At PhilDev, the goal is to eradicate poverty by strengthening the Philippines’ existing education systems, while fostering innovation and building an entrepreneurial ecosystem. A historically gargantuan task, work of this nature has and will always be made possible by and because of the many brilliant and noble people lending their time, expertise and talents to the organization. At its core, PhilDev is about people and cultivating their potential for success.
As such is the case with Jessica Manipon, who worked as PhilDev’s IDEA Program Officer from November 2015 to September 2017. During this time, Jessica helped look after the development of many of the organization’s projects, alongside other responsibilities such as monitoring finances, and forming and ensuring good relationships with partner organizations and external contacts through constant communication.
Prior to joining PhilDev, Jessica admitted to not having seen herself being a part of the world of tech startups, much less sharing the same passion the industry manifests. After a little over a year working at PhilDev, she couldn’t help but share that she had “gained a new perspective in life.”
As startup tech continues to permeate worldwide-- crossing borders and intersecting industries, it is encouraging to find that not only can ideas spread; but so do talented individuals. With Jessica for instance, it was no different. After almost two years at PhilDev comes a bittersweet departure as she embarks on a journey as a co-founder of her own fin-tech startup. We wish her success and look forward to what comes next.
What did you love about working at PhilDev?
There are many things to love about working at PhilDev, but the most for me is how PhilDev has influenced my life more than I could imagine. While I worked at PhilDev, I got to listen and learn from local and foreign startup entrepreneurs and immersed myself in the culture.
Have these opportunities impacted your personal life in any way?
All this and more ignited my appreciation for entrepreneurs and changed my mindset about starting a business, especially a technology-based startup. Before joining PhilDev, I never would have imagined myself co-founding a startup as this was a world alien to me.
What’s a typical work day at PhilDev like for you?
Because we were constantly working on projects, my typical day involved making sure we were on time and on budget executing these projects. So, depending on the stage of the project, I may have been communicating with other organizations and companies on logistics and preparation, answering queries and talking to our participants and stakeholders, or working in the field delivering these projects.
Reporting and updating my Program Director was also a crucial part of my day. Sprinkled throughout the day are random and silly interactions with my colleagues, which, for some reason, mostly revolve around food. Haha!
Who inspires you and why?
PhilDev's beneficiaries inspire me—not just the scholars, but also the professors, entrepreneurs and members of the government who work passionately to make a difference, to make their dreams and others' come true. It's their selflessness, compassion and hard work...and I strive to be the same. I don't know if that's cliche but it's true.