My dear student,
Welcome to Adamson University! Thank you for choosing to come to this great university for your education. I am addressing this letter to YOU—an incoming student or an “old” one—hoping you will consider well what I will share with you as we begin this new school year.
“Begin with the end in mind.” This was one of the seven habits of highly effective people according to the late Stephen Covey. As we begin a new school year, I suggest you focus your attention on what you want to attain. Envision yourself as a graduate a few years from today. What kind of professional do you want to be? Think beyond just getting your academic degree. Education is more than just getting a diploma and credentials to find a good job. Education prepares you to be a well-rounded human person: a competent professional, a person of good character and a spiritual being. Think about this goal right from the start. Then plan how to reach it.
Adamson is committed to develop graduates who are competent, who have character and who practice charity (3Cs). You will learn more about these attributes during your orientation and you will be reminded of them during your stay at the university.
In addition to being competent in your specific field of discipline, there are three skills that employers look for in hiring new graduates. These three skills have been identified by the People Management of the Philippines to be “desirable” skills among fresh graduates. Plan on how you will develop these traits during your studies—not after graduation.
Analytical thinking is one of them. It refers to the ability to identify problems, analyze causes, search for solutions and implement them. It calls for independent and critical thinking instead of just going with the herd or following others without making up one’s own mind. Also known as “problem-solving,” these skills are usually developed by the different courses that you take. Your professors will give you theories, framework, and a lot of cases and readings to hone critical thinking.
Analytical thinking is “learning how to learn.” Very often traditional education is oriented towards the assimilation of facts and information rather than teaching students to think for themselves. Knowledge changes rapidly and tons of information are available in the worldwide web. Develop your ability to search for knowledge, process it and apply it using the tools of your specific discipline.
Initiative is another trait employers look for in a potential employee. It means to take action on our own. You do not wait to be told what to do. You step forward and do things out of personal conviction and desire. Volunteering and participating inside and outside of the campus are great ways to learn initiative.
Communication is the third characteristic. It is the ability to express oneself clearly and be understood in your native tongue and in an international language, especially English. I encourage you to speak English within the campus and to use it as much as possible. To learn a language one has to use it as often as possible and overcome shyness and the fear of committing mistakes.
Another attribute of an Adamsonian is character. Sometimes I describe it as developing one’s emotional quotient and leadership. The school is a training ground for future leaders. I encourage you to take on leadership roles by participating in co-curricular activities and joining recognized student organizations. Joining campus organizations will help you improve your social skills such as relating with others, working in a team, self-discipline, sacrificing for the common good, among others.
Beware though of joining fraternities, sororities, or other clandestine and “secret” groups. These groups are banned on campus and are illegal. Joining them is a cause for expulsion. Besides exposing you to grave danger, they might be a hindrance to finishing your studies. Please inform the Office for Student Affairs if members of these illegal groups approach you, intimidate you, bully you or force you to join them.
The third attribute of an Adamsonian is charity. Charity is about developing one’s spirituality. It is cultivating an active relationship with God or with a power that is higher than we are, whatever name you call it. Besides your theology courses, there are plenty of activities to help you build a strong spiritual life such as daily masses in the chapel, recollections, celebration of the sacraments, times for prayer, spiritual counseling, etc. I encourage you also to get to know St. Vincent de Paul, the Patron Saint of the university and imitate his love and commitment towards the poor by voluntarily participating in outreach programs and Vincentian activities.
Welcome once again and be assured of my prayers for your success.
Fr. Gregorio "Gregg" L. Bañaga, Jr., CM is President of Adamson University.