Fresh Grad Problems

So it has come to this.

Nope, nothing really serious. I’m just referencing this xkcd comic that’s been making the rounds on various social networks.

Try it, it really works!

I’m just saying, it has come to a point where I actually have enough free time to start blogging again. That, coupled with the fact that I’m getting a little disoriented about what day it is, means only one thing:

Summer break has come. 

Except now is (hopefully) the last summer break I’ll ever have. You see, I just graduated. I won’t bore you with the details, but I survived an entire academic year on half the amount sleep I usually get, and managed the daunting task of finishing my thesis on time–all to achieve my ultimate goal of finally being a UP alumna!

And subsequently, being unemployed.

Now I know a lot of fresh graduates don’t have this problem because they were working students, and I admire them for that. I planned to be one myself, during my final year at the university–but my thesis got in the way. I wouldn’t have finished it on time if I had tried to do anything else which was remotely important.

So it has come to me sleeping in on a weekday, with enough free time to taint this blog with a nonsensical personal story. The thing is, I don’t think the glorified life of a bum is for me. A few months ago I would have killed for sleep, but now I realize that I’ve learned to live without much of it. I’m just itching for something to do. My room is almost spotless, and the kitchen sink misses its share of stacked dishes.

Fact: I did my thesis on workaholism–specifically, how workaholics experience happiness at work. I learned that the common theme among my interviewees was the sense of achievement they gained from doing their work well. Now I know how they feel. My idea of happiness right now is beating a deadline with flying colors.

So here’s to fresh starts and to hoping I’ll get a job by June, at the latest.

Maybe I should walk around Makati CBD with this sign.


If this blog has in any way convinced you that I’ll make for an interesting employee, you can view my resume at tiny.cc/rizzafortajada

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Life-Changing Buzz: How I Found UP Manila OrCom

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.

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The Social Support Network

We’re all familiar with how Facebook plays such a big part in our social and work life nowadays. Just last night, I was participating in three different meetings via Facebook groups—talk about a social media explosion. Important announcements, queries, and entire reports can be planned using FB groups when time doesn’t allow a face to face meeting.
But social networks aren’t all about stress for me. This particular sem, I personally experienced how Facebook can keep a senior student sane despite all the sleepless nights and deadlines.

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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:

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First Stop

This blog  promises to talk about organizational communication and social media. Such big words. So where do I begin?

Organizational communication, which happens to be my major, is quite hard to explain. Simply put, it deals with the processes of communication in all kinds of organizations–corporations, NGOs, non-profit organizations, etc. In reality though, it’s not simple at all.

Communication goes beyond public speaking, presentations, and group discussions. I particularly prefer viewing organizational communication (from now on referred to as OrCom) as a field in the social sciences. To understand how an organization communicates, we need to understand how the people in it think, act, and interact with each other.

Social media isn’t as hard to explain. Anyone who’s reading this is probably aware of–if not ever so slightly addicted to–social media. But this blog aims to explore what lies beyond the usual, all-too-personal realm of blogs and social networks. For the next five months (and a lifetime, perhaps) I will be sharing what I’ll learn about how organizations are adapting to one of the most revolutionary communication trends we’ve come across.

The Social Media Landscape

I won’t claim to be an expert. As my professor says, no one–not even digital marketing/PR companies–can claim to be an expert in something that has only been around for so many years.

The way I see it, social media is this unmapped metropolis which we’re all just learning to navigate. Organizations, just like individuals, are just learning where the right stops are; when to cross and when to stay put–and often they come by these lessons the hard way.

Personally, that’s how I learn best too. So join me in my commute, as I jaywalk from one story/insight/lesson to the next.