In an effort to unite Information Systems (IS) students and cultivate innovation and technical know-how for their future careers, Benilde’s AIM launched “IS Week 2021” last June 14 to 18 via Zoom and Facebook Live.
With the theme “Encouraging individuality, fostering innovation,” the week-long event hosted a variety of activities such as workshops, seminars, and group competitions where students were given the opportunity to further develop their prowess and communication skills. Furthermore, the seminars featured seasoned professionals in the IS industry who were able to provide meaningful insights and advice to participants for them to flourish in their own careers.
Here is a rundown of the events that took place throughout the week:
Building Your Portfolio 101: An Introduction to the World of Freelance
This seminar centered around freelancing as a source of income and the opportunities brought about by the gig economy. Hosted last June 14, this event gave participants substantial knowledge and techniques in building one’s portfolio for their respective careers.
Human Resource (HR) and Administration Specialist in Vretta Inc. Ms. April Usaraga-Galoyo was invited as this event’s guest speaker. She demonstrated the type of work done by freelancers today, the difference between freelancers, independent contractors, and employees, and the pros and cons of undertaking freelance work.
Ms. Usaraga-Galoyo also shared advice for aspiring freelancers and workers in general, highlighting the importance of taking small steps to your destination. “If you want to reach the top, mas madali ‘di ba kung meron kang ladder with smaller steps than having large steps. I’m not saying that it’s impossible to take a large step sa simula, may nakakagawa talaga. [...] It’s possible, pero I still prefer to take smaller steps at the beginning.”
She then proceeded to show the audience her career development and progress in terms of income, and how it steadily grew from the beginning.
The next part of her talk focused on building one’s portfolio, and the essential components one must consider to fully illustrate one’s skills, abilities, and the quality of work.
“Ang portfolio, hindi siya pamalit sa resume niyo ah, it just complements your resume. So you really need to create a comprehensive resume. [...] Para malaki ‘yung chance na ma-hire kayo, whether it’s [a] freelance job or a regular job.”
For online portfolios, Ms. Usaraga-Galoyo recommends that students start compiling the following documents in a Google Drive as early as now:
- Employer/industry information
- Skills list, matched to the specific job
- Job match letter
- Workshops and conferences attended
- References, evaluations, letters of recommendation, and testimonials
- Letters of thanks
- Articles about you
- Stories demonstrating skills of character (preferably signed)
Additionally, she gave a few tips to keep in mind when applying for jobs:
- Always read the entire job description
- Have at least two (2) versions of your resume
- Have a unique cover letter, make it relative to the positions you are applying for
- When invited for an interview, answer promptly
- Research about the client/company
- During the interview, be confident in sharing your experiences
Fundamentals of Arduino
The second day’s seminar titled “Fundamentals of Arduino” delved into the open-source electronics platform “Arduino,” which allows users to develop projects such as interactive objects and environments, through coding and programming. Guest speaker Mr. Joselito Goh, Associate Professor under the Faculty of Benilde’s IS program, talked about the basics of Arduino, how to get started in using the application, and its importance in programming.
Mr. Goh also discussed configuring Arduino Software IDE, giving a clear and comprehensive step-by-step guide and answering questions along the way.
An open forum then ensued after the discussion, where Mr. Goh went in-depth about his experiences and struggles in learning to use Arduino, and how IS students can get started.
“Ganito kasi siya, merong mga tao talaga na somehow they feel they will learn more sa self-taught (method), isa ako doon. So ‘yung Arduino, self-taught ako doon, together with other programming languages. Pero, I would suggest, even though kaya niyo siyang matutunan, pero siyempre, maraming support talaga nanggagaling sa mga forum at online documentation. Ang best way to start working is to jumpstart, gawin mo kaagad. So far, nothing works better than ‘okay, gawin ko kaagad.’ [...] I accepted projects even when I didn’t know how to do it and how to use the programming languages. Kasi it forces you (to work).”
When asked about how long it took him to learn Arduino, Mr. Goh said that it’s a continuous learning process, “marami pa akong di alam sa Arduino.”
“Dahil open-source siya, at may bagong dumating, you just have to be updated,” he said.
ISTREME: The AIMazing Race
Designed for ID 118, 119, and 120 students, the virtual race was held last June 17 and featured an array of tasks and challenges that teams had to accomplish in order to reach the finish line.
Winners received the following cash prizes:
- 1st Place - Php 3,000
- 2nd Place - Php 2,250
- 3rd Place - Php 1,500
Benilde Hacks 2021
The annual AIM hackathon took place over the course of three days, with the “Thinkathon” on June 15, “Pre-Hackathon” on June 16, and the “Hackathon” on June 18. Participants were tasked to come up with creative and innovative solutions to problems in today’s setting, particularly with programming.
The “Thinkathon” featured IS alumnus Mr. Dim Galang, who talked about his experiences in design thinking and development. He also talked about design conceptualization, and the process that goes into designing and coming up with solutions.
“Most tech companies are applying design thinking concepts when developing a new idea or conceptualizing a new product. So, it’s a very common practice in the industry,” he emphasized. “One of the significant things in design thinking is that it helps you understand the problem or scenario, and in a way, mas makakaisip ka ng solutions for the problem because you’re following a specific set of principles under design thinking.”
Following this, the “Hackathon” itself was held via Discord, where groups put their programming and critical skills to the test.
The week-long event officially concluded with a closing ceremony, where AIM announced the winners of the “ISTREME: The AIMazing Race” and “Benilde Hacks 2021.”
Project Manager of “IS Week 2021” and AIM President Allyssa Beatrice Meer gave the closing remarks, thanking the team behind the successful event, the guest speakers, and those who participated and attended the events.
AIM is the official student organization of the College’s BS-IS Program. For updates on upcoming events, visit their Facebook page.