A bright future ahead

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Progressive school helps women graduates achieve life-changing career paths

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 Shangri-la Makati Hotel is considering the newly graduate because of her good performance during her OJT

Shangri-la Makati Hotel is considering the newly graduate because of her good performance during her OJT

FILIPINOS value the importance of quality education now more than ever, as the real world demands for quality workforce. The mere possession of a diploma is not enough; employers now ask of applicant’s skills, work experience and grades.

All this bears resonance with Mae Vargas of Teresa, Rizal, 32, and a single mother. “My family couldn’t afford to send me to college so I ended up only with a high school diploma,” she shared. Add to that the fact that her family already depended on her, so she started taking different jobs. “I was a department store sales clerk, a fast food diner cashier, even a private baby sitter.” Yet even if she worked diligently, the salary she earned was not enough to support her needs and those of her family.

When she married young, life proved to be more difficult, as her husband was not earning well. He was also sickly and died soon, leaving Mae to be a widow at 28, with four children to take care of. Help came in the form of a relative offering to shoulder her tuition fees, with the condition that she finish and get a diploma.

On her way home, she would usually pass by Sumulong Highway and has seen schools offering HRM or Tourism. Inspired to take such courses, Mae entered Asian School for the Hospitality Arts (ASHA), a school that takes pride in its progressive hospitality and vocational education.

 The class of 1961 of Pambuan elementary School, now Pantaleon valmonte elementary School, in barrio (now barangay Pambuan) gets ‘serious’for a pre-graduation picture in March of that year.  CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

The class of 1961 of Pambuan elementary School, now Pantaleon valmonte elementary School, in barrio (now barangay Pambuan) gets ‘serious’for a pre-graduation picture in March of that year. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

“I chose ASHA because the school is accommodating and concerned with the students and their welfare. I also learned from my co-students that the teachers are well-known experts in the industry,” she explained.

With the help of ASHA’s multi-disciplinary teaching approach, she was able to strike a balance between studying, working and taking care of her family with ease.

“I learned a lot from the class lectures and the hands-on training. The industry practitioners talked about the best practices in the hotel and different departments. I was encouraged not only by the classes and training but also by the first-hand testimonies of previous graduates,” Mae elaborated.

She had her internship at the five-star Shangri-La Makati Hotel. “I did 800 hours of on-the-job training while studying and taking care of my family,” Mae said with pride.

All this paid off well, as Mae she received her college diploma and graduated with high honors. Shangri-La Makati Hotel is even considering her for a job in the food and beverage department because of her good performance during her OJT.

“Four years ago, this would not have been possible,” she said with tears in her eyes. “I thought I had reached the end and could not dream for a good future for my family. I am thankful to ASHA for seeing my strengths and harnessing my skills.”

ASHA has made it possible for Mae and the thousands of its other graduates to secure the jobs that they want through its multi-disciplinary approach to learning.

“Aside from our unique hotel-school concept, we enable our graduates emphasizing on our I SUCCESS [Integrity and Innovation, Social Responsibility, Unity, Customer Orientation, Commitment, Excellence, Stewardship and Service Leadership] values,” explained Angie Blanco, ASHA’s Dean.

ASHA are found in Antipolo, Kamias (QC), Tagaytay, Santolan (San Juan). For more information, call 907-8642 or 0917-8787191, or visit www.asha.edu.ph.

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