WHILE most of the graduating students are hyped up, preparing for their graduations, most of the juniors are busy finding a company or an institution that will accept them for on-the-job training. Many juniors try to put all their achievements in their two-page resumé. They make it as good as possible so that the HRD manager of the company will be impressed. They dress in corporate attires to look smart and respectable. All these they do to be taken in.

But what is practicum really for?

Many people who don’t know anything about practicums particularly the students who don’t have any practicum units in their courses say that it’s just a waste of time and energy. You’ll just supposedly spend your 200 hours doing nothing worthwhile – operating a photocopying machine, sending fax messages, receiving phone calls, and making coffee for the boss–is not exactly the training students want to obtain.

Being a Communication Arts junior, I am really having a hard time finding a company that will accept me. I tried to apply in the top agencies but most of them had an early closure date for OJT applicants. I guess I was too late in passing my resumé. I should have done that as early as September last year.

I applied last month in Adphoto. It would really be an honor for me if I got accepted in the leading advertising photography agency here in the Philippines. But after I was interviewed by its general manager, I got confused on what I really wanted to have as a profession in the future. She made me think if I really wanted to be a photographer for the rest of my life.

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One thing I have learned from her is that I should be proud and happy in all the things that I do. She said: “It doesn’t matter if you work as a janitor. But as long as you do good and be the best janitor there is, then it will be something that you can be proud of.”

The interview turned out to be a counseling session for me. She made me realize that practicums generally should be taken wholeheartedly and seriously and not only as a course requirement. She said that one should really enjoy what one is doing in life to be successful. One should have the passion in doing the things that one does because only with passion can something be executed well.

Well, I owe Mrs. Harvey Chua one. She reminded me the most essential thing in life is happiness. She made me realize how important it is to be happy in what I do to be successful.

Generally speaking, practicums are aimed at introducing students to the real world that when they graduate, they will not be like strangers in the forest. They could also serve as an eye opener on one’s fitness to carry out a chosen profession.

To all the graduating students, good luck. And to all the juniors, may you be able to gain the needed experience you are searching for.

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