Great leaders inspire. For 30 years, Ateneo Celadon has produced a string of great leaders, and this year’s batch is no different. Hence, we’ve decided to interview Celadon’s current executive board, so we can learn valuable insights from the very best of the organization!
Let’s meet the crazy trio behind Celadon’s Corporate Relations Department (CORREL): Vice-President (VP) Jesse Lui, and Associate Vice-Presidents (AVP) Alex Españo and Dianne Ashley Tan!
What made you want to become a Celadon leader?
Jesse Lui (JL): “Honestly, I didn’t start out wanting to be a Celadon leader; it became a part of the journey of Celadon when I tried to be active. Leadership is inevitable to attain in trying to be active in Celadon mainly because the people are much more welcoming and fun to be with and I want to make my time productive, so leadership is just a side effect, never the main desire. 🙂 ”
Alex Españo (AE): “One of the first things I felt inside as a member of Celadon was belongingness and a sense of community. I trusted in the people standing beside me in as they trusted me. And I feel confident and proud to be standing up and representing something that I wholeheartedly trust, love, and believe in.”
Dianne Tan (DT): “Can I make short answers? [laughs] I guess I was inspired by previous Celadon leaders, so I wanted to be like them. Also, I found faults in the systems and in the projects, so I wanted to fix them as well since I learned things the hard way when I was a freshman. [I] didn’t want people who wanted to try Correl to go through the hell that I went through.
“I guess it wasnt really anyone’s fault but being a person who didn’t know anything about marketing, I was just forced to learn things on my own. Sure, I had people to help me sometimes, but they weren’t really helpful [laughs].
Summarize leadership in one sentence.
JL: “Leadership is about enriching and developing the people who works around and under you, and making them leaders.”
AE: “Leadership is all about having an idealist vision grounded by a realist mission.”
DT: “Leadership is the ability to draw out the full potentials of other people and making use of these potentials for a greater cause.”
What was the biggest leap/risk that you’ve had to take as a leader?
JL: “Last year our privilege card project costed 50k. And I dunno where we will get money. But we pushed for the project. Latter part makahanap naman ng pera but 50k is super almost impossible to acquire from sponsors. Pero pinush namin to retain the top spot on having the most priv card partners.”
DT: “I guess the biggest risk would be self-confidence because you’re not just shouldering the weight of the projects; you’re also shouldering everybody else’s burden. It will always come to a time where I really doubt myself and if I do, it really hinders me from being able to do what I need or want to do.
“I started being rather confident about myself, but after assuming my role as a leader in Correl, it felt like it was challenging the confidence that I had. So what happened was, I started losing confidence. But of course I’m still working on it, like patching it up [laughs].”
When was your most memorable Celadon event? Kwento please.
JL: “LDP talaga! Dati wala ako kilala sa Celadon except EG and Erika pero nung nag-LDP ako, everyone was nice! Last day of LDP, nasugatan ako; nahiwa yung thumb ng foot ko tapos my faci named Diane Tan was super caring and all [laughs]. Siya naglinis ng sugat ko and all; super lala nung sugat na yun as in hiwa halfway yung thumb ng right foot ko [laughs].
“LDP kasi parang instant close ka to everyone. And in Celadon, unlike people in other orgs, we take care of our people. Mas maalaga tayo sa peeps natin.”
AE: “My most memorable Celadon event is still by far the Leadership Development Program (LDP) when I was a freshman. Gone maybe are the nights when we stayed up until 3 in the morning talking and sharing about our experiences, but the memory, trust, and companionships formed within that frame truly made me feel at home. It was something that renewed my commitment to be a part of something greater than myself.”
DT: “Most memorable would probs be Alumni Gathering. It was a funny experience, I guess [laughs]; not sure what made it funny. But what made it super special was that was the first time I actually took care of Correl from start to end from contacting down to post documentation. And I had fun meeting the alumni and spending time with Celadoneans!”
Has there been anyone special to you during your Celadon journey?
AE: “Truly special are the Executive Board members I’ve had the pleasure to work within the organization we all share and love. Being the generally reserved person I am, I sometimes surprise even myself at how much trust I’ve given them. Only when you feel that you are with the company of family can you allow yourself to be comfortably vulnerable. And I can say that the whole EB has especially been my family inside Ateneo, much in the same way that that sense of family extends even to the entire Celadon community.”
Where do you see Celadon in 5 years?
JL: “I think Celadon in five years would be the biggest org in Ateneo; like it will continuously have successful projects and good environment that will keep adding and adding more people around. 🙂 ”
AE: “Celadon will always live on. For as long as it continues to serve as a home to passionate individuals as it has in the past and the present, Celadon will always continue to stand as a beacon calling to all those who wish to listen, offering and appreciating our familiar as well as the sometimes strange heritage in the spirit of Chinese-Filipino culture.”
DT: “Org of the year in COA awards [laughs]. Bigger and grander projects with better initiatives.”
Interview conducted by Rainier David
Get to know the rest of the EB!