MTM Program: It’s a Wrap for 1st Sem, AY 14-15

Final exam submitted! It’s officially semestral break for me. I’m so glad the sem is over! Too many requirements to complete to think that I only took 2 subjects this sem. I can’t imagine if there were 3. Anyway, no matter how toxic it was, there were relevant lessons learned so that is something to be thankful for.

One subject I took was on Legal Aspects of Technology Management. And yes, this deals with all the laws around Intellectual Property, taught by a lawyer, the same one who established the IPO in the Philippines. I was intimidated at first but turned out she’s cool and so I immensely enjoyed her class despite all the legal jargons! So much so that my evaluation of her contains this: “She is well-versed and very passionate of her field. She shares true stories to relate to the topics so it becomes easier to understand the lesson, especially for someone who doesn’t have Law background. Thank you, Ma’am! Ma-mimiss ko ang mga totoong chismis mo! At ang pagtawag mo sa amin ng “children” especially if we are too focused about being great and seem to forget other essentials in life. :)”

MTM Program: Automatic Fare Collection System (AFCS)

For our Marketing Plan, we decided to use the smartcard (contactless card) that will replace the magnetic cards we use in the MRT 3, LRT 1 and LRT 2 once the Automatic Fare Collection System (AFCS) is implemented as our product.

Some things that I learned about the project.

  • This is a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) project that was awarded to AF Consortium early this year, first for 2014.
  • Consortium is a group of companies that partner together for a project. A stands for Ayala and F is First Pacific. First Pacific is the parent organization of Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC).
  • It is notable that although Ayala and MPIC are competitors in the telco industry, they joined forces for this project. Business is business.
  • The PPP website is a good reference to all PPP projects.
  • AFCS aims to have a smartcard that can be used in all rail systems in the metro (both current and future extensions) and eventually expand to other transports like buses and cabs and also partner with retail establishments.
  • Most of the requirements in the invitation to bid document are based on standards defined by the International Organization for Standards (ISO). This means that the technology to be implemented here would be the same as those in other countries (i.e. Hong Kong, Singapore, etc.) Finally a taste of 1st world hehe. Side note:when we visited HK in 2011, I was so amazed with their rail system and since then wished that we have the same here. I hope that with this project, it will be the start of a better rail system for us.
  • Government’s requirement is that there should be no supplier lock in. Good. No monopoly.
  • Part of the consortium is Octopus Transactions Limited, the same company handling HK’s smartcard requirements.
  • A standard AFCS architecture can be summarized in 5 levels (starting at Level 0). Level 0: smartcard, Level 1: turnstiles; Level 2: station systems; Level 3: Line systems; Level 4: Central system (where all systems meet).
    Looking forward to be able to top up in other retail establishments aside from the rail stations! More convenient, less lines in the stations!
  • Demographic dividend is an instance where young people are starting to enter the workforce, which in most countries signal stronger growth because they can work and spend more. (learned about this while researching for environmental factors for the AFCS project)

It was a challenging paper to write but it’s good to get some bonuses such as learning about industries that’s outside of my profession. Crossing my fingers that AFCS will be implemented by 2015, as targeted by DOTC and LRTA. It would be nice to be migrated to this system at the soonest possible time!

Aahhhh, now that we’re done with this paper (writing and reporting about it), I am just left with 2 take home final exams before the semestral break. Can’t wait! One more week!

MTM Program: The Dilemma

The event: midterm exam for Technology Marketing and Commercialization
Scope: Chapters 1-9 of the reference book
Study strategies:

  • Read the book and the prof’s presentation slides
  • Write down notes (do not encode) for better memory retention
  • Reduce sleeping hours to study longer

Next scenes: exam proper.

Prof lets us place our things in front, hands over the exam questions and gives the go signal that we can start.

Me: read the instructions, then the questions. Stared at it, read again, stared-read. Repeat for 10 minutes (or more). Take deep breaths while in my head I’m already screaming “anong sagot sa mga ito?”. Heart starts to beat faster (because I don’t know the freakin’ answer to the questions!!!!). Me doing pep talk with myself to calm down as I try to recall the possible answers to the questions. Pampalubag loob. There were at least 2 questions that I’m sure of the answer. But, these are just 2 questions out of the 7 so it’s not even 50% yet!

After an hour: I was already tempted to submit my paper because what’s the point? I don’t know what else to write hahaha! But then, I stayed a little longer and tried harder to recall our other topics.

