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My e-SL experience – Manila Standard

Part 1: My thoughts as we prepare our proposal

As part of the requirements we need to fulfill in our course subject Lasallian Business Leadership, Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility, we were assigned to work with a group as our Electronic Service Learning (e-SL) partner.

Because of the continuing pandemic, all our activities were done online, even e-SL. It is the same as Service Learning, a collaborative teaching and learning strategy that fosters academic achievement, personal growth and civic engagement (Miller, 2020), only that we do it virtually or online. We are expected to share our expertise to resolve the identified needs of our beneficiaries.

Our group had set up a getting-to-know-you (GTKY) session with our partner organization, Community Organizers Multiversity, and the leaders of the community of Estero de Magdalena de Soler. From our fruitful discussion, our team focused on helping the community by introducing practical ways to put up, maintain, manage and monitor a small business in the community.

Our team aims to equip the leaders of the community and everyone involved in running the business with basic knowledge in accounting and marketing. We envision the community handling any business, a start-up or a growing one, using the practical knowledge we will share with them. We expect the community to grow their businesses, which will help them elevate their lives and their families. This is also the very reason why we entitled our proposal as Start-up! Build them up, which is also a way for us to cheer them so they can pull this off with the right mindset and training.

With the vision we had in our mind, we decided to provide the community with the workshop or webinar, and process manuals to clearly explain the topics they will need in managing their business. As much as we would like to visit the community, we needed to do everything virtually due to the restrictions brought about by the pandemic. But we hope that we can see them and be able to bond with the whole community as well.

To compensate for that, our team put much work and effort into making our proposal. We wanted the best for our beneficiaries. And I’m pleased our group got along very well. We were able to submit the best proposal ever. Well, in my opinion. It was because we made our proposal with teamwork and collaboration. Everyone is willing to go the extra mile in making the proposal well-written such as extending time if needed during our meeting, etc. We didn’t see this activity as a burden we needed to complete. This activity is for a higher purpose which is to help the community.

Besides getting good grades from the activity, our motivation is to see the impact of our contribution to the community. And hopefully, they will become the model community that improves lives and shares their best practices with others. It’s more of a pay-it-forward hope.

I know we’re still far from the final result, but I am confident that my team will be able to ace this activity because we work as one and are guided by The One.

Let me wrap up my reflection on this ESL activity by sharing a famous quote from Henry Ford, “If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” I hope we can continue the reach of this learning activity to help others so we can move forward together, holding each other’s hands. Then maybe we can see a better community, a better country, and a better world in the future.

Part 2: Post e-SL reflection

How many of you are afraid to do new things? How many of you are weighing whether it’s okay to jump from one thing to another?

Life is unpredictable.

We may be afraid of things or events, but what’s constant is that they can change. What you’re scared of today is something you might even like or love in the future.

It took a long time to pursue my goal of getting an MBA. I’m afraid of not being able to deliver what was expected. What if I don’t have time, money and resources? But, I wanted to learn.

At first, it was hard, but as you do it repeatedly, it becomes a habit. You’re ingraining these habits into your system until you can adapt. So, it became natural for you to do your new role, as for me being a student.

As I relate this to our e-service learning activity, there are many things I am unsure of. First is whether my group mates will be easy to work with. Second, how will we make an impact if we do it online? Isn’t it better if we do it face-to-face? How can we ensure that we can impact the community assigned to us? With all these things inside my head, I always go back to what I have learned so far with my journey, which is always to trust the process.

As I trusted the process and was open to change, I gained new friends from my group mates. We could complete our activity without any issues with the teamwork we built. By trusting the process, we were able to impact community leaders.

Having the opportunity to participate in e-service learning is one of the best things that I have experienced so far. Aside from gaining friends and completing this course, on a deeper level, it keeps everyone grounded. This activity reminds us that as we keep on investing in ourselves and grow as a person, let’s not forget that there are people who need our help. Some people can benefit from our grown self just like the community of Soler. Even after this activity, I hope we may still remember the lessons we learned from our experiences.

The author is an MBA student at the Ramon V. del Rosario College of Business, DLSU. She can be reached at mariella_costa@dlsu.edu.ph.

The views expressed above are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official position of DLSU, its faculty and its administrators.


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