‘Aside from learning about how extreme our frustrations, desires could get, the most important we have learned is the act of being courageous’
The pandemic didn’t hamper these groups of college students who were among the almost 1200 participants in this year’s AIA PH Life Hackers competition. The winning teams win P100,000 and internship opportunities at AIA Philippines.
Groups of five undergraduate college students aged 18 and above registered in the insurance firm AIA Life Hackers 2021 microsite. Teams who made the initial screening submitted proposals under three categories: Technology or Data Solutions, Marketing Solutions, or Product/Service Solutions. A team can submit a proposal to more than one category.
The winning team, called “Philamthropic,” is composed of students from the University of the Philippines Diliman and Ateneo de Manila University. They won both the “Technology or Data Solutions” and “Product or Service Innovation” categories.
“Since this is the second time we participated in AIA Life Hackers, it wasn’t difficult to form the team. The members are the same as last year, with the difference being the change in our team name from Future Proof to Philamthropic,” said Rachel Roxas from UP Diliman.
But they admitted it was tough to balance their academics and the contest, “Especially since we are all Junior college students who are taking major subjects in our own fields,” said team leader Jemar Luczon. “Another challenge is actually having to differentiate our content in the Tech category versus the Product/Service Innovation entry we’ve submitted. We wanted to make sure that we are still aligned with the AIA brand while delivering novel ways to innovate the business,” Luczon added.
Winning the Marketing Solutions category is the team from Polytechnic University of the Philippines called “Dried Squid Changers.”
“Our team is composed of five amazing and powerful women,” the group’s team leader Lourey Enteria said. “Although we have been eyeing the competition last year, we just felt like it wasn’t the right timing at all. It took us some time to realize that this is how we want to end our college journey. We wanted it to end with a bang!” Enteria added.
It took a month for the team “Dried Squid Changers” to determine whether or not they could manage the tasks. “Fortunately, everyone agreed after much consideration and persuasion that this will be our 2021 plot twist,” Enteria said.
“Aside from learning about how extreme our frustrations and desires could get, the most important thing that we have learned from this experience is the act of being courageous. With courage, we believe that nothing is impossible and that we can achieve greater heights in our endeavor. Along with that, we also learned about exerting greater amounts of effort, pushing forward than what we can do now and basically stepping out of our comfort zones,” said Dried Squid Changers member Annejeline Palomo.
“We also learned to raise our standard, to not just settle for less, and to believe that whatever it is, we can do it. We also learned about being able to communicate with professionals and to always keep our cups empty, always welcoming new learning. Lastly, we were able to learn about dedicating our whole heart and self to what we are doing, not only for ourselves, but for a greater cause, the goal and purpose of whatever it is that we are doing,” Palomo added.
As for what they will do with their prize winnings, “I will do a gadget upgrade, especially laptops, tablets, and phones with high specifications that enable me to have better productivity,” said Luczon who said that he just bought a laptop for himself all from his own earnings from case competition prizes and internships.
“A portion of it will be used to treat my family to a good meal for their unwavering support, and the other as funds to continue supporting my scholars,” Roxas said.
But the winners admit they’ve gained more than just cash prizes. “We realized that when it comes to insurance, we’re not just selling a product, it’s an emotional experience,” Roxas said, “Without insurance, people feel terrified of their family members contracting a critical illness and worry whether they can shoulder the costs. But with it, they can get the peace of mind that they long for and they don’t need to worry about the uncertain future ahead.”
“But most importantly, we learned that great things come to those who wait. We won the Marketing category last year and now we’re back to complete the entire slate, this year we brought home two crowns! We found it interesting to solve one of the biggest challenges of companies like AIA and that we are able to bring business value even with our young minds.” said Luczon, who also led the team to its victory in the Marketing Solutions category last 2020.
Main photo: Team Philamthropic, Jemar R. Luczon, Moreen Agustin, Crizan Kyle Jureidini, Ron Simon Lomibao, Rachel Vivien M. Roxas