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Going Online with ACTM

By Marina Peneyra | October 1, 2020 12:02 AM

With the changes in the academic year brought about by the pandemic, organizations in the Ateneo are adjusting their processes to better adapt to an online setup. For ACTM, it’s business as usual—at least according to ACTM’s Office of the President (OOTP). To talk more about their plans for the organization, ACTM President Marco Ricafort and Executive Vice President Noelle Amba join us today to give us a sneak peak into what we can expect of ACTM in the upcoming year.

Hi, Marco and Noelle! I’m sure it’s been a pretty wild ride managing an organization while in a pandemic. How is the transition to an online setting like so far?

Marco: We couldn’t be as forward thinking as we wanted to be this year. We look into at most two to three months away rather than the whole year kasi you don’t know when something will change everything. I think if there’s one thing this transition has taught us, it’s to be ready for anything. Expect everything to go haywire. The transition has been tricky but I feel like we’re getting the hang of it as long as we reach out to the members. We really try naman as much as possible—I think. [laughs]

What are some of the changes you had to make this year?

Noelle: We have our CIP, the Code of Internal Procedures, and it’s like a rule book on what people’s positions are. A lot had to be changed with certain positions and that actually will trickle down on to the members and their opportunities. With the transition, there were certain puzzle pieces that couldn’t fit online. So again it’s like [we are] taking creative solutions for those pinaka affected by it. We are also creating informal spaces for self-help through chats and just trying to check up on each other.

Awhile ago, you mentioned the uncertainty during these times. Given that, what’s your game plan moving forward?

Noelle: I have top of mind ideas. The Wave 2 Project Head applications—it’s expected to release na this first sem. Then we have the discord group to create more of an org culture hub besides relying solely on Facebook. Other plans naman would be that everything—ideation and project management—will be geared towards [doing it] online.

Marco: We’re retaining the usual line up of projects this year but they’ll be done different[ly]. I think we’re just trying to sustain what we can plus focus on the approach kasi what we want talaga is to take care of the members [all] throughout projects, informal settings, academics. We’re focusing more on being there for them and creating avenues for them to be productive without the pressure.

What is your thrust for this year?

Marco: We [OOTP] were like, “Okay, how are we going to make sure na whatever happens this year magagawa namin ang end goal which is [to fulfill] the org’s vision?” So the thrust we came up with is an ACTM that actively creates, grows, and expands through empowered IMC [Integrated Marketing Communications] leaders. In these times especially we want to encourage innovation and creativity. Another thing is growth. We want to instill that everything is a learning experience. No one has a blueprint to go about an online setup so we don’t pressure people to make things perfect. We’ll welcome and support all your ideas no matter how crazy or how big they are.

That’s great! I’m excited to see you how you execute this in your projects and initiatives. Speaking of, is there anything that we can look forward to?

Marco: If it’s something people can be excited about, you can see ACTM be more present in different sectors, trying out, sharing, and practicing its core competency to give service to others. Hopefully by this year or next year we get to build that mindset na our business doesn’t mean money most of the time. Our business can mean advocacies, our business can mean passions.

Noelle: In terms of home, we’re adopting an approach where we hear people out and give people the chance to talk. We’re also adjusting, for example, talent pools to cater to online talents as well. Other home aspects people can look forward to is the OOTP sessions that we have where members can talk to us. I don’t want to reveal the plans and initiatives of our departments para ma-hype naman ang mga blasts nila but you can expect to learn lots of skills where you can definitely hone IMC.

Finally, what is your message to the members of ACTM 2020-2021?

Noelle: Hi ACTM. Musta naman? I hope everyone is well. I’m super grateful na you picked ACTM at some point in RecWeek. There are days when you might not pick ACTM. There are days when you will be totally onboard with ACTM. And all those days are okay. Ultimately, we want to value your growth. I hope we can both grow together through the opportunities and initiatives we have for you. Thank you for bringing it home.

Marco: Like Noelle said, thank you for choosing ACTM at one point in RecWeek. You might have all your whys. You may find other orgs out there and other things to do, and it’s gonna be alright. It brings me comfort na at least at one point, you tried to be a part of this. Do know that we’ll keep that door open for you. ACTM will be a home that will allow you to grow wherever you want to be. Just know that you always have the key to [open] the door. It’s up to you if you want to pick it up and use it. You have to take that first step to sign up, to go to a video call, to participate. Be open to the experiences and the people. Take everything in little by little.

Noelle: Iiyak na iyan. [laughs] Watch out for Welcoming Initiative, Tambay Week, LEAP and MAD Concepts. Look out for our ACTM communication channels and the ACTM-wide Discord, definitely. Wag kayong mahiya. Be open. We don’t bite as an org, I promise.