Life-Changing Buzz: How I Found UP Manila OrCom
October 12, 2011 3 Comments
Here’s a detail I might have forgotten to tell: OrCom was a big cross-over for me. As I’ve mentioned, I wasn’t originally an OrCom major—I got into UP Manila as a Computer Science major (how I got a decent Math score in that UPCAT, I will never know). After a year and a half, I decided that I was in the wrong station, so to speak. I realized that Computer Science wasn’t going to take me where I really wanted to go, so after literally tearful dinners spent persuading my parents to let me shift, I finally had their blessing.
I knew right away where I wanted to go. In true OrCom style, I had planned for weeks before pitching the whole idea of shifting to my parents. Here’s the story of how buzz (as discussed in Emmanuel Rosen’s The Anatomy of Buzz Revisited) changed my life by introducing me to UP Manila OrCom.
The Trigger / Secondhand Buzz
The trigger for me wasn’t necessarily from the OrCom brand. When my blockmates (including my first ever UPM friend and pseudo-twin brother Jama) and I were discussing shifting options, OrCom came up. I was initially interested because communication was always my first love. Secondhand buzz from my blockmates and non-OrCom friends motivated me to find out more about this program that I initially didn’t choose (because honestly, Organizational Communication sounds boring to a course-hunting high school senior).
Expert Hubs Providing Insight
Next, I turned to OrCom students who I knew, or even those who knew people I knew, to have my questions about OrCom answered. Rosen refers to these people as expert hubs—people who talk more because they know a lot about the subject. In this case, I tuned in not only on offline buzz, but also on online buzz, particularly one generated by one OrCom alumnus’s blog post (Erica later on laughs at how snobbish my comment to her sounds. I just meant to ask if she was the Erica I knew from our org).
The comments section of that blog turned into a thread of current OrCom majors and alumni talking about the program, sharing news, and answering questions of OrCom wannabes. In this sense, they were able to insights on what people wanted to know about OrCom—especially about career options, which was one of the main points I wanted to know more about to make a stronger case for my parents. That blog post was an aha moment for me. After going though all the comments, and piecing together all the stories I heard—oh wait, right, the stories!
Stories and the Power of Participation
OrCom majors love to tell stories. During my information gathering phase, I heard so much about the excellent (albeit toxic), fabulous, hilarious, and infinitely interesting professors; the PR plans and the debates; the papers and the readings; and of course, the parties. And these stories were so well-told, I wanted to experience them for myself (well maybe not the papers and the readings, but they came with the package).
My point, is that of all the courses in our college, OrCom has the proudest, loudest students. Just last OrCom Week, we had a lot of fun creating tweets for the #iloveorcom twitter campaign. Mine even won me free passes to Liquid Bar (thanks OrCom juniors!). We’re always willing to find new and creative ways to spread the word about our course.
So after going though all the comments, and piecing together all the stories I heard, I had an aha moment one afternoon, and I knew this was perfect for me—you know, like how they tell it in sappy love stories. OrCom won me over through buzz.
The Bottomline: OrCom Is a Contagious Product
At the end of the day, as with any campaign, the thing that gets people talking—more than contests or any crazy antic—is a good product. And OrCom is excellent. We know how much it has helped us, and how much we love and enjoy being here. Honestly, I’ve never been more proud of any academic affiliation as I am of this course. I’m glad that out of a roomful of people who took that exam, and those 20+ who braved the panel interview that summer, I and and my shiftee friends got in.
I’m grateful for the buzz that led me here. And this post—the last in this blog for a while—is an attempt at adding to that buzz. To anyone who might be reading this and wondering if OrCom is any good, take my word for it. It’ll change your life.