Claire’s story: in-country Philippines

The Philippine Industry Study Tour allowed eight of us including myself to attend the Social Business Summit and be involved in a 2-week placement supervised by MAD Travel.

There has been a strong connection between my in-country learning experience and the development of my employability skills. Before I started my trip, I already had a number of employability skills that I wanted to developed during my in-country experience. One of them is to develop my communication skills through presentation and my leadership skills. Leadership skills that includes time management, interpersonal skills and problem solving.

Copyright owned by Claire Dologan
Copyright owned by Claire Dologan

Along with me was James. We were assigned to do our placement in GK Silver Heights, Caloocan City. The challenge was to develop a business plan for the community in which 50% of them are unemployed. Ralph Dionisio, our placement supervisor who is also one of the co-owner of MAD Travel came up with the idea for us to focus on the peanut butter spread livelihood for the community. He believed that the peanut butter project was the perfect sustainable livelihood for the community since the ingredients can be sourced locally and can be easily accessed by the locals.

Copyright owned by Claire Dologan
Copyright owned by Claire Dologan

The placement has developed all the skills that I have been wanting to develop from the beginning. The placement has allowed me to become a co-leader of the peanut butter project. I was able to engage with GK Silver Heights community and Tita Mel, a business women who lives around the area has helped me and James to produce the peanut butter by mentoring us and teaching us the cooking procedures. Furthermore, it has helped me establish with the local community. My communication skill has also been tested and developed by presenting our work to the leaders of the community, including Tito Bart and Tito Benjie. Tom was also there to support us and the Mabuhay ladies.

The reflective practice has helped me identify the critical situations throughout my time in the Philippines. It has helped me realize how certain events can be related back to the development of my employability.

Copyright owned by Claire Dologan
Copyright owned by Claire Dologan

Overall, my experience in the Philippines has influenced me on the way of how I do and see things in life and it has shown me the significance of building relationships with people around us.

Story written by Claire Dologan