After 2.5 hours: I give up. Time to stop pretending and submit hehe.

After exam scenes with some classmates:
“Alam kong alam mo yung sagot sa #1 kasi part mo yun sa report. Wag mo nang sabihin please!”
“Buti na lang di ko na pinagpabukas pa ang exam kasi ganito rin lang pala! At least I did not prolong the agony.”
“Ano yun????!!!! Anong mga sagot don???!!!”
“Ayaw ko na munang tignan notes ko!”
“Hahahahaha! Hahahahaha! Hahahahaha!” Yes, dinaan na lang sa tawa ang lahat.
“Tara kain na tayo. Ni-look forward ko yung pagkain don eh!” (a classmate and I agreed to eat at some resto near our place after the exam)

On the way home, still thinking about the exam. Biglang bumulong ng “yamot, may wrong spelling pa ako!” Hahaha!

Syempre pag-uwi sa bahay, di ko matiis at chineck ko notes ko. Lahat ng sinagot ko after the first hour, sablay na hahaha! Siguro di na alam ni Sir kung iiling ba sya, tatawa, mayayamot o kakamot na lang ng ulo sa mga sagot ko hehehe.

So anyare? I don’t know. Best effort yung pagrereview ko dito. Itong subject na ito ang pinaglaanan ko ng matagal sa pagrereview. It’s just that there are so many concepts even in one chapter (so imagine all the 9 chapters) that it’s hard to remember everything. Plus maybe, my note taking wasn’t that effective still. Or maybe, I need to read the book a hundred more times to remember half of the concepts. Kung dito, ganito na, paano pa ang comprehensive exam! Waaaahhh!!!

The dilemma? Di man lang ata ako makaka-experience na ng kahit isang UNO sa grad school! Amp! :p

Huwell. On the flipside, at least the exam is over and I can sleep longer tonight! Time to move on to all the paper writing stuff!

P.s. Dear Sir, pwede po bang sa final exam, take home na lang parang nung R&D subject dati? Pa-Christmas mo na sa amin hehehehe!

MTM Program: Sector Study Report…Check!

rbYey! One down, more to go! I didn’t realize how much this paper stressed me until after our report when I finally was able to breathe normally and feel happy and light despite close to hibernating! LOL! I don’t understand why I was tense the whole day when I’m not usually like this. Maybe because we were so traditionally corporate looking with our attires! I had to wear blazer just to have the required look but I am not used to it since it’s not my normal. Anyway, I’m just glad it’s over! Time to get some sleep and start preparing for midterm exams before going back to working on another long group paper! Whew!

MTM Program: Franchising

Part of the requirement in our Technology Entrepreneurship class is to submit a reaction paper based on an article. Here’s mine on Franchising, the one that got the highest grade so far.

Franchising is one way of doing business especially for people who would like to start a business but would need guidance most especially in the beginning because a potential franchisee can leverage on the well-formed and established brand and operating system of the franchiser.

It is good to know that in the Philippines, there are official and legal organizations related to franchising focusing on guidelines in doing franchising in the country. In the recent years, there are also many events related to franchising. When used the correct way, this gives Filipinos more options on income opportunities. From a 2012 article, the PH franchising industry was the world’s 3rd in terms of jobs created, next to the US and Japan, and the 10th in the world in terms of revenue. With the ASEAN integration in 2015, it opens a wider footprint of needs creation and market opportunities regionally and then eventually, globally.

However, like anything else in life, the success of the franchisee depends on the effort he puts into the business. First, having a mentor in the form of the franchiser doesn’t give the franchisee the license to just rely on the franchiser. The franchisee should put as much effort in learning the ins and outs of the business until he has acquired the required skills in operating the business and keeping and improving it to meet its targets and goals.

I also think that it takes time to establish a franchise, contrary to what most advertisements on franchising imply. Before even jumping into the bandwagon, the franchisee should be equipped with the appropriate training and game plan before going on full-blown operations. In this way, unnecessary risk can be avoided. Of course, the time it takes for the preparation should be reasonable so that we don’t lose opportunities as well.

Lastly, I strongly agree that more than the profits, one should go into franchising because he believes in the mission and vision of the franchiser. Being aligned at this level would help both in focusing on the things that to be done to achieve the common goals. And although the franchiser is the one establishing the brand and the operating system, it would also be helpful if the franchisee is able to provide constructive feedback to the franchiser, given that one of the franchisee’s roles is to market the brand and operating system, hence, he has closer ears and eyes to the perception of the customers.

