Article By: Emmy Nam
Editor: Ben Carden
Cinematographer: Sofia Jimenez
Anchor: Jeanne Dee
Bearcat Career Exploration Week is an amazing opportunity given to high school students at ISM who are either uncertain about their future career paths or interested in certain professions, to listen to different professionals speaking about their occupations. This year, the week was held from January 12 to 16, and students attended talks from 20 different professionals—ranging from Rappler and Google employees to ISM teachers. These people shared their experiences, the obstacles they faced to get where they are now, as well as life advice for students looking ahead towards their future careers.
In the first semester, Alexander de Leon, a recent ISM graduate, had spoken in a high school assembly regarding his work at Google. The students reacted positively to his talk, and not only was he was promptly bombarded with Facebook friend requests from students, but he was invited to speak again during Career Week. During his Career Week, although he focused on the perks of working at Google, he also mentioned the intense workload and the level of intelligence of all his co-workers. He seemed to emphasize that the two types of people that Google looks for are the naturally intelligent and those who pick themselves up after they fall. He seemed to repeat throughout his talk, “I started from the bottom and now I’m here,” as he literally began with nothing, but slowly created an impressive resume that got him to Google. Alex de Leon stated that he “never realized how big of a difference classmates from all over the world could have on someone” and believes that “ISM was tremendously helpful in preparing [him] for [his] career, because Google is an international company, and that assisted [him] in being able to seamlessly jump from all the different cultures and interact with different people.”
In response to Alex de Leon’s Career Talk, senior Rom Villarica felt that he realized “the importance of failure and how it can affect you in developing your identity.” Senior Robbi Sy was amazed by Alex de Leon’s ability as he unbelievably persevered to achieve his dream career of working at Google despite the uhfriendly statistics. Additionally, he was “so starstruck [he] started giggling whenever Alex was near.” Robbi was also amazed by his will and motivation as he commented, “I would quit after 15 rejections from Google, I don’t know how Alex withstood over 30 rejections.”
Listening to Alex de Leon’s talk gave many students inspiration to never quit and take his advice to “make your own future” as ISM students are starting exactly where he was years ago. All the Career Talks were extremely useful for the students as they had the chance to explore professions and hear experiences of those who are taking the paths they might want to take in the future.