“Do not compete against your seatmate. Compete against those who are in other countries. THEY are your competition,” Dr. Ignacio Cordova Jr. advised students from the College of Hospitality and Institutional Management (CHIM) and the College of Business Accountancy (CBA) of Our Lady of Fatima University (OLFU) during the International Fair 2022 held at the RISE Tower, Valenzuela City last 04 November 2022.
Speaking to a full-packed hall, plus over a hundred more viewers on livestream, Dr. Cordova, Dean of both OLFU’s CHIM and CBA, piqued sensibilities when he posed the question why a nine-peso bottle of water in the neighborhood sari-sari store would cost two hundred inside a hotel. Relating that to skills and talents, he said the valuation of a person’s gifts could rise or fall depending on one’s geographic location. To increase that value, he expressed that CHIM and CBA strategically run programs that prepare students to become “international-ready” such as the Work-Travel Abroad Programs, Internship Programs, and Career Training Programs offered by OLFU long-time partners, ZIP Travel, Inc. and First Place, Inc.
Taking over the stage after Dr. Cordova set the mood were Jerico Bautista, Business Development Manager of First Place, Inc. and Aaron Black, CEO, Owner, and Managing Director of ZIP Travel, Inc. Both gentlemen introduced their respective firms, the programs they offer, the expectations of the living situation, the process of arranging for a work & travel program, and the fees.
Bautista, having gone himself into the Work & Travel Program as a young student from years back, talked through the workings of First Place’s three-month work & travel program; remarking that they have currently sent close to 20,000 students to the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom. He reminded the audience that “education does not end within the four walls of the school”. There is the so-called great yonder out there for the taking and this is what First Place, Inc is there for— to offer students the opportunities to break those walls down so that they may “learn the lessons of independence to strengthen the character and prepare them for successful careers locally and abroad”.
Both Bautista and Black briefly summarized the types of employment positions that need to be filled by their company partners, saying that student participants stand to earn anywhere from US $9.00-$20.00 per hour depending on the job and the location. However, for balance, they cautioned students not to dwell too much on the income opportunity because this will certainly be outweighed by the learning gained from new skills acquired, multi- and cross-cultural immersion, and traveling.
Black also touched on the Bridge USA Program and how such enables Filipino students to participate in work & travel, internship, and career training abroad. Happily, he averred that, so far, OLFU students they have processed through ZIP Travel have had a 100% approval rating for the US J1 Visa. He added that there are presently 500 job positions open, with 300 of those in the work & travel abroad program.
Earlier on, Dr. Cordova shared a nugget wherein countries like Canada have already lifted the limit on the number of work hours a student participant can render on a given week. Hence, the chance to add onto one’s learning by taking on other jobs or by extending hours has been automatically magnified. He also revealed that statistics show that by year 2025, the population of developed countries will be aging, thus creating a huge labor shortfall which the “young” populations of countries like the Philippines can easily fill. But this cannot happen overnight so investing in the international exposure right now would be a strategic move for individuals aspiring for global careers.
These once-in-a-lifetime experiences offered up by OLFU, First Place, and ZIP could certainly prepare one for a life overseas and are calling out to OLFU students who are currently enrolled and are at least 18 years of age. Fly, work, learn, and travel— get ready for the take-off and the best takeaways!
For more information, interested parties may contact the following directly:
First Place, Inc.
ZIP Travel Philippines