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  • Writer's pictureSTEM Warriors Philippines

Full STEM Ahead: A Virtual Summit and Career Mentorship Talk by 3M Philippines and Mano Amiga

Updated: Sep 4, 2022

Over 200 participants from different schools from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao joined us at the Full STEM Ahead held virtually last May 20, 2022. The event formally kicked off with opening remarks from 3M Philippines Head of Human Resources Sookie Chiongban who encouraged students to absorb as many takeaways as they can, and bring them back to the Filipino people.

The keynote speech was by Audrey Pe- the executive director of Women in Tech or WiTech, an initiative that started as a blog and grew into a non-profit organization. She said students who are interested in pursuing their own STEM journey should go online to search for sources and gain more knowledge. Although WiTech is women-focused, she emphasized the importance of including men in the conversation, “We made a deliberate effort to include men in our team as well as for them to be participants in these conferences. We acknowledge that in a 50-50 tech workplace. Guys aren’t just gonna disappear from the conversation. They’re going to be allies. They’re going to call out the sexism in tech. They’re going to need to speak up and spread the stories of women in tech and overall, allies despite through gender equality.

The highlight of the whole event is the panel discussion featuring Numberbender founder Dr. Peter Esperanza, licensed civil engineer Dr. Marla Redillas, Jun Barnes of 3M Philippines, and Iris Alonso of ARK, who all gave helpful tips on choosing a STEM Career. Iris encouraged students to choose a course that they’re interested in and reassured them not to put so much pressure on the choice that they’re making.

“I took health sciences when I was in Ateneo with a plan of becoming a doctor. I took up biology in UST with the same plan but now, I’m in development work so you will be turning different ways and trying different things and that’s what being young is being about.” - Iris Alonso

The session gave the audience inspiration to pursue their own STEM journey no matter what setbacks they can encounter along the way. Dr. Peter shared that his experience with failure helped him into who he is today.

“Sometimes it’s tough but if you really want to make it happen, you will find ways.” -Dr. Peter Esperanza

Dr. Redillas mentioned the importance of establishing goals and asking for help and advice from the people around us. Jun shared that wherever we find ourselves in, we should put our heart and soul into it. He originally wanted to become a doctor but due to financial problems, he chose another path that was presented to him. He acknowledged that we may end up in a field that we originally didn’t want to be in, but just do your best.

The last segment of the event was the career mentoring session where the participants had the chance to have an in-depth and more intimate discussion with reputable STEM professionals on how they can pursue their goals. Our guest mentors were Dr. Chona Abeledo, Melody Tria, Carvey Maigue, Patricia Dizon, Irene Crisologo, and Jonathan Borromeo. The breakout room session was equally informative and inspiring since it gave the students the chance to ask lots of questions.

Full STEM Ahead served as an inspiring gathering of the amazing STEM community. We hope that through this program, more young Filipino minds would be motivated to take up STEM and chase their dreams.

We would like to thank 3M Philippines for partnering with Mano Amiga Philippines for this wonderful event.

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