thought I’d work for a toilet paper company? Not me!
Question 2: What would your advice be to students who are still trying to figure out what path they should take?
AD: You have 4 years of college before working for the rest of your life, so make the most out of all the opportunities that come your way to help you in discerning what you truly love to do. Don’t be afraid to seek out new organizations or apply in departments that you have never had prior experience in. You’ll never know if that’s something you’ve actually been missing out on.
Alyanna: Honestly, I’m still trying to figure out what exact job or position I want to enter after graduation. However, experimenting and trying out new things is what got me to where I am today, and how I figured out what kind of career path I want to take.
Art was something I taught myself for fun as a 12-year-old, and I never thought that this was going to be my top career choice a decade later. As a high school senior, I never even considered taking up a marketing course, but later on, I realized it could be of use to me. Taking up various positions in my school orgs and internships also helped me realize what I liked and didn’t like doing in a group or work setting.
Lastly, if you don’t have an exact career choice, assessing your values and how you want to make a difference could help in narrowing down your options. It’s very important that you love what you do and love where you’re working because it’s what will keep you going in times of hardship.
Noelle: If you're feeling overwhelmed, breathe. Honestly, if you're feeling lost, same. I guarantee that the questions and doubts stick around even after graduating.
No path is certain! Looking back, college can only give you experiences that will help you be brave enough to take the next step. After what I've learned in CTM and IT, I decided that the next step for me was to learn from /and/ contribute to an industry that empowers many Filipinos. I still have so much to learn about the real world, and that excites me! My advice would be to discern with excitement more than fear. Just take it one step at a time!
Joddi: I’m the most idealistic person I know, so take everything I said with a grain of salt. My first advice when discerning would be that no job can truly ever check all your boxes. You HAVE to forego something, especially since fresh grads don’t really have a lot of options. Make a list of everything that’s important to you and force-rank them. What tops your list? Is it salary? Culture? Job function? This will help inform your decision-making process.
The second one would be that a lot of people our age don’t realize the unfair competitive advantage we have. We’re still leeching off our parents, we don’t have a family to raise, and we generally don’t have as much responsibility (yet). Make sure your ‘force-ranked list’ reflects this. Forego what you can while you still can.
Lastly, no job is fun 100% of the time. Even the most amazing job can get boring at times. I mean if you think about it, even activities we consider ‘fun’ like playing a sport or creating art can get taxing if you do it every day. This is why it’s best to find work that has a positive impact so that even on days when you’re not feeling it, or on days when you’re dreading the monotony of it all… you KNOW that your work is doing good — every minute you spend working will count.
To cap it off, Joddi leaves us with this quote from Adam Grant: “Your first job doesn't have to make the world a better place. It just needs to make YOU better. It's not selfish to invest in your own development. You do that when you go to college, and it applies to your early career too.”
Going back to the earlier question: “What career paths can I explore as a CTM major?” The answer would be that there are endless possibilities! Yes, there are specific paths that might be more niche to our course such as careers in the media, marketing, and advertising industries, but there’s actually so much more that you can do with this degree. Don’t feel boxed into thinking that there’s one path that you should follow because you’ll see that along the way, you’ll pick up so many more interests and discover more about yourself.
If you’re worried about where life will take you when you finish this program, just trust and enjoy the process. Life is a never-ending cycle of growing, learning, and bettering ourselves. Of course, we’ll make mistakes here and there, but don’t let that stop you from taking risks and seeing the possibilities that await! As you navigate through college, know that you’ve got lots of people around who are there to guide and support you, and here in ACTM, you’ve got a family — even beyond your stay in Ateneo!
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