SIX YEARS ago, Thomasian Severino Navarro, an electronics and communications engineer, applied for a job in Singapore but was rejected. The agency apparently thought seniority mattered and at the age of 39, Navarro was considered a year short to land the position of senior engineer. He waited for a year and applied again for the same stint. Eventually, Navarro became the assistant senior engineer for Panasonic Singapore. This success, he said, he owes to God, his family’s support, and his UST diploma.

“Without it, I would probably never make it here,” he told the Varsitarian.

Born and raised in Manila, Navarro entered UST in 1978, but graduated only in 1989 due to scarce finances. He needed to get a job first to foot the bill for his tuition. Navarro even tied the knot before coming back to graduate.

“When I came back to school, I already had a wife and children,” he said.

Navarro admitted that he was not an exceptional student, but he always knew how important it was to get a degree. Although his first ambition was to become a journalist or a doctor, the events of his time stirred him to take up Engineering instead.

“My father discouraged me to take up Journalism because it was the Marcos era and freedom of speech was suppressed then,” he said. Because of the meager salary that his father earned as an auto-mechanic, Navarro’s dream of becoming a doctor was also put on hold.

Money was the primary reason for Navarro’s motivation to work hard, and true enough, his diligence earned him a job in Singapore, which for him, pays good money for design engineers.

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But more than earning dollars, Navarro treats his profession as an everyday-challenge.

“What’s great about engineering is that we never run out of problems,” he jokingly said.

His first job was in American Power Convergence (APC) in Cavite, a company which built home and commercial type generators. As a senior platform engineer of the company, he designed electronics and did troubleshooting work for damaged or defective products.

After 10 years in APC, he got hired by Panasonic Singapore in 2002. As assistant engineer, he was in charge of transferring the manufactured products from any overseas factory or design center to the Cavite-based Philippine plant. Complicated as this may seem, Navarro never gets tired of doing the same routine.

“Because time here is fast-paced, I don’t get bored doing the job,” he said.

Working in Panasonic for almost six years now, Navarro together with his team has designed and developed four mini-components audio/DVD products in Panasonic. The works were designed to make the products aesthetically modern and user-friendly at the same time.

“Filipinos are especially good at hardware production and enhancement,” Navarro said.

Although based abroad, Navarro holds his Thomasian identity in high esteem, and admits that he has a certain bias for applicants who came from UST.

“We try to keep our options wide open when selecting job applicants, but in my opinion, people who graduate from UST are generally good. We have a good reputation among companies here and abroad,” he said.

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