Scholarship programs are the hope of students who can’t afford expensive tuition fees. Most of the time, it’s like a golden ticket to their dream of a better future for them and their families.
While it has always been equated to financial assistance, global technology and engineering company, Emerson is redefining scholarship programs with its holistic approach.
Established in 2015 in celebration of the company’s 125th anniversary, the Emerson Scholarship Program was launched in partnership with AmCham Foundation, and is designed to accommodate 40 scholars at one time from select universities, including Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP), Rizal Technological University (RTU), and Technological Institute of the Philippines (TIP).
It aims to support STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) students who are in their last two years of completing their degrees–financially, personally, and even professionally.
Pelita Camara, Emerson’s manager for corporate communications for Asia Pacific told InterAksyon, “As you know, Emerson is a global technology and engineering company, and, of course, our future relies on developing the future generation of innovators and scientists. It was actually a natural advocacy for us to promote STEM fields/education.”
“Our scholarship program is holistic in the sense that we don’t just offer financial assistance, but we also offer organizational and personal development for the scholars,” she added.
After completing their degrees, Emerson’s vision for their scholars is to be under the company’s on-the-job training, and eventually hire them as long term employees given that they have successfully maintained the grade requirements and completed their degrees.
According to Camara, once a student becomes their scholar, they are already assigned with a mentor from Emerson that they will work and coordinate with.
“It’s like having a big brother or big sister,” she said.
These mentors support the scholars with their studies, as well as help them with leadership trainings and on-the-job training programs before they get to be integrated in the company.
“The mentoring program is on a one on one basis. Their future boss is their mentor so they would know how to relate to their future bosses; they also get to meet their future team, and also observe the work,” Camara said.
In fact, as early as the scholars’ on-job-training, they were assigned projects that they are made to own and be accountable for to let them have a first-hand experience of working.
Stories of hope
Twenty-one-year-old Rajan Paul Garcia, 5th year Industrial Engineering student from TIP and Emerson scholar, shared about his mentor, “It’s fun to be with my mentor. She always says that if I need anything from school, I can always text her.”
Twenty-year-old Jomari Ramos, an Information Technology graduate of PUP, and one of the first batch of Emerson scholars who are now employed at the company also recalled, “The usual stereotype with students under on-the-job training is that they are given only a minimal amount of work. Here, they gave me real projects, even a global project under my responsibility.”
“The mentor I had is like a mother to me. Usually, managers are intimidating because of their position but she treats her subordinates like a son,” he continued.
The young IT professional also highlighted that although Emerson’s working environment does not put too much pressure on its employees, everyone practices excellence and collaboration because they are inspired to work.
On the other hand, 21-year-old Kim Gojo Cruz, a Chemical Engineering graduate of TUP remembered how Emerson and her assigned mentor helped her build her confidence.
“From what I remember, Emerson’s leadership training was the greatest help for me. Emerson did not only help me financially but it also helped me in my personal development–I gained self confidence,” she shared.
Kim is now studying for the board exams, and waiting to be employed by Emerson as soon as she successfully gets a license.
Rajan, Jomari, and Kim all came from families who find it difficult to support their educational needs. They were just few of the Emerson scholars who claimed that Emerson’s scholarship program helped them secure a future not just for themselves but for their family.
Rajan’s father is a tricycle driver, while her mother is running a sari-sari store to make ends meet. Having another sibling studying, he thought he would not be able to graduate from college anymore until he was able to be accepted at Emerson’s program.
He said that now that his future is secured, he plans to finance his sister’s college tuition fees. His sister plans to take medicine, and be a doctor.
Jomari on the other hand was raised singlehandedly by his mom. His uncle was the one financing his education, however, found it difficult to continue when his uncle passed away.
“My mom has no work. The one supporting us was my uncle, my mother’s brother; however, he passed away when I was still studying. Emerson’s scholarship program was so timely because no one would be able to support us anymore at that time,” he recalled.
Same as Jomari, Kim was also raised by her mom. To make ends meet, her mom sells rice cakes during weekends apart from her regular weekday work to provide her and her siblings’ needs.
“I saw my mom’s sacrifices especially during Saturdays and Sundays when she only have an hour of sleep. I want to help my family financially; that our lives would be improved, and my mom would be able to rest and enjoy the simple pleasures of life,” Kim shared.
Apart from Rajan, Jomari, and Kim–who all came from Manila–Emerson hopes to further expand their program to reach more qualified students outside the metro.
“Right now, most of the scholars we are getting are from Metro Manila but our aim is to really expand the program nationwide so were also tapping other schools in the provinces,” Camara said.
“We are also expanding to high school. We are targeting 10th to 12th grades because that’s also the time they are going to choose their field so we are also partnering with different high schools,” she added.
In the long run, Emerson’s vision is to continue in developing Filipino innovators, grow the pool bigger in the country, and encourage them to stay and contribute for the betterment of the country.
For more information, visit Emerson Philippines’ website.