Mythbusted: 5 Things You Thought You Knew About UP Manila OrCom

We all know how it is. There’s a party / dinner / reunion of some sort and some family friend / relative you don’t even know ends up in the same table / spot / boring predicament as you and decides to strike up a conversation.

RP: So are you working?

Me: No, I’m still in college. One more year to go.

RP: Oh, great. What school?

Me: UP Manila.

[RP either knows about UPM and is impressed, or doesn’t know and we start a conversation about how UP Manila is not the newest “branch” of UP Diliman.]

RP: What are you taking up?

Me: Organizational Communication.

RP: What’s that?

There goes the million dollar question. I’ve had these conversations not just with family friends and relatives, but also with course-hunting high school students, HR personnel, my neighbors, my hair cutter, and one or two jeepney drivers–who, for some reason, feel the right be involved in the personal decisions I make.

Usually I size the person up (I’m judgmental like that) and adjust my definition based on how I think of them. It’s not that I look down on certain people–it’s just that I want to inform them based on what they’re interested in.

What I often do is to cater to the FAQs of my degree program. After more or less 2 years of these interviews, here are some myths–and the corresponding shocking facts–about OrCom:

1. Organizational communication is basically the same as mass communication (and all communication courses for that matter).

If you ever remember anything from this blog, let it be this: OrCom is not Mass Comm.

The latter is more concerned about media, mostly. However, I’m no expert because I don’t major in it. We, however, focus on analyzing and improving internal and external communication in organizations. We’re the experts on how organizations work (wink).

2. Graduates of OrCom don’t have a lot of job opportunities.

Boy, do we have opportunities. We land jobs in advertising, public relations, marketing, media, human resources–and these are just the usual ones. Some are in foreign service, finance, or banking; a professor of mine even worked as an analyst, after some training in programming and IT.

The main reason why we’re everywhere is that we can adapt. Communication skills are a handy thing to have, and the work ethic which our professors instill in us (through a multitude of requirements) gives us a competitive edge.

3. Even if you do get a job, you won’t earn much.

I’m sure that not all alumni of the program are swimming in cash at this moment, but from what I’ve heard, OrCom makes for a good living. I know a recent graduate of the program who now enjoys a high-paying job in a multinational company. Some graduates also set up their own businesses and thrive in doing so. OrCom majors who excel at what they do reach top management soon enough, which makes them rich in both experience and cold, hard cash.

4. You don’t need a college degree to be good in organizational communication.

Yeah, that’s what I thought, too. I figured I could just wing it, if I ever wanted a career in this field. So as my first choice, I took up Computer Science–you know, something you actually have to spend four college years on.

After making the leap to OrCom though, I was almost immediately swamped with reams of readings on sociology, communication, theories on organizations, and so much more. The lesson I learned is that I do need to learn. While it’s true that some people might have a natural talent for communication or relating to people, all that needs to be honed, in the same way that anyone with an interest in Lego has to take up engineering before he or she can start planning actual buildings.

We started out curious, confused, and filled with potential–but in several months’ time, we will graduate well-equipped and ready to be professionals. And we have our professors to thank for it.

5. OrCom in UP Manila is very easy compared to the health and science courses.

Have I mentioned the reams of reading material we have? Aside from that, we have research papers to write, case studies to create, campaigns to plan and execute, seminars to attend–we even have these blogs to develop.

I’m not underestimating the sheer effort and intelligence of those who major in health and science courses. I’m just trying to discredit the notion which leads students to “settle” for OrCom for the sake of being in UP Manila. It’s a different type of work that we do, but we don’t take it lightly either.

OrCom is not a walk in the park. It’s a rush hour commute from university life to the workplace–except your co-passengers are great to be with, and professors can drive you to where you want to be without acting like bastards (99% of the time, that is).

About rz fortajada
20, Student | Frustrated Rockstar | Part-time Ninja Turtle | Blogger

6 Responses to Mythbusted: 5 Things You Thought You Knew About UP Manila OrCom

  1. Pattydc says:

    “The main reason why we’re everywhere is that we can adapt. Communication skills are a handy thing to have, and the work ethic which our professors instill in us (through a multitude of requirements) gives us a competitive edge.”

    —it’s not only about the communication skills. It’s about our understanding of communication altogether. We understand how messages are created, delivered and absorbed by different people, and so we know how to package information given let’s say a target audience. That’s why we’re good in advertising and managing brands, reputations and [yes] even people. πŸ™‚

  2. Maine says:

    Ate RZ. I guess we (orcom people) can relate to this post soo much. We all had moments where we have to explain ourselves everytime we are asked about our course. Sometimes i get tired of having to repeat it every conversation (especially to the same people who keeps on forgetting my course), sometimes I feel proud every once in a while when some people who asked already know about orcom and there are those know-it-all people who says I should’ve took up IT instead because it is in demand?!!. NO WAY! haha

    But then again, Im still (and will always will be) proud to be Orcom! And everytime I’ll be asked about my course and just link them to your blog. HAHA. but seriously, this one is good!

  3. insightsandactions says:

    There are a lot more doubts that some people have. And maybe some people find it hard to understand OrCom, since it’s a relatively new course.

    With this kind of society, we OrCom majors should be taking on the responsibility of making OrCom known, getting messages across to the people. We have been equipped with skills and knowledge that will help us bridge gaps and to make a lot of connections. So we should put these learnings to use, and maximize the results in the best way we can.

    That’s the essence of OrCom, anyway.

  4. “Graduates of OrCom don’t have a lot of job opportunities.”
    Yes, ofcourse we do have a lot of that! It could even be one of the possible dilemmas OrCom students would have after graduation. And as for me, I think it would be..hehe

    Still as OrCom students, wherever we would be in the future, we know that we are well equipped, we could adapt and we have the competency to the whatever it is at hand. =)

    “million dollar question” (lol, =D)…but so right! People could be clueless, judgemental, etc but we would always be ready to drive them to understand our course and take them for a glimpse somewhere along the road of OrCom.

    Good job busting the myths Rz! (^_^)

  5. commrehab says:

    I think it’s amazing how people can be critical (sometimes even faultfinding) about an unfamiliar concept. I mean, I bet half of these people does not know what an ECE graduate does after college. As OrCom people, it’s really just up to us to not only meet expectations but exceed them.

    OrCom is not Mass Comm -YES. THANK YOU.

  6. Brian says:

    Whenever ‘ordinary’ people (yeah, I’m judgmental like that too) asked me what I course I was taking, I used to answer, “Communication.” I have learned through being asked the same question several times that putting “organizational” before “communication” somewhat confuses them. hahaha But now, I answer with pride that I am taking up organizational communication. πŸ˜€

    And yeah, it’s soooo different from mass comm. πŸ™‚

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