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Mariecon Tolentino - Pacuribot, Manager for People & Culture, SupportZebra

I stumbled on this course that assigned a role in the company that needed HR competencies. As learning new skills is one of my passions, I gladly took on the challenge!

29 May 2021, I successfully concluded my first certificate course within the Diploma in Human Resource Management (DHRM) program, alongside nine other People Managers who were already doing their last course for Batch 2021. Being part of that class as one of the emerging HR Leaders is an experience that holds great significance in my HR journey – one that is only just starting.

They say special skills are not needed to go into HR. Some would even say HR spoils all the fun and is only concerned with the company’s interests. With the recent technologies, others would simply say that tech and AI will replace HR. So why bother to go through this program?

03012024.Web Psych 1Xavier Ateneo DHRM Graduates Batch 2023 together with Mr Lee (Program Coordinator)
and Ms DeGuzman (Course Facilitator).

Looking at this in a different light, one needs to be equipped with several competencies to succeed as an HR professional since HR looks over the core competencies of the workforce. With the drive for diversity, equity, and inclusion, HR is at the forefront of ensuring that the environment where we spend most of our time, is psychologically safe. Technology does not replace but elevates how we connect with people as AI enables HR to be more strategic and collaborative in solving complex problems. HR may seem to bear little responsibility but is undoubtedly the heart of every organization, pulsing every beat and taking action to support organizational growth. 

I am thrilled to share that my inclusion in the 2023 Graduates of this program and having recently completed the flagship Diploma Course in Human Resource Management has been a turning point in my career as a People Manager. This program is a collaboration between The People Management Association of the Philippines (PMAP) – Asian Institute of Human Resource Management and Xavier University - Ateneo de Cagayan. The 2023 DHRM Graduation Ceremony took place at Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila in Pasay City on 29 November 2023. This journey has been transformative, marking not only the end of my academic endeavors but also the commencement of an exciting career in the dynamic field of Human Resources.

During my time at Xavier Ateneo, I dedicated myself to mastering the intricacies of Human Resource Management through the instructors who turned into mentors. The program, encompassing five certificate programs in Human Resource Development, Human Resource Planning and Acquisition, Compensation Management, Labor Relations, and Organization Development, provided a comprehensive understanding of HR principles and paved the way to creating the foundation of who I am today as a leader. This two-year journey allowed me to delve into the complexities of various HR practices and provided me with the necessary leverage to explore how HR positively influences the way an organization and its people interact. 

Reflecting on my initial days in the program, I vividly recall the challenges of stepping out of my comfort zone and unlearning preconceived notions about HR. The program encouraged me to be open to learning from industry experts. Embracing these challenges with enthusiasm, I gained a solid foundation that empowers me to navigate the modern workplace. This educational journey also facilitated the development of mentorships and partnerships within the field of People Management.

03012024.Web Psych 2In photo, L - R: PMAP President, Dr Maria Elizabeth Nasol, Dr Niño Duran, Ms Mariel Jugador,
Ms Mariecon Pacuribot (author),Mr Rogelio Lee, Jr (Xavier Ateneo DHRM Program Coordinator),
and MsMay De Guzman (OD Facilitator)

One of the most enriching aspects of my journey was the opportunity to uncover and integrate the best practices in the HR industry. The curriculum went beyond theoretical concepts, emphasizing their real-world applications through lectures, projects, and practical exercises. Engaging in these hands-on experiences not only allows us to listen more, feel the pulse of the people we work with, and hone our ability to analyze and solve problems but also provides valuable insights into industry best practices, enabling us to be strategic HR partners in the companies and communities we serve.

I would always joke about navigating the HR landscape as a Psychology graduate but embarking on the next chapter of my professional life with a 12-year experience in Project Management, I bring with me a fresh perspective, innovative ideas, and a deep understanding of the best practices crucial for success in the People Management field. I am grateful for the support and guidance from all our instructors at the university, the organizers, and the working teams of PMAP, and I am confident that the knowledge and skills I have gained will contribute to my success in shaping the future of human resource management.

I believe that success does not only rely on knowing but on what we do with the knowledge that we gain from experiences in the world. We are called to actively contribute to this field, to impact change where we can.

I express my heartfelt gratitude to PMAP and Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan for providing an incredible journey of growth and learning. I extend my sincere appreciation to SupportZebra for enabling my professional development through all their support in this endeavor. Additionally, a special thank you goes out to my family for their unwavering encouragement and for constantly cheering me on throughout this transformative experience. Your support has been invaluable, and I am truly grateful.

Onwards and upwards!