BEFORE boarding the Ilocos-bound bus at Dapitan station, the then four-year-old Teddy Diza Quizado would marvel at the ancient-looking UST Main Building, which would then prompt his grandmother to discourage him:

“That is the University of Santo Tomas. Don’t pause to imagine what is inside though; we can never afford to send you there.”

Quizado would then just stare at the campus dejectedly, but not hopelessly, as it turned out.

At 26, this B.S. Economics alumnus of the College of Commerce now plays multiple roles at the University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P) as an executive assistant, a faculty in the school’s apprenticeship program, and a student finishing his Master’s Degree in Applied Business Economics. Juggling these stints is no big deal to him, thanks to his self-helped Thomasian upbringing.

“I was the type of kid who couldn’t sit around the house doing nothing,” said Quizado, whose love for books started out as a sheer answer to boredom.

His penchant for reading would pay off eventually, as this nurtured him to endure the strenuous, competitive academic life at the Marikina Science High School and UST.

Despite coming from a family of meager finances, Quizado chose to be idealistic rather than merely practical. “I wanted a job wherein I would earn lots of money, and yet I also would want to make an impact on the society,” he said. “So I decided to take up Economics.”

In his last year in college, he was the managing editor of the newsletter, Equilibrium, a tenor of the Commerce Glee Club, and a founder of the Philippine Youth Union.

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He also became the president of Becarios de Santo Tomas, an organization composed of University-funded scholars, despite the fact that he used his San Martin de Porres scholarship for only one semester in favor of the grant he earned from Philippe Lhuillier, Philippine Ambassador to Italy.

Before getting the scholarship, however, he had to endure nerve-racking interviews and rigorous screening processes.

He also became the university’s delegate to conferences in Europe and Thailand.

And despite the pressures of maintaining his scholarship and keeping up with school work, he never blamed his “excess load” for his sleepless nights.

“I joined these organizations because I enjoy the activities,” he said.

Quizado received the Outstanding Economics Graduate, Outstanding Commerce Graduate, and Benavides Outstanding Achievement awards.

Life after UST

Despite taking up Economics, Quizado despised being desk-bound. That was why, fresh off the toga in 2003, he passed up a business-oriented job with Citibank to work as a projects supervisor for Lhuillier.

“[During my stay there,] I came to see him as my father, and he treated me as a son,” said Quizado.

It was a dream job for Quizado, who often crisscrossed the country to oversee special projects and events in behalf of the Filipino businessman-diplomat.

“While I originally wanted to show my gratitude by working for them, I liked it that I got to travel a lot,” he said.

From 2005 to 2006, he worked as finance specialist and accounts receivable supervisor of Globe Telecoms and Samsung, respectively. Although the benefits were rewarding, he found his work draining and monotonous.

As he toyed with the idea of transferring to another job, he stumbled upon UA&P. His original intention was just to inquire about post-graduate scholarships in the Ortigas-based school, but he got an offer to work in the administration department from the school instead. He suddenly found himself employed and enrolled simultaneously.

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As executive assistant, Quizado’s job is to start whatever projects his superiors have planned. These range from research-based outlines and backgrounders to complicated analyses and proposals for the university’s operations.

Since his researches and studies are used for planning and management, Quizado always works under pressure of the deadline.

“My superiors are executives, thus they run by executive time,” he said.

Quizado is also part of UA&P’s mentorship program, wherein students are assigned a faculty or administration member who will guide them in the institution.

Several students are assigned to him at present. He helps them with their problems with time management and academics.

He is also working at UA&P for his Master’s degree, which he expects to finish next year.

On top of all that, he is a volunteer teacher at the Sarangani Study Center in Dos Castillas, Sampaloc, an advocacy he has maintained since his college days.

”The technique with a schedule as heavy as mine is time management,” Quizado said. “[Thanks to it,] I have a full-time salary, all the while I’m studying, and yet I still get to enjoy my social life.”

No longer intimidated by the campus that had dwarfed him as a boy, Quizado knows that his relationship with his alma mater is now more than just a simple childhood dream.

“I feel like UST has done so much for me,” he said. “In return, now that the University has brought me here to the corporate world, I try to promote UST the best way I can—through the quality of my work and the quality of my personality.”

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