Category Archives: Experiences Abroad

Re-engineering Journalism at Stanford

Repost from my Philippine Daily Inquirer Article: http://lifestyle.inquirer.net/162227/reengineering-journalism-at-stanford

“What I think people should take away from Silicon Valley is a great sense of openness, optimism, a sense of possibility, a willingness to try and to learn by doing and a willingness to experiment. Don’t be afraid to fail and I think that’s a really important lesson to take away from Silicon Valley.” – John Temple, former managing editor of the Washington Post

With the JSK Director

With the JSK Director

Each year, around 20 journalists are chosen to become John S. Knight Fellows. The Knight Fellows take on the challenge of pushing boundaries and creating products that will help improve the quality of information reaching the public!

By taking advantage of the different classes and opportunities in both Stanford and Silicon Valley, the Knight fellows are able to explore a variety of fields and be exposed to new ways of approaching journalism.

When I found out that these fellows would be presenting their yearlong projects in an event called, “Re-engineering Journalism”, I knew I couldn’t miss this chance to attend an evening of innovation!

Re-engineering Journalism

In the past few years, technology has changed the way we consume information. A lot of people now get their news from social media platforms on their smartphones and on a go. As a result, journalism has continued to evolve. Continue reading

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What I Learned From the Wharton Business Plan Competition

What I Learned From the Wharton Business Plan Competition

When I found out that I would be visiting UPenn a month ago, I immediately went straight to Google and searched for possible events I could attend. And there it was the Wharton Business Plan Competition was being held on May 1 in the Huntsman Hall at the University of Pennsylvania. After sorting out a few scheduling details with my dad, it was set; I would be able to attend the event.

I'll be back in the Huntsman Hall next year!!

I’ll be back in the Huntsman Hall next year!!

And so when the day finally arrived, I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect. Going through the website of the Wharton Business Plan Competition, the finalists seemed to have some really promising ideas. Moments later, there I was sitting in the auditorium listening to the speakers.

At first, it didn’t feel quite right. The auditorium was packed with graduate students and people who looked like they had a backpack full of experience with them already. But I quickly realized that this is it. This is what the business world looks like. This is what I’ve been dreaming of in the past year. This is where I want to be.

When the presentations started, I was honestly a bit overwhelmed by all the data, credentials and what the businesses have done already. But this is the beauty in these events; as an incoming college freshman, it was an invaluable learning experience for me and a preview of the world I’ll hopefully be able to enter one day.

Building a well-rounded team

When the team leaders started introducing their team members and the people who have helped them in the process, you could really see that every member had a unique skillset that really contributed to the team. The winning team Slidejoy boasted students who have gotten multiple degrees from both Wharton and Stanford. But more importantly, they all had a set of important tasks.

The winning team of the Wharton Business Plan Competition, SlideJoy

The winning team of the Wharton Business Plan Competition, SlideJoy

Importance of Networking

During the breaks and networking sessions, you could really see people go at it, discuss ideas, share thoughts and exchange business cards. And true enough, when the presentations resumed, I suddenly started seeing how important this aspect was as the teams presented their current client bases and how they were able to get them to jump in their start-up ventures.

I even got to sit beside this founder and CEO who told me why he was there, and it was quite simple, “I’m here to build connections, network and at the same time, scout for talent.” Continue reading

Businesses That Caught My Eye in the Wharton Business Plan Competition Venture Finals

Businesses that caught my eye in the Wharton Business Plan Competition Venture Finals

Just recently, I attended the Wharton Business Plan Competition Venture Finals. Every one of the finalists’ business ideas was all really amazing but there were three businesses in particular that really caught my eye. These were SlideJoy, Identified Technologies and AdmitSee – all for very different reasons.