MTM Program: Strategic Entrepreneurship

Part of the requirement in our Technology Entrepreneurship class is to submit a reaction paper based on an article. Here’s mine on Strategic Entrepreneurship.

When I first heard of the phrase strategic planning at work, it got me uneasy because it was so jargon to me. Fortunately though, it wasn’t as scary, contrary to what I first expected. It was an opportunity to be in the world of leaders, planning for the future of the company. The expected outputs of that session were short-term, medium-term, and long term plans for our team. So basically, it was a list of goals and the ways by which we would be able to attain those goals. The most important thing to note though in all those planning sessions was that, all our plans should be in support of the company’s corporate objectives. Initially, I thought that having the corporate objectives is just how the company does things. However, I came to realize that it has basis when in one of our readings for TM 204, it was mentioned that strategies should be anchored to the corporate objectives.

In one occasion, our CEO came over for a visit and shared to us his journey in the BPO industry. He mentioned that there is a big difference on how things are done today as compared to 10 or 15 years ago, in relation to the industry. A lot of new ways of doing things have been introduced, and old processes and practices have to be revised because these does not already fit the present time. And he is sure that in the future, there will still be more changes. And so he stressed the importance of being able to foresee what the next big thing is in the future and being able to get ready for that “next big wave of change” at least in relation to the BPO industry. In 2012, he acquired another company with the primary reason that that company has an established technology which the CEO thinks will be the “in thing” in the future. So for him, rather than start from scratch to replicate that technology, he saw acquisition as the way to have that technology be implemented in his other companies.

In another session, the Global Strategy guy shared that they have set up a “pilot laboratory” in one of the sites to experiment on the best setup of workstations for agents to help them become more productive, given the nature of their work. This is based on the feedback they got from agents. Ten years ago, who would have thought that even workstations would need pilot laboratories?

In hindsight, I think strategic entrepreneurship has already been a practice years ago. However, it is only in recent times that researchers are focusing on this study, and trying to link it with different other concepts which may or may not have a relation to the concept. Nevertheless, I would like to think that we should only not focus on strategy because no matter how good the strategy is, if it is not executed seamlessly and unexpected risks that we have not prepared for happens, then there are big chances for the strategy to fail. As the famous line goes…failing to plan is planning to fail.

MTM Program: Summer Workshop

“Congratulations! You are accepted in the MTM (Master in Technology Management) program. In preparation for that, you are required to attend the 6-day workshop which will start this weekend until June 2.” This was the surprise call I got last May 17 from UP. What a news. I was so stressed for the first 2 hours after receiving that call early in the morning. First, the house blessing was scheduled for May 19, second, it’s my friend’s wedding on the 2nd of June. BOOM! More on these 2 later.

Anyway, the workshops aim to prepare us, students, for the program hence, it is a prerequisite. The 6 days cover several topics as follows:

  • Day 1: General Management
  • Day 2: General Marketing & Orientation
  • Days 3-4: Managerial Accounting
  • Day 5: Business Communication and Technical Writing
  • Day 6: Production and Operation Management

Payment is Php 7,200.00 for 6 days (Php 1,200.00/day). If you have attended similar programs in the past or if you took up the subjects in your undergraduate studies, you can also submit documentations and you won’t be required to take the workshop anymore.

So many jargons, but I hope and believe that these will somehow help me survive at least the first few meetings of the program. PUSH.

I learned after Day 1 that you can submit a formal letter of excuse if you won’t be able to attend one of the sessions. You can attend the workshops the following year. This is what I did for June 2. Never mind that I already paid in Day 1. The admin said to just keep my receipt and will just show it next year. As for the house blessing, everything was rescheduled to May 20, after much debate with myself, after consultation with my aunt and mother, and before learning that I can request to be excused for the May 19 session :p. Should I just say, that was one hell of an emotional roller-coaster ride before coming up with a close to acceptable decision :).


MTM Program: The Examination

As mentioned in my previous post, I’m trying to apply for UP Diliman’s Master in Technology (MTM) Program.

The qualifying exam was last February 24, 2013 from 1:00 PM-5:00 PM, still at the ASTI Bldg. Let me just say this—errrr, whatever happened to my measly Math skills?! It was the only exam type that I was not able to answer all hmp! And I even spent some time to review some very elementary lessons. I even missed lunch since the review took longer than I thought. Oh well.

