Nicole Chiang and Ervin Llobrera interviewed former Celadon president Edward Cheson during the 2016 Celadon Alumni Gathering.
Nicole Chiang (NC): So first few questions, like, you just state your name and why did you join Celadon? Your position?
Edward Cheson (EC): My name is [Edward] Cheson and I joined Celadon when I was actually a sophomore na. When I was [in my] first year, I didn’t join any org[anizations] that much, but a friend told me to, you know, try and tambay in the Celadon room, and I met a lot of people, very friendly people. And so after that, I decided na to give back to the org and, wala, be an active member. In third year I became AVP for Human Resources. [In] my 4th year [I was ] VP for Human Resources. And for my 5th year, I’m a double major kasi, I became president.
NC: So how was the whole experience?
The whole experience was amazing ‘cause Ateneo believes in holistic growth eh, and I don’t think you can learn everything inside the classroom. This is what Celadon is for. You learn something outside the classroom and out of the box. Aside from that, the connections are really… It’s nice to have connections. That’s all I can say. It’s nice to have connections and know other people aside from your blockmates, from your course mates.
NC: What is your current profession?
EC: Right now, I’m working in the family business. We do modular kitchens, cabinets, and solid surfaces. Synthetic stuff. Really far away from what I studied.
Ervin Llobrera (EL): The experience in Celadon managed to help in your line of work?
EC: Yes, yes, yes. It taught me how to be confident, and mostly on public speaking with Celadon and how to interact with people. I think that’s one of the best things you can learn from an org eh. You can practice your social skills.
EL: So when you joined Celadon, it was really friendly and welcoming?
EC: Yes, yes. Peter was making an effort to get to know you. Like let’s say before, when there was a member, na who wasn’t a regular in the Celadon room. When they go inside the Celadon room, people in the Celadon room, they talk to him or her, they introduce themselves. They invite them to play a game of cards, bridge, playing cards. I don’t know if it’s the same right now, but I hope that culture is still intact.
EL: So that was really your advocacy also as president?
EC: Even before I was president, and that’s what made me stay, and be active as a member. It’s [about] the people really.
EL: Any eventful experiences while you were president?
We started, we made, a big project. It was called the YES, yung Young Entrepreneur, Yes You Can Do It. Yeah, you know that. You can do it.
NC: This program is for high school students?
EC: Halo-halo eh. Actually, hindi lang high school; even mga vendors from outside. We just basically wanted to show that the youth can have business opportunities; actually anybody can have business opportunities. We basically just wanted to make a big event, to make the biggest events lang. We had it sa Megamall, and I think that template of having a bazaar was a good start for some of the projects that you have right now.
NC: Do you have any tips, like on what made you stay and what you should be looking out in Celadon so that you could apply it in your profession?
EC: Well, first of all, I think you can bring some discipline, ‘cause doing this in your own free time…it takes a lot of balance eh. You’re doing your studies. You’re doing whatever extra-curricular activities. And, just having that discipline to know how to manage people, know how to organize things, like, I just got engaged. So right now, I’m managing my wedding. It’s fun! It helps to have this kind of experience. Even last year, they asked me to do like a mid-autumn dice game. For some people, they might think that it’s hard, but for me, I see it as a challenge, and it’s kinda easy thanks to help from Celadon, but that’s just the small stuff. More important is, I was thinking more of social skills talaga: getting to know people and the connections. And just have fun and don’t pressure yourself too much.
EL: Any suggestions for future Celadon presidents?
EC: A lot. There’s actually a lot. I’m always curious. If there was a chance to talk to EG [Dizon], I would [have] na. I would like to sit down and talk to him. Kasi in the end of the day, I’m 10 years na eh. I have a different perspective na eh [of] what’s it like in the org. All I can say is that it’s better if you invest on your people. You do all this for what ba? It’s all for your growth. , so I hope that in the end of [it all], after you graduate from Ateneo, you learn something from Ateneo Celadon, and that you apply it to the real world.
Honestly, it’s been 10 years since I graduated. All I can say that I did, doing something to the real world and applied it, [it’s all] thanks to the training sa Celadon. And I hope that everybody has the same experience. At the end of the day, when you step into the real world, you’re going to be busy on more important stuff that you need to work on. There will be your career, finances, basically your dreams. Pursue your dreams. And hopefully Celadon will encourage you on how to do it, or give you some skill set to help you to reach for your goals or dreams.
Honestly, if I were to do all over it again, it would be nice for each member to learn something na practical, maybe something about business. ‘Cause you know, my advice lang to the Celadonians: Start early in making whatever you want, whether you want to make a business, or pursue your dreams in the arts. Start early, ‘cause life is a challenge talaga. It’s no joke in the real world. The least thing I want you guys to feel pressured, na you guys are X years old, and you need to do so what so what ganun. So my advice is start early. Whatever you wanna do, start early and start doing it.