SlideJoy giving their elevator pitch to the audience! ---"Knowledge is the muscle of Business" ---

SlideJoy giving their elevator pitch to the audience! —“Knowledge is the muscle of Business” —

SlideJoy — “You get paid to view ads”

Whenever we see ads popping out in websites or our smartphones, we never really click them. And during the times we do, it’s probably by accident. This is the problem alot of companies face in trying to promote their products. Enter SlideJoy and their very creative solution to this problem — pay people to view these ads.

This is what SlideJoy was pushing for, and it was probably one of the reasons why they ended up winning the entire competition. I mean, they just basically went against all odds and created an application that pays you to click on ads?? Talk about innovation! If I had an Android phone, I’d make sure to get this app!

SlideJoy - "You get paid to view ads!"

SlideJoy – “You get paid to view ads!”

Find out more on how you can get paid for swiping on the advertisments on your lock-screen by checking out their website at: https://www.getslidejoy.com/about and don’t forget to start downloading SlideJoy!! Continue reading

8 Tips for Students Looking to Apply Abroad (From an applicant who just went through the process)

Looking back at the past year and what I went through during the application process, I can say that CAMP Philippines and my CAMP mentor really helped me in myriad of ways that I will forever be thankful for.

A few days ago, I got a chance to visit my CAMP mentor Chris Dee who is currently a junior at Yale. At one point, we ended up exchanging notes on the application process, synthesizing my experience (what worked well for me), talking about what CAMP has done for all the mentees and underclassmen and just going over the rising college-abroad scene in the Philippines and our role as “Illustrados.”

(CAMP has a super duper helpful guide for people interested in studying abroad (all the essentials are here): http://www.campphilippines.org/uploads/1/2/3/6/12362897/_camp_college_app_guide.pdf

With my CAMP mentor in the Yale, New Haven campus

With my CAMP mentor in the Yale, New Haven campus

I still remember going through the process like it was yesterday. The college application process was an experience in itself, filled with countless of highs and lows. And in between all those were valuable lessons I learned that I wish to share with you guys as you go through the process yourselves!

Top 8 Tips for Students Looking to Apply Abroad

  1. Enjoy the Process; Treat it like a Game –As you start thinking about applying abroad, it’s inevitable that you will become busier than ever. To add to your academics and countless of meetings already, you will have to study for the SATs, write your essays and find ways to stand-out and boost your application.

Since you will go through it anyway, might as well stay positive and enjoy the process. The best way to do this is really treating the college application process like a (video) game with you trying to improve his score (SAT score?) and finding ways to make it to the next level! And besides, believe it or not, some of your best memories will come from the fact that you’re applying abroad!

An extremely helpful SAT guide: https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/sat-preparation/955109-silverturtle-s-guide-to-sat-and-admissions-success.html Continue reading

2013 – A year of lows, A year of highs, A YEAR TO REMEMBER!

I sit here wondering how Christmas could fly by so quickly this year that I didn’t even feel the Christmas vibes at all. Then suddenly, it’s just a few hours before the start of the new year then it’s already the new year, yet how did I spend this day and the last few days at that? Glued to my laptop, drafting up essay after essay in search for the perfect combination of words that would encapsulate my first 18 years of living as I wrote my personal statements for college applications.

I guess that as this year comes to a close and another new year starts, it’s just right that I actually take a break first from finishing all my College applications and pause for a moment to look back at what an incredible year it has been.

A year of extreme lows and extreme highs, a year like no other indeed :)

A year of extreme lows and extreme highs, a year like no other indeed 🙂

Who would’ve imagined that my lowest moment would catapult me into a much bigger world where I got to venture into new countries and exchange stories with newfound friends?

Honestly, the year 2013 has been my most memorable year so far. From experiencing a right of passage in Prom to attending the Ateneo Chemistry Camp to all the SAT review sessions to tearing my ACL to joining Debate to writing for Inquirer to starting my own business to all the other experiences and moments that I enjoyed with both new and old friends alike, this year truly has been a year like no other and I’m glad, I can one day look back at my blog thankful for every single moment of this year.

