Posts Tagged ‘edmar de la torre’

ateneo mba defense

Looking back at the events of 2007, I count my MBA defense as one of the most significant.

February 12, Monday, was the date of my oral defense at the Ateneo Graduate School of Business (AGSB), the final academic requirement for my MBA degree. My Strategic Management (Strama) paper was entitled “Manila Jockey Club: Strategic Directions for Thoroughbred Racing”. It was exactly 100 pages, and had quite a few charts, tables, and photos. (“Be creative!” said my Strama professor, Albert Buenviaje.)

I had submitted my paper on the second deadline (Jan 20), 30 days after the first deadline. Prof Buenviaje told us that there would be a deduction of 0.5 from the grade for the paper for those who would submit on the second deadline. So I knew that the highest grade I could get for my paper would be 3.50.

My defense was for 2pm, and my panelists were Professors Buenviaje, Ralph Ante (my Quanti teacher), and Gary Grey (Infote, but I didn’t take him). I went to the Faculty Office to find out the room assigned to me, and there I saw Prof. Ante. He called my name and said, “Galing!” Just that. I said, “Hunh?” he smiled and said he was one of my panelists.

I figured he was referring to my paper, and I thought he was just being nice. But before my defense started, he complimented me again on my paper.

The presentation itself went quite well, considering that I had made the Powerpoint for it just two hours before! Talk about “procastination” and “unpreparedness.”

The entire thing, including Q&A, took only 45 mins (1 hour is the maximum time allowed). I was asked to step out for a minute, and when I returned to the room, my panelists showed me the grading sheet.

All 4.0 across the board! Prof. Buenviaje said that even if my paper was late, he was not going to deduct 0.5 and would give me the full 4.0 for my paper! and that was my final grade as well.

These are my professors’ comments:

Buenviaje and Grey: “Part owner ka ba ng MJC? Kasi the way you write it’s like you own the place. Alam mo lahat.”

Grey and Ante: “Galing, it’s the best paper I’ve read!”

Ante: “It’s the first time I have given a 4.0.”

Grey: “Are you going to write a book? Give me a copy, ha.”

Buenviaje: (big big big proud smile)

Far as I know, I am the only one in our batch that has been given 4.0 for both the paper and the defense. Of course I was very proud and happy. Just last week, one of my classmates, Edmar, told me that I was the only one of our batch who did not have to do a revision of the Strama paper.This is one of the biggest achievements in my life!

Edmar, Gina, Cynthia, me, and Wilma at our graduation ceremony at Ateneo – Loyola in August 2007.

Gina (my classmate) said she talked to Prof Buenviaje a couple of hours after my defense, and she told me that he was “super happy” with my performance. High praise indeed, since Prof Buenviaje is also the Assistant Dean of AGSB and the program director for Ateneo-Regis MBA (the program I took).

Okay, that wraps up that chapter of my life. My deepest thanks go to my sister Aya who paid for my tuition and, most of all, believed that her ate could do it; my kids for the support; my friends for all their help and encouragement. Thank you, all!

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ateneo gsb commencement 2007

Finally, nairaos din!

This was the sentiment of us graduates of the Ateneo Graduate School of Business (AGSB) of the Ateneo de Manila University at our Commencement Exercises held August 5, Sunday, at the Irwin Theater, AdMU-Loyola Campus in QC.

The activities started at 330 pm with a processional of graduates (by program) from the Grade School auditorium adjoining Irwin Theater. We trooped into the Theater as our professors waited by the doors, pride beaming on their faces.

I walked inside with Ik (Aya was waiting for Alex at UP, who was taking the UPCAT that same day) and took my seat in one of the center rows. We were arranged alphabetically and according to program (Standard, Middle Manager, Regis, Special-Allied Bank, Special-ADB, and so on).

As an honor graduate ( Silver Medalist), I was allowed two guests, with assigned seats near the stage. As I was first in line alphabetically, Ik got a good view of the proceedings and was seated near the aisle.

At 4pm, a Baccalaureate Mass was held, AdMU president Fr. Bienvenido Nebres, SJ, presiding. After the Mass, the altar was taken away and the stage curtains raised to reveal a beautiful set, all blue and gold and silver, covered with masses of real flowers – pink and red roses, yellow mums, red anthuriums, purple and blue blooms, green ferns and foliage, all in a riot of colors, almost as if we were in a garden.

The Commmencement Address was delivered by the former dean of AGSB and now dean of the Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health, Dr. Alfredo RA Bengzon. It was a stirring speech that reminded all us graduates of our school’s “value proposition” – “My Business, My Country”. Wherever we are, Dr. Bengzon reminded us, we can all make a difference towards positive change and growth for nation-building.

Next came the medal awarding ceremony. Again, alphabetically, I was the first one called forward to receive my silver medal from Fr. Nebres. Since Aya and Alex were still at UP, it was Ik who went up on stage with me, and afterwards hung my medal around my neck.

After all the awards were presented, next came the awarding of diplomas, by programs. Edmar (de la Torre), who was seated behind me, passed the word that we would all yell when Regis was announced. (Pasimuno talaga sa kalokohan.)

Sure enough, when it was our turn, we let out a chorus of yells and applause when AGSB Dean (and my Strama professor) Alberto Buenviaje called on the Regis graduates. We walked down the aisle (me in front again) shouting and clapping as everyone stared. By this time, Alex and Aya had arrived and just shook their heads at our kalokohan.

As I passed the faculty seated near the stage, I shrugged and told our Quanti prof, Prof. Ralph Ante, “Sir, pasaway talaga kahit kelan!” He said, “It’s normal!” meaning he knew our batch was up to its old antics as usual. See, none of the other programs were as loud and vocal. They were staid and boring, teehee. And to think most of them were younger than us Regis students.

We received our diplomas (original, in Latin), one by one, so it took time, but we were all very happy to finally end our MBA education with such joy and laughter. We ended on a tearful note with all the graduates, faculty, and staff singing the Ateneo Graduation Hymn “Mary For You” complete with battle chop.

The whole stirring ceremony inspired Ik so much that she wants to go to Ateneo – and nowhere else – for college! Alex will be taking the exams for Ateneo soon; hopefully she will pass them and receive the Jesuit training that I am proud to have experienced.

Congratulations, 2007 MBA graduates of the AGSB! Primus inter pares!

Our barkada and batchmates – (L-R) Capt. Edmar de la Torre , Gina Matawaran (gold medal), Cynthia Jose, me, Wilma Torralba.


My MBA ring. I chose a blue sapphire (an Ateneo color) for the stone.


One side of the ring has the Ateneo Eagle; the other, St. Ignatius of Loyola at prayer, along with the year of my graduation and the degree.

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