The exam is composed of the usual – abstract, logical reasoning, quantitative, reading comprehension and of course essay. All are with time limits.

We were only asked to bring our permit (issued out when I submitted my application documents) and 1 or 2 #1 pencils. Err…I still don’t know until now the difference between the numbers in those pencils hehe. Well, the proctor did not check if we were using #1 or #2 so I’m not sure if this is still strictly implemented. You might also want to bring your own sharpeners :p.

When I got to the examination room, 2 realizations:

  • I’m living a pampered (office) life. Nice workstation with own phone, swivel cushioned chair, own pedestal, very cold air-conditioning system which people sometimes complain about, tissue in the restroom, and the rest goes on.
  • Most of our government facilities are really not in tiptop shape. Sad but true. Monoblock chairs that make a screeching sound in the littlest movement, not so cold aircon, small classroom space…I fervently wish that one day, it will be better for my future children.

Anyway, I’m glad the exam’s over now. It’s time to move on with other things that were put on hold while anticipating for this. I’m still crossing my fingers for at least average results though. Ooopps, forgot to ask the release of the results so need to check on that hehe. Gosh, I hope they would break the news to me gently LOL!

Note to self: Learn how to commute going to ASTI Bldg. Mahal magtaxi.

MTM Program: The Application

In January, I was surprised when my boss informed me that she has a budget for study assistance allotted for me. Suddenly, I was in a situation where I had to decide quickly if I want to pursue the Master in Technology Management (MTM) Program of UP Diliman or not, since I know that applications start as early as December and that there are several requirements I need to provide coming from different offices. But while thinking over it, I already started securing the requirements.

First to check was how to get the documents from my undergraduate university. It would be my first time so I don’t know how hard or easy to request for the documents. I made that as my first sign-that if I get the documents from school without any problems, then it is a go. And so thanks to the Internet, I was able to get from St. Louis University’s website the contact details of the Registrar’s Office. A week after I made my very first inquiry, my requested documents were delivered to my friend’s home.

The rest of the documents were easier to produce since it’s coming from HR. Just to make sure, I called up Technology Management Center (TMC) to:

  • Validate the requirements listed in their site. Birth Certificate from NSO was not included in the site
  • Inquire about who can fill out the recommendation form. As per the site, this can be the immediate supervisor or a former professor. I’m having second thoughts about requesting from a professor since I left university ages ago and of course my former professors have no idea of my life after college LOL. Good thing they allow previous immediate supervisors so that made it easier for me.

Here’s a complete list of what I submitted:

  1. Application form (called TMC-GC Form 1, downloaded from their website)
  2. Two recommendation forms (called TMC-GC Form 2, downloaded from their website). This should be placed in a sealed envelope, with the respondent’s signature in the envelope flap.
  3. Birth Certificate from National Statistics Office (NSO)
  4. Original transcript of records of all degrees
  5. Certificate of Graduation (or applicants may also submit certified true copies of their diploma/s)
  6. Certificate of Employment printed in a paper with the company letterhead and signed by the immediate supervisor.
  7. Duties and responsibilities printed in a paper with the company letterhead and signed by the immediate supervisor. For this and #5, our HR prepared it for me and they combined it in 1 standard document. I just requested them to provision for a space for my immediate supervisor’s signature.
  8. Two ID pictures (2×2) attached to the application form. In my case, I only attached one. The other one, I just handed it to them when I submitted my documents. They later on attached that in my exam permit.
  9. Four 1×1 ID pictures. I failed to see this in the form so I did not have any upon submission. Good thing they allowed me to submit during the exam. And good thing, the studio where I had my picture taken few weeks prior keep their copies up to 6 moths so I was able to request for a reprint. Let me just say that it’s expensive to have ID pictures nowadays LOL!

After completing the requirements, I just went to their office located at ASTI Bldg. in C.P. Garcia to submit. I paid a total of Php750.00, breakdown of which are as follows:

  1. Php50.00 – Application fee for Filipinos ($50.00 for foreigners)
  2. Php250.00 – Processing fee
  3. Php450.00 – Entrance examination fee

I did that on the last day of submission last February 22, 2013. Buzzer beater as always LOL. I don’t know what happened to my timeline hehe.

Anyway, you can read further about the program in TMC’s website. As per checking, they are now entertaining second batch of applicants. Deadline of application is March 22, 2013 and exam is on March 24, 2013.

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