2013 truly has been one hell of a ride. As I scroll down right now and look through my blog posts, I can’t help but feel nostalgic as I remember all the laughter and the tears this year has brought me.

Yet in all these moments were silver linings that have ultimately made me realize that anything is possible in this world for life is what we make it – something I will keep in mind in the new year, which will hopefully be just as memorable or even more. Ultimately, no matter how dim and hopeless a moment can be, there’s always light at the end of the tunnel for things do work out for the better!

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”

Living on the Margin – A 1st Quarter to Remember!

This article is taken from the Philippine Daily Inquirer http://lifestyle.inquirer.net/125073/how-i-learned-to-live-on-the-margin

THE AUTHOR’S collection of “surreal”moments during the first quarter DAVID ONGCHOCO

The first quarter of my senior year has just ended, and up to now, I still can’t believe that so much has happened in less than three months.

Quite honestly, I never expected to be able to go through these novel and unique experiences. From traveling to Singapore and Thailand to attending the Philippine Model Congress and my first-ever press conference on Kobe Bryant, the first quarter was filled with wonderful surprises that turned into memories I will forever cherish.

The two international experiences I had were definitely the highlights of my first quarter. Not only was I able to learn about bonds and mutual funds in the Investment Management Program in Singapore and the art of debate and proper discourse in the 1st Asia World Schools Debating Championship in Thailand, but I also got to meet unique and talented individuals from different parts of the world.

I was also able to learn more about the different cultures and practices that really widened my perspective and understanding of the world. To top it all off, I made new friends, some of whom I still communicate with, thanks to the power of technology and social media.

It’s amazing how I was able to experience all that, and so much more. It’s simply too difficult to put in words everything I went through in the last quarter.

However, I’d be lying if I told you that I was able to experience all that without  drawbacks. Everything has a cost, and being able to experience all this had a cost, too.

Continue reading

AWSDC 2013 – Countless Experiences, One Description – PHANTASMAGORICAL! :D

It’s been a few days since I left Thailand yet I still can’t get over everything that happened. Honestly, everything is just starting to sink in and I still vividly remember every single thing that happened.

A blend of excitement, scorching heat, pad thai, fried crickets, free ice cream, cute stuff toys, heated debates, disappointment, late nights, bi-polar emotions, sentimental songs, unique stories and sad goodbyes made up the first international tournament experience of mine, the Asian World Schools Debating Championship.

With my "Movie Marathon" group!! Really enjoyed rolling around the pool and eating fried crickets! =))

With my “Movie Marathon” group!! Really enjoyed rolling around the pool and eating fried crickets! =))

Who would’ve thought that I could learn so much about debate, life, and the world in a span of one week. This one week flew by so quickly that as I got back to my home in Manila, I was still in disbelief that my Thailand adventure was over. 

Although I wasn’t able to visit the Thailand safari and ride the renowned elephants of Thailand, simply eating authentic Thai food already showed me the beauty of Thai culture. I was overjoyed as I got to pig out on Pad Thai, my favorite Thai food, on several occasions. The atmosphere in Bangkok was also very different. Day or night, the city seemed to always be very vibrant and busy. The numerous number of spas in the street was also quite shocking.

This experience also helped me get to know my teammates A LOT better. It truly is during these types of tournaments and experiences abroad that you really get to know people better. Even if we didn’t meet our expectations and even if we know we could’ve done a lot better, I’m sure that all of us learned myriad of things through this experience. Lessons that I’m sure will stick with us for the rest of our lives! 😉

With the Xavier Team! We definitely all learned a lot from this experience!

With the Xavier Team! We definitely all learned a lot from this experience!

Greatness Doesn’t Come In An Instant

One of the most important things I realized in this tournament is that debate is just like everything in life. You have to work hard in order to get good at something. Going into the tournament, my teammates and I didn’t really work as hard as we were suppose to and it showed. Continue reading