Scholars and Donors Stories
Every year, Ateneo's Office of Admission and Aid receives more than 800 applications for scholarship support. Only about 250 scholarships are awarded, even though most of the other 550 applicants clearly deserve to be granted financial aid, if only there were enough scholarships to go by.
The scholars, truly grateful to their donors for providing the opportunity to study here in the Ateneo, shared their experiences and realizations on how the Ateneo education transformed them into better persons in the areas of professional excellence, leadership, character, spirituality, and service. Here is one of them:
ON UNDERSTANDING WHAT BEING
A WOMAN FOR OTHERS REALLY MEANS
One of my many realizations this year as a college student is that being an Atenean opens up numerous doors to many different careers and work opportunities. Career talks and networking sessions have shown me that. I have seen that it is very easy to fall into the trap of being a professional only for oneself; that it is easy to tread the path that leads to personal gain at the expense of others. After all, being a Management Economics student, I am constantly told that the optimum profit is one that minimizes costs.
This year has been a major eye-opening year for me. I was very fortunate to have enlisted in Mr. Agustin Rodriguez’s Philosophy class (Ph101 and 102). In the said class, I was made more aware of the abuses and maltreatment that laborers suffer, such as getting paid below the minimum wage and contractualization; all because corporations often opt to minimize wages for greater profits. I have seen that yes, I am very fortunate to have gotten this type of education that affords me a more or less stable future but that I also owe it to my fellow Filipinos to contribute my share in helping minimize inequality in whatever way I can including minimizing personal consumption, patronizing products and services that serve the poor, and ultimately, choosing a career that will best serve my fellow Filipinos.
Philosophy has also showed me that however idealistic, one cannot lose hope in the Philippines; that it is not meant to be this way; that there are ways to help ease the situation and that as a future professional and an Atenean, I have a role to fill that will either better or worsen the situation and that my choices in the future will determine which side I am choosing.
At the beginning of the year, I thought that being in multinational corporations is what I wanted. I have always seen being a corporate lawyer as one of the top jobs on my list. However, I saw that professional excellence does not stop at being outstanding at what you do; I have also learned to consider how being outstanding can affect others, especially the people who are not quite as fortunate. That is, I have now learned to look at other possible career paths that will allow me to work not only for myself and my family but also for others, to be a woman for others not just in words but in practice.
I have long chosen being a lawyer as my future career. However, it is only recently that I have considered possibilities other than corporate law. I am now leaning more towards civil rights and/or labor law in order to possibly take on positions in the Government or in NGOs in the future.
In a way, my Philosophy classes have been equalizers for my Management classes; I cannot imagine being this open to serving others if my Ateneo education have not been equipping me with subjects that not only teach me the technical dimension of being a professional but also the human side to it. I have to admit that before this year, I often hear and sometimes get tired of how Ateneans are always called Men and Women for Others when I do not see the University giving us any opportunity to be so; but this year, the mere opening of my eyes helped me better understand what it truly means. More importantly, it has pushed me to be a woman for others just because there is no better way to be an Atenean and a human than to be as such.
Ma. Janelli Erika K. Aguinaldo
AB Management Economics 2012
Ms. Aguinaldo is now continuing her further studies at the University of the Philippines College of Law.
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