February is always a significant month for AIM alumni as it is the time when friendships, connections, and acquaintances are rekindled at the annual Grand Alumni Homecoming. But just like in the past year, the pandemic prevented us from holding the 2021 Homecoming as well as Homecoming Week events in person. In lieu of face to face events, the Alumni Relations Office (ARO) worked hard to keep the tradition alive by bringing two of the most-loved homecoming activities, the alumni masterclasses and the homecoming night, online.
Three masterclasses were held on the week of February 22, 2021. The first was an exclusive masterclass for MBM 1971, this year’s golden jubilarians, which was magnificently facilitated by Prof. Poch Macaranas. Twenty eight members of MBM 71, some from the US and Australia, were thrilled to be given the opportunity to relive their caseroom experience and see each other again. Many are retired top executives and businesspeople who have experienced managing at the highest levels.
To ensure they enjoy and learn from the masterclass, Prof. Macaranas employed a novel pedagogy by using the award-winning Korean film “Parasites” as case material. All attendees were required to watch the movie prior to the class, and Prof. Poch provided them a framework as learning guide to resolve the trilemma offered by the story.
As it was during their students days, the class divided themselves into their original can groups to discuss, analyze, and prepare their presentations. The class tackled the case with much gusto, the can groups meeting several times to make sure the analyses were spot on and the presentations polished. True enough, the class discussion was lively and full of insights, and the class members evidently enjoyed the class participation, which brought back happy memories from their MBA days.
Here’s what went down during the MBM 71 masterclass on February 24, 2021:
MBM 1971 Online Masterclass with Prof. Poch Macaranas
In the end, our golden jubilarians were delighted not only to see their batchmates albeit virtually, but more importantly, they also were able to experience firsthand how online classes are conducted by AIM during this time of the pandemic. Here are some of the verbatim feedback ARO received from MBM 1971:
“Truly appreciate the effort of ARO to hold the masterclass. Also the openness to modify process to suit our class without sacrificing the learning and the fun.”
“Glad to be living in this techno-world of today, and having been hatched in the best learning nest of all time–AIM!!”
Online Alumni Masterclass with Prof. Richard Cruz
At AIM’s 50th Anniversary celebration in 2018, Prof. Richard Cruz was voted by alumni as one of AIM’s Most Favorite Professors. It was a no-brainer then for ARO to invite him to facilitate a masterclass that was open to all alumni. It was also no surprise when ARO received almost 300 sign-ups to attend his class on February 24, 2021.
Prof. Cruz started his session with an emotional disclosure about crossing over to the MDM program to teach Impact Investing so future development leaders can generate and invest funds to create the biggest social and environmental impact while realizing capital returns. It was a great moment that many of the alumni in class applauded and appreciated.
Moving on, Prof. Richard uttered the words all alumni know too well, “Who wants to open the case?”, kicking off another animated discussion about the issues presented in the case that Prof. Richard purposely chose for the masterclass.
You can watch the recording here to experience the masterclass: https://aimleader.aim.edu/online-alumni-masterclass-with-prof-richard-cruz/
Further into the session, the class broke out into learning teams. Since the participants graduated from different programs and batches, the groupings were made at random. Attendees were given roughly thirty (30) minutes to discuss the case in more detail.
With the technology available today, alumni from different parts of the world were able to join the masterclass. Aside from those in the Philippines, alumni from Europe, North America, and other parts of Asia also participated. They expressed their excitement at being able to join the homecoming activities, which they would have otherwise missed if these were face to face activities. Many of them were already looking forward to the next sessions. Here are some of the feedback we received from the attendees:
“Richard can carry the weight to leverage the development school towards impact investing.”
“Great masterclass of Asian Institute of Management. Prof Rich Cruz was a lively host, guide, educator, facilitator… the image of impact investing and the world it hopes to build is inspiring and is the need of our Time. Hope to join more forums on impact investing and rebuilding the Filipino Nation one Person at a Time.”
“It was a good session and exchange of ideas.”
Online Alumni Masterclass with Profs. Junbo Borromeo and Titos Ortigas
It was Profs. Junbo Borromeo and Titos Ortigas’ turn to jointly facilitate the last masterclass for Homecoming Week on February 26. As two of AIM’s most senior and longest tenured professors, Profs. Junbo and Titos commanded a great following from among alumni. This was evident from the 295 alumni who signed up for the class.
Just as it was with the previous masterclasses, the case discussion was lively and scholarly. Many of the attendees were eager to flex their CP power and gave deep insights into the issues surrounding the case. Attendees were also divided into can groups or learning teams to fully analyze and debate the case.
All in all, the participants had a great time learning and virtually interacting with the professors and fellow alumni. Here are some the feedback we received:
“Mabuhay ang AIM! AIM is life changing; thank you to HMB Prof Titos RLC Dean RAL and all of our professors!”
“Thank you for the opportunity to learn from our great professors and alumni.”
“I did enjoy the ambiance of meeting the new batch of AIM graduates, here and abroad. Learning from them and sharing my own perssonal experiences. Nice meeting my classmate Titos and my one and dearest professor “intimidator” Junbo, who still looks the debonair and good dresser guy, I used to admire!”
Virtual Homecoming Night 2021
To cap off the first-ever virtual homecoming week in the history of AIM, ARO segued to the Virtual Homecoming Night following Profs. Junbo Borromeo and Titos Ortigas’ masterclass. The event started with a welcome message from Bernie Jiao, ARO Executive Managing Director.
Alumni chapter heads from all over the world were introduced to the alumni community. Each one gave an inspiring address as well as an update of their respective chapters’ current programs and initiatives. The chapter heads who were present are the following:
Also present during the event were some of the Institute’s esteemed Professors and alumni favorites. Each one gamely took center stage and gave heartfelt messages to the alumni. Many of them stayed throughout the virtual event and interacted with the alumni through the break out rooms. This served as the highlight of the celebration.
Here are the professors who attended the virtual Homecoming:
After the professors’ messages, Homecoming 2020 Chairman Raffy David updated the alumni about the activities that his class organized prior to the lockdown. These included two (2) outstanding events: a sold out fund-raising kick-off dinner at Kazunori and the annual homecoming golf tournament at The Country Club. As much as everybody wants to have the physical homecoming, the safety and health of everyone is always the priority and the event will happen as soon as it is safe to do so.
The event ended with an AIM Trivia Quiz using Kahoots. Questions were comprised of fun facts about the Institute and ARO projects and programs. This was ARO’s way of sharing with the alumni community the latest updates about AIM and the alumni office.
The top three (3) winners won premium AIM items such as backpacks, glass flash drive, laptop sleeves and many more. Here are the lucky alumni who won the game:
- Champion – Dein Lopez, EMBA 2018
- 1st Runner-up – Kim and Kislay Chandra, MBA 2018
- 2nd Runner-up – Earwin Belen, MSIB 2021
We would like to thank everyone who participated in the first-ever Virtual Homecoming Week. We are hopeful that we will get to celebrate the next homecoming week in person. Thank you and stay safe!
words by Janelle Erika Corpuz-Santos | edited by Bernardino Jiao