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  • Writer's pictureMikaella Miller

Excel With Exrel: An External Relations Department Spotlight

What made you choose to take up a leadership position in this department?

There is no other organization or department in Ateneo that has witnessed my growth during my entire college life other than ACTM’s External Relations Department. As a graduating senior, it’s a joy to look back at how the department molded me as an individual and leader in the last three years, and it’s ultimately what made me stay and commit to serving the department up until my last year in college. I started out as an Account Manager of MAD Concepts by ACTM in my Sophomore year, learning the basics of dealing with clients and managing a team. The following year, I pursued a leadership role as the AVP for External Relations Training, which gave me a chance to develop a creative and empathetic approach when it comes to maintaining engagement and ensuring the welfare of our members. This year, as the AVP for Careers and Alumni Relations, I find myself doing something even more exciting, which is empowering CTM Majors in their career development through career building initiatives.

Each year in the department has been a different yet fulfilling experience for me, and as someone growth-oriented and loves taking on challenges, I found myself always wanting to go back to ExRel because you can never run out of things to learn here! It’s a very dynamic department that allows you to develop a variety of skills, from dealing with important stakeholders, leading a team, to managing different projects and accounts. ExRel has always been filled with surprises and if you’re up for that, this is the department for you!

ExRel 2019-2020 as an Account Manager for MAD Concepts by ACTM

ExRel 2020-2021 as the AVP for External Relations Training

ExRel 2021-2022 as the AVP for Careers and Alumni Relations

What makes your department special/stand out from the others?

Primarily dealing with external stakeholders, ExRel looks at the organization as a whole and understands the bigger picture in which ACTM can operate. Unlike other departments, our focus is more than just conducting ACTM projects but building meaningful relationships with clients, employers, and CTM Alumni through its two sub-brands which it takes pride in – MAD Concepts by ACTM and ACTM Careers and Alumni Relations.

MAD Concepts by ACTM provides a good training ground for students to practice their CTM skills as it aims to guarantee clients the highest level of satisfaction through strategic planning and exceptional execution. MAD Concepts has its own advertising pool too, which gives a platform for students to do real-life marketing for our student-run agency! On the other hand, ACTM Careers and Alumni Relations, as the career building arm of ACTM, is committed to connecting CTM Majors to companies, professionals, alumni, and career opportunities to ensure that we’re forming students who have a strong sense of self, are deeply rooted in their discovered purpose, and with full confidence as they progress in their chosen fields.

These two brands under External Relations work hand in hand in unlocking the potential of its members as we work towards finding ways that the organization can be of value and service to others.

ExRel 2021-2022 Welcome Week with our amazing Account Managers and Career Development Managers!

Are there any activities, initiatives, or events that your department has held so far in this school year?

This year, MAD Concepts has a total of 12 finished and ongoing accounts with organizations, small businesses, and well-known companies thanks to our talented Account Managers and respective teams! Since November, our MADvertising pool, composed of Marketing Managers, Content Managers, and Creative Directors, has also been launching monthly social media campaigns on both Facebook and Instagram as an effort to promote MAD Concepts within and beyond the Ateneo.

On top of that, we launched ACTM CARS and introduced Ace, the personal guide of CTM Majors in their career journey, to the organization. We’ve had 2 initiatives entitled Into The Maze, a talk which aimed to help students discover their why, and Link Up, a networking event with CTM Alumni, which allowed members to explore the different career paths for a CTM Major. Currently ongoing is our first CTM Alumni Mentorship Program in a long time, which provides CTM Majors with alumni mentors who can guide them in taking the next steps in their career. Connect with Ace is also open to CTM Majors in need of immediate career assistance, particularly in securing internships, care of our Career Development Managers.

In the last few months, we have also made an effort to create training platforms, bonding initiatives, and processing sessions to take a proactive approach in ensuring the growth and welfare of our members.


Tent Card for Hershey’s made by MAD Concepts by ACTM

February MADvertising Campaign on Facebook

Into The Maze 2122: A Passion Talk on Finding One’s Purpose

Link Up 2122: A a 1-Day Networking Event with CTM Alumni

Do you have any notable plans for your department for this school year?

As a department, we’re continually assessing the needs of our stakeholders and figuring out how we could be of best help to them. We’re looking into elevating MAD Concepts by exploring other services that we could offer to our potential clients such as marketing research and marketing campaigns. With a goal of making MAD Concepts more visible, we are planning to have more impactful promotional efforts care of the MADvertising pool, that could communicate our value proposition as a student-run agency.

In ACTM CARS, we have one more initiative to complete our career narrative which ends with helping students with their applications. This April, we will have a networking event with companies aligned to the CTM course! We also plan to offer more assistance and guidance most especially to our Juniors who have been starting to look for internships for their work practicum, so watch out for our future Discord hangouts on career topics and posts on application tips!

What unique learning opportunities can your department offer to its members?

If you’re looking into widening your skillset and impact as a member or leader, the doors of the External Relations Department are open for you. We are a proud all-in-one department that has the ability to equip you with both the soft and hard skills you’ll need to thrive as an efficient leader and team player through the numerous opportunities we have in store for our members. Here, you can find yourself honing skills such as creativity, strategic thinking, professionalism, leadership, negotiation, account management, project management, and integrated marketing communications - all of which are valuable skills in your future careers. We go big or go home in ExRel, and each year, we continue to innovate as a department to extend and strengthen our impact on our members and external affiliates. Excel with ExRel!


Article Contributors:

Mikaella Miller Content Creator

Krisha Cagunot Creative Director

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