2020 was dubbed “the year when nothing went according to plan”. That very much reflects the situation the Alumni Relations Office (ARO), and the whole Institute, found itself in. When the Philippine government announced a General Community Quarantine, AIM was quick to act, making the safety of the students, staff, faculty, and stakeholders its primary concern.
Thanks to forward thinking that equipped the Institute with a Business Continuity Plan, operations were quickly shifted online, including the delivery of classes for all programs. Without missing a beat, staff promptly adapted to the Work From Home arrangement while the students and faculty embraced online learning and teaching, respectively.
Here then is a recap of alumni activities and events in 2020:
Under normal circumstances, January is a very hectic month for ARO. The first month of the year ushers in the final push and preparations for the Grand Alumni Homecoming that is held every February. Aside from Homecoming preparations, ARO opened the year with a breakfast forum featuring Arch. Eugene Tan, a feng shui expert, as the featured speaker. Alumni and company partners’ interest was apparent as we exceeded our target participation for the event. Students and staff were likewise intrigued by the topic of the talk and were present at the forum. Arch. Tan generously shared his expertise in his presentation and in the Q+A, much to the audience’s delight.
January 29 – Brewing@AIM with Arch. Eugene Tan, Feng Shui Expert
February is known to the Institute as Alumni Homecoming month. Several events were lined-up for alumni coming in from different parts of the world. The first scheduled activity was the Homecoming Golf Tournament, organized by MBM 2000 as the host batch, and held at the very exclusive and prestigious The Country Club. The golf tournament attracted a record number of alumni participants from all programs.
With the rising cases of the Novel Corona Virus Disease (CoViD-19) in neighboring countries, other homecoming events, such as very popular alumni masterclasses, the symposium on the 4th Industrial Revolution organized by the golden jubilarians of MBM 70, and the Grand Alumni Homecoming itself, were cancelled as a precautionary measure to protect the health and safety of alumni who were coming from all parts of the globe. The only other event that pushed through was the Triple A awards of FAIM, under the leadership of Nikhil Kamath.
The Triple A 2020 winners were:
- Dr. Haji Zulkifly Baharom (MM 1989), CEO and Executive Coach/Facilitator at Sejahtera Leadership Initiative (SLI)
- June Cheryl Cabal-Revilla (MBM 2000), SVP/Group Controller at PLDT, Inc. and CFO at Smart Communications
- Ruperto Nicdao Jr. (MBM 1977), President at Manila Broadcasting Company
- Radha Paudel (MDM 2010), CEO/Founder of Global South Coalition got Dignified Menstruation
- Dr. Malini Shankar (MDM 1991), Member and Board of Director at IL&FS and Group Companies
- Adille Sumariwalla (EMBA 2003), Founder/Managing Director at Inter Space Communications Pvt. Ltd.
- Kamrul Hasan Tarafder (ME 2003), President & CEO at ASA Philippines Foundation
February 10 – Alumni Homecoming Golf Tournament
Watch event same day edit here > https://www.facebook.com/theluminastudio/videos/518072415777011/
February 27 – Triple A Awarding Ceremony
Watch the highlight video here > https://aimleader.aim.edu/triple-a-awarding-ceremony-2020/
The sudden shift to a virtual setting happened when the Philippine government announced a nationwide lockdown. AIM followed suit and issued a work-from-home arrangement for all faculty and staff.
To help the nation’s frontliners in their heroic efforts to combat the pandemic and prevent its further transmission, ARO partnered with Team Energy Center for Bridging Leadership and provided the promotional material and circulation support for Puhon: A Ben&Ben Fundraising Online Concert.
The pandemic has not stopped the AIM community from doling out good news and inspiring stories through numerous impactful initiatives. To lift our spirits and celebrate the many ways the staff, faculty, students, and alumni actively shared their expertise, resources, and networks to help mitigate the debilitating effects of Covid-19, ARO wrote and put together stories of solidarity, determination, and the Bayanihan spirit through the One AIM News Bayanihan Newsletter. To date, we have published nine issues. You may browse through them via this link: https://aimleader.aim.edu/aim-news/
By the month of May, webinars and other online projects were in full swing. AIM organized its first ever virtual hackathon to generate innovative solutions to help address three challenges that Philippine business and society will face post COVID-19: Food Security, Jobs and the Future of Work, and Support for MSMEs.
May 18 – Bayanihan@AIM:Restarting the Philippine Business and Society After Covid-19 Hackathon Finals
Read about the event here > https://aimleader.aim.edu/aim-news/one-aim-news-issue-no-6/
Singapore alumni started organizing the new chapter and partnered with the Alumni Relations Office to present a series of webinars via the aptly named Thought Leadership Series. This ran from May up until July.
NAIMAS Thought Leadership Series
By this time, online events were held left and right. ARO organized an exclusive webinar for the Indonesian alumni chapter, Ikatan Alumni AIM Indonesia, with Dr. Ir. Kartika Antono at the helm, to share best offensive and defensive practices for companies during and after the pandemic. The webinar featured the very popular Prof. Rene Domingo, whose lessons and strategies for companies to survive and thrive in the pandemic have attracted many followers, especially among alumni.
