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Trimestral System: The Good Side

Prioritizing La Salle graduates in the work force

By Carina Cruz and Rafael Tan

Graduates from De La Salle University – Manila (DLSU-M) tend to have lower waiting time and higher employment rates compared to graduates from other colleges and universities.

An ABS-CBN news article entitled “UP, Ateneo, La Salle grads hired faster, paid more” last January 2013 claims that graduates from DLSU, “actively looked for a job for an average of 2.4 months, but got a mean income per month of almost P11,900.” The data was based on a Graduate Tracer Study conducted by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) in 1999.

DLSU Job Placement Coordinator Dr. Ma. Paquita Bonnet said that an online study conducted by the Office for Counseling and Career Services (OCCS) in 2009 discovered that Lasallian graduates took two to six months to find employment; most graduates, however, found employment in three months.


Being practical

Several alumni believe that companies set a certain standard and choose to invest on graduates who received more quality education from the Philippines’ most esteemed universities.

Key Accounts Manager at Benby Enterprises, Inc. Anjo Dela Cruz (MKT, 2010) believes that quality education from a good university is a privilege for students.

Business Development Associate at EON: The Stakeholder Relations Firm Kim Dy (OCM, 2012) has similar beliefs. She explains that the existing notion that graduates from the top three universities perform better and have better opportunities in true, but she adds that students from other universities and colleges also have a chance to be successful.


Promoting equality

While the school or university plays a role in hiring and compensation, Senior Manager from the Talent Department of Del Monte, Philippines (DMPI) Marylou Gomez acknowledges that there are other factors. Gomez furthers, “It is difficult to generalize the duration and mean income because the university where an employee is from is not a strong determinant of these factors.”

Gomez adds that graduates from the top three universities as well as those outside DLSU-M, Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU), and the University of the Philippines-Diliman (UP-D) possess the qualities that DMPI is looking for such as passion and commitment, among others, but there are also those who do not.

She explains, “Very few students from the top three schools could be considered overqualified.”


Lasallians in the workforce

Gomez also relates a recent finding. She explains, “Not to generalize, [but] we received feedback that graduates from UP-D and ADMU are more extroverts that DLSU-M.  We noticed that more DLSU-M graduates are with our Finance Division.”

Last year, Dr. Bonnet conducted a studied employer feedback of DLSU-M graduates. Forty-five Human Resource (HR) representatives from twenty-five industries were invited in a focus group discussion (FGD). The study, “Employer’s Feedback on Lasallian Graduates,” was completed last December 10 and was presented to Parents of University Student Organizations (PUSO) last December 15.

According to the study, most Human Resources (HR) representatives observed that compared to graduates from other schools, Lasallians are willing to go on overtime to finish their work because they are afraid of failure.

Another observation is that Lasallians are more humble and less arrogant compared to other graduates. An HR head who attended the FGDs explains, “Yung yabang ng Lasallians ay positive. Mas natatanggap ng tao kasi meron namang ipagyayabang (The pride of Lasallians is positive. It is more accepted by people because their pride is well-founded.)”

Dr. Bonnet also adds that the HR managers invited to participate in the study were one in saying that Lasallian graduates are marketable and employable because they are perceived to be target-driven self-initiators.

The study also showed that Lasallian graduates are well placed in industries. She summarizes, “If you look at the profile of the FGD reports, Lasallians are in the middle-up in the industry ladder. Lasallians are chief executive officers, assistant vice presidents, senior directors, heads of units, managers, trainees, etc.”


Lasallians’ distinguished traits

Dr. Bonnet adds that based on the conducted study, the most prominent qualities and skills that Lasallians exude in the workforce are proficient communication skills and technical competencies in the manufacturing and engineering industries.

One company even explains that graduates from DLSU are more reliable when assigned to accomplish tasks and communicate duties to their team members.

Lasallians also exhibit confidence, which is an ideal trait in the field of sales. As stated by an online portal firm, “We normally prioritize Lasallians over the other universities for our sales. We specifically put them in the frontline position.”

According to the study, other notable traits of Lasallians in the job industry include leadership, creativity, sharpness, proper business attitude, competitiveness, as well as skills in problem-solving and decision-making.


Effects of the trimestral system

Dr. Bonnet believes that the university’s trimestral system helps Lasallians hone these attributes. She argues, “Here in La Salle, after 14 weeks, you change your courses and your [professors]. You are challenged differently in many aspects.”

She adds that the trimestral system also helps sustain their competitive advantage. “The original reason we have the trimestral system is that we really want to challenge the potential of Lasallians. I think we still have that competitive advantage of Lasallians between and among themselves against other schools.”

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