The Business Leadership Program (BLP) 2015 Experience
The American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (AMCHAM) provided an opportunity to thirty one (31) students to be part of the 13th Business Leadership Program (BLP) last April 11-19, 2015. Students from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao participated in the said program to learn, interacted and shared knowledge from their respective fields. The BLP participants engaged in discussions and interacted with renowned executives from the corporate members of the American Chamber of Commerce such as Mead Johnson Nutrition, Philip Morris Fortune Tobacco Corporation, Procter & Gamble, Chevron and many more. Topics about personal motivation, self-branding, employment opportunities and the like were also tackled by speakers such as Ms. Dina Loomis, Mr. DM Varun from John Clements and Mr. Ernie Cecilia, DPM.
The student leaders were very fortunate to have met the Ambassador of the United States to the Philippines, His Excellency Philip S. Goldberg at his residence and interacted with him as well as with other corporate leaders. Business cards were exchanged between the students and business people to establish networking. During the general meeting of the AMCHAM, the BLP participants were also able to meet His Excellency Jose L. Cuisia, Jr., Ambassador of the Republic of the Philippines to the United States of America who delivered a report regarding the bilateral relations of USA and the Philippines. The students were likewise given the opportunity to take the Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC) during the week-long program.
At the end of the week, students were to contend for the Business Plan Competition. The business plan was to be presented to the panel composed of Mr. Frank Thiel from Quezon Power, Mr. Peter Morris from Chevron, Mr. Chris Stolk from Seachange, Ms. Carol Dominguez from John Clements, Mr. Dennis Wright from Peregrine and Mr. Wally Panganiban from Mead Johnson. The business plan posed a challenge to the students to create a social enterprise that is in line with APEC’s mandate “to alleviate poverty”. Our group dubbed as Cocobayan, was able to present our business plan in front of the panel and we were privileged to claim the 3rd place as well as the Best Written Presentation during the awards night. All of the business plans were very feasible and can serve as solutions to the lag in housing in the Philippines.
Despite the diversity in geography, religion and personality, the BLP participants became united with the vision of making the Philippines and the world a better place for future generations. With these kind of leadership programs in cooperation with the business sector, more leaders are honed to become agents of change. That in all things God may be glorified!
By Monica P. Ortiz Luis, 4th Year, IBEAD