June 4 – Defensive and Offensive Strategies in the Pandemic and Post-Pandemic Environment with Prof. Rene Domingo
As Covid-19 cases continued to increase in different parts of the world, ARO, together with MBM 1980, partnered to present a webinar to share with alumni all the facts and misconceptions about the virus, including the developments of the vaccines. Former Regional President of Pfizer, Mr. Gerry Bacarro, gave a masterful presentation that was warmly received and appreciated by alumni.
June 25 – Covid-19: Everything You Need to Know About the Virus and Prospects for a Vaccine with Gerry Bacarro (MBM 1980)
With everyone going digital and online, the Alumni Association of AIM Philippine chapter, under the leadership of Mr. Roberto Manabat, partnered with ARO in a series of webinars that lasted until September. The series was kickstarted by a Data Science and Artificial Intelligence webinar. The webinar featured Prof. Chris Monterola, School Head of Aboitiz School of Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship and two alumni from MSDS 2019, Marwell Dalangin and Allan Timonera.
July 2 – Leveraging Data Science and AI in the New Normal
Watch the webinar recording here > https://aimleader.aim.edu/leveraging-data-science-and-ai-in-the-new-normal/
One of the most well-received events for 2020 was the Federation of AIM Alumni (FAIM) General Assembly with the Institute’s President and Dean, Dr. Jikyeong Kang.
August 5 – FAIM General Assembly with AIM President and Dean, Dr. Jikyeong Kang
August 18 – The Future of Banking for Businesses ft. Pia Tayag of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and Jaypee Soliman of Unionbank
Watch the webinar recording here > https://www.facebook.com/33308238802/videos/778543256224557
August 26 –Impact of the New Normal on Logistics ft. Prof. Rene Domingo and Juan Miguel Santamaria of DHL Global Forwarding (Phils.)
Watch the webinar recording here > https://www.facebook.com/33308238802/videos/931066227392385
September 9 – Thriving and Living It Under a Better Normal ft. Eugene Acevedo and Engr. Jun Exaltacion
Watch the webinar recording here > https://aimleader.aim.edu/thriving-and-living-it-under-a-better-normal/
September 23 – Philippine Broadcasting Reality Checks: Amidst the Pandemic and Pivot to Digitalization ft. Jun Nicdao and Lito Yabut
Watch the webinar recording here > https://aimleader.aim.edu/philippine-broadcast-industry-reality-checks-amidst-the-pandemic-and-pivot-to-digitalization/
ARO held its first virtual Brewing@AIM and what better way do it than with Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko” Domagoso! The event was attended by over 1000 participants via Zoom and Facebook. With his well-thought out plans for the City of Manila, Mayor Isko proved he is a top draw and one of the country’s leading politicians.
October 1 – First virtual Brewing@AIM with Manila Mayor Francisco ‘Isko’ Domagoso
Watch the event recording here > https://aimleader.aim.edu/brewingaim-with-hon-mayor-francisco-isko-domagoso/
October 28 – ARO-AIMCI Maximize Design Thinking For You
To introduce AIM Consulting, Inc. (AIMCI) to alumni, ARO and AIMCI collaborated and presented a very first webinar in design thinking, featuring Prof. Richard Cruz and Prof. Rico Camus.
October 30 – Network of AIM Alumni in Singapore (NAIMAS) Launch
Capping off the month of October, the Network of AIM Alumni in Singapore (NAIMAS) had its grand, official launch via zoom. The event was well-attended by the NAIMAS Chairman and Vice Chairman, Executive Committee Officers, and Members as well as AIM Chairman Peter Garrucho, AIM President and Dean Dr. Jikyeong Kang and ARO Executive Managing Director Bernie Jiao. Visit NAIMAS’ website here: https://www.naimas.sg/
Read more about it here > https://aimleader.aim.edu/alumni-news/aim-alumni-in-singapore-officially-launch-naimas/
Before 2020 ended, ARO again invited Mr. Gerry Bacarro, MBM 1980 and Former Regional President of Pfizer, to give an update on CoVid-19 vaccines. Just as he did with his previous presentation, Gerry provided a masterful discussion about the topic, which gave alumni important information about all aspects of the currently available vaccines.
December 11 – Covid19 Vaccines: Why, How, What and When featuring Mr. Gerry Bacarro
Watch the event recording here > https://aimleader.aim.edu/covid-19-vaccines-why-how-what-and-when/
To say 2020 was unexpected is an understatement. But here’s hoping we get a better 2021! We hope that you will continue to support AIM and ARO’s activities in this new year. We look forward to holding the Grand Alumni Homecoming as well as other events and activities to provide the social and life-long learning needs of alumni.
words by Janelle Erika Santos | edited by Bernardino Jiao