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  • Writer's pictureBea Sanchez

Heart at Work

Updated: Nov 20, 2021

Two years into Ateneo de Manila University has given its students the opportunity to explore the wonders of the “campus,” and even “Katipunan”—the serene, almost quiet atmosphere of the Old Rizal Library; the welcoming ambiance of the nearby Starbucks; and the noisy and oftentimes chaotic mood of MVP 321—but, all within the corners of their square-shaped room.

Never having set foot within the campus since 2020 has caused major shifts in organizational culture. The sprints from one building to the next in order to make the cut in departmental meetings are now replaced with a single click of a link in Zoom or a channel in Discord. The last-minute changes and problems that were once resolved through a series of equipment checks and phone conversations are currently addressed through the rapid-firing chats in Messenger to deliver the solution across. And finally, the celebratory ”inuman” in the actual Perfey’s is nowadays an “e-numan” conducted at the Perfey’s with a heart emoji situated at its left.

Considering all of these differences between the onsite and online culture, it is then essential to ask: What drives these CTM students to still take part in the behind-the-scenes operations of online projects?

This question, and more, were answered by the core team members from the recently-concluded CTM Prepcourse 2021: Anya Chu, one of the Social Media Managers that handled information dissemination in various platforms; Trisha Pelingon, one of the Project Management Deputies that took charge of the team huddles and event scripts; and Caitlin Munoz, one of the Strategic Managers that ideated the promotional materials.

What made you join the core team for Prepcourse?

This first question attempts to tackle the scope of reasoning pertaining to their decision to participate as a member of the core team:

For Anya, it was apparently the overall mood and branding of Prepcourse that opted her to sign up in the summer sampler. Perhaps, it was the experience she had undergone the year prior, on her own Prepcourse, that built this image of the event as one that exudes openness and approachability—an environment established by her facilitators and coursemates.

In relation to this, Trisha, a former Prepcourse facilitator voiced out an almost similar sentiment. Compared to her role in the previous Prepcourse, she instead expressed the desire to aid in the development of the program—working first hand to essentially recreate that “super fun” atmosphere for the freshmen and shiftees alike.

Similarly, yet in an altruistic manner, Caitlin stated how she, “appreciated the opportunities that [she] was given to participate in events particularly for CTM newbies,” and as such, conveyed the parallel desire to, “to give back in order to help the next batch of newbies with their shift into the CTM through Prepcourse.”

What were your favorite/least favorite moments in being a core team member?

This second question then delves deeper into their experiences in working within the organizational system of ACTM through online means:

Anya and Trisha both admitted to the hardships faced in communication. Perhaps, it may be because of the lack of physicality, that Anya expressed that it is really, “different online.” Likewise, Trisha sheds light on the inevitable existence of the “lack of responsiveness” given the asynchronous style of communication.

Yet, all three still voiced out a similar highlight of their whole working experience: their interaction with the other core team members. For Anya, it consists of the planning process conducted together with the other Social Media Managers, as she states that it is one of the sole times that they, “ [to] talk a lot.” Trisha then conveyed similar thoughts, but this time, with a focus on the delight of meeting new people and acquaintances that she, otherwise, would have never met if it were not for the event. Finally, Caitlin expounded as she expressed the joy she felt when she had gotten the opportunity to, “work hand-in-hand with the Creative Communications department on the project’s collaterals.”

How did it feel to see your efforts manifest?

Lastly, this question elucidates their thoughts and emotions after viewing their hard work come to life together with the project:

Even as Anya initially concedes that she associates her job to a mere obligation, as otherwise, the participants would not be able to “get ahold of the project announcements,” she also admits—together with both Trisha and Caitlin, that the end result is nothing short of fulfilling. Anya begins by stating how, “ was fun seeing the people [she] tagged, interacting and reposting the stories to their own Instagram accounts.” For Trisha, the satisfaction came in the team huddles, expressing that it was due to their ideas that essentially prompted the participants to “...get closer.” While for Caitlin, it was within her contribution to both the growth of the project, and herself as a Strategic Manager.

So, while interactions and organizational projects are limited within the confines of the digital screen rather than in Gonzaga or in Leong Hall, it is still amiable to know that due to its members, regardless of where ACTM holds its onboardings and meetings—whether that be in a Zoom call, in an IC room, or in a weirdly specific channel named pc-meeting-room-1; the difference is almost nonexistent—it still exudes the feeling of belongingness and home.


All credits for the elements in the banner go to the rightful owners. Photos from Pinterest.

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