On January 13, 2022, AIM welcomed 61 new students, comprising the biggest class of MDM to date, via an online convocation. The cohort is a mix of students with diverse backgrounds from government, private sector, non-profit, education, and health industries, representing eight (8) different countries.  A notable highlight is, for the first time in AIM’s history, females outnumber their male classmates.

The event was hosted by MDM 2021 alumni Carlo Enrico Santiago and Laurice Macapaz. An interfaith invocation, led by repesentative students from MDM 2022, served as a fitting start for the proceedings.

AIM President and Dean, Dr. Jikyeong Kang, gave an inspirational welcome message to the future impact leaders. Jikyeong highlighted that apart from the AIM education, they will also gain “friends for a lifetime”. These friends will be there to encourage each of them through their tough times during and after their AIM journey. Jikyeong also reminded them to leverage their learnings and the AIM network they will gain to make the greatest impact to society.

MDM Academic Program Director, Prof. Jammu Francisco, also gave an inspirational welcome message to MDM 2022. Prof. Jammu encouraged the students to look around the virtual caseroom and view their cohort as their source of different perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences that will add to their learning experience at AIM.

Mark ‘Macoy’ Rubio, School Manager of Stephen Zuellig School of Development Management, introduced the esteemed faculty who will mentor MDM 2022 throughout their AIM journey.

The convocation was graced by Mr. David Zuellig, Consul General ad Honorem of the Philippines to Monaco, Trustee at the Zuellig Family Foundation, Chairman of the Board at Z Healthcare Asia Holdings, and son of the late Stephen Zuellig, after whom AIM’s School of Development Management is named. He was accompanied by his wife, Dr. Hazel Paragua-Zuellig, President at Z Healthcare Asia Holdings, Board Director at Centre Medicale Internationale, Neurologist at Cardinal Santos Medical Center as well as a former MDM program director.

In his message to MDM 2022, Mr. Zuellig noted how the use of technology and artificial intelligence can have good and bad effects today and in the future. It will be up to the new set of development leaders to wield it to make the world a more equitable and better place for all. Mr. Zuellig also stated how, throughout the years, MDM alumni have always been ready to confront issues that greatly impact society, such as climate change, social inequality, radicalization, human rights, education, and many more. He commended them for bravely taking on these great challenges. He also reminded the students,

During the course you are about to begin, as you focus on learning about the dynamics about change, you may feel frustrated, inadequate, and helpless. Your efforts may seem like tiny drops, but with globalization and digital connectivity, ripples can become instantaneous tidal waves.”

In closing, Mr. Zuellig lauded AIM for all the ZSDM’s milestones that have made AIM a truly formidable participant in the field of development management.

We welcome the newest cohort of impact leaders. We look forward to engaging with you and welcoming you to the Alumni Relations Office’s events and activities!

words by Janelle Erika Corpuz-Santos

edited by Bernardino Jiao