Enderun Delegates Join HPAIR 2015
Last August 20-24, 2015, Enderun students Jasmine Amarnani and Princess Parojinog became the school’s first delegates to the Harvard Project for Asia and International Relations (HPAIR), known to be one of the largest conferences in the Asia-Pacific region. The five-day annual conference was hosted this year in Manila, in partnership with De La Salle University, having the theme “Confronting Asia’s Development Challenges Through Innovation.” 500 students and young professionals from across the globe gathered together to discuss important global, economic, and social issues.
Jasmine is a Business Administration student, majoring in Marketing Management whereas Princess is a Hospitality student, majoring in Culinary Arts. Both went through a competitive application process to join HPAIR. Throughout the conference, Jasmine was part of the Entrepreneurship panel, while Princess was in the Security and Diplomacy panel. Other panels included Corporate Leadership, Human Rights, Health and Social Policy, Energy and Sustainability, as well as Finance and the World Economy.
Asked how they would describe the experience, Jasmine said that it was life-changing. “Imagine 500 people from different countries gathered together for five days, establishing friendship, and bonds that would hopefully last. While getting to know everyone, I learned that every person I met is unique, different, special in their own way. The five-day conference consisted of talks from great local and international speakers, skills workshops, seminars, and to top it all off, the case study competition.”
One of the inspiring speakers in her panel was Tony Meloto, founder of Gawad Kalinga, who talked about how it has progressed over the years. She also attended a skills workshop led by Nicole Villarojo, the Brand Manager of Proctor and Gamble where she learned, ‘the right way for branding and advertising of products.’ “I was able to get a lot of advice and tips from her.”
She also found their culminating activity fulfilling after they received positive feedback. “We had to do a startup business. We had to think of innovative solutions and values that will be successful in our business. And our moderator, Anusha Deshpande, she was also very good in handling the panel.”
For Princess, she described the event as “an eye-opener. I left the conference with a better perspective of life and how I want my future to be and what I want to accomplish in life. It was a matter of getting the right exposure and escaping from your comfort zone.”
In her panel, their activities were centered on “how today’s different countries are doing, what diplomatic ties should we do, and security parameters that we should implement.”
She also shared that interacting with her fellow delegates was positively different and interesting, especially “how people are just very open in talking to each other and how they look at what is happening in today’s world.”
Even as a culinary arts student, Princess participated in the conference because she was interested in what is happening around her. “We are the future generation and we should be active enough. If you don’t know what’s happening, you won’t know what’s your next move. That’s important in hospitality because you need to know what’s going on, especially when you want to expand your network and knowledge.”
On being the first ever delegates to represent Enderun, they both felt honored and privileged. “People had this impression of us in an international character. We could relate to what delegates from other countries are saying. It’s because Enderun opens us to the entire world. They give us training for ourselves, for us to have international character and that was one of our edge,” Princess shared.
Jasmine added, “I am very enthusiastic in sharing my experience on what I learned, the amazing people I met, and the insights that I was able to hear from inspiring speakers.”
Princess also mentioned why the conference was relevant to her. “If you want to excel in your field you also need to know what’s happening outside your field. It will change the way you look at things, how you look at the world. It gives you examples of what you can do after college.”
The highlights of the conference also comprised a business plenary, International Night, where booths were set up to showcase cultures from participating countries, a Manila Night held at the Manila Polo Club, a campus tour at De La Salle University with cultural performances held at their school theater, and a dinner sponsored by Globe.