Student spotlight: Taming challenges with Germaine Chuabio



As college students, we all strive to make it to graduation and that in part is a glimmer of success. For Germaine Chuabio, success takes the form of not just graduation, but also in the little things we go through during our stay in the university. As a AB Communication Arts and BS Accountancy major, she initially had the ambition of being a news reporter or journalist and took up accountancy because of her fascination with numbers and the thought of it as the language of business. With a course spanning five years and two terms, she is currently on her last two terms, still standing with a CGPA of 3.773.


What are your achievements so far?

Aside from being a consistent dean’s lister, I consider so far not repeating any modular subject as an achievement because it’s quite difficult to undergo modular. In 2011, as the national champion in the National Public Speaking Competition, I was able to represent the Philippines in the International Public Speaking Competition in London. Out of more than 80 participants from all over the world, I was able to land in the top 6.

In 2012, my team placed 2nd in the inter-university competition called the Unilever Close Up Brandatastic and we were awarded 50,000 pesos.

In 2013, I was selected to be part of the team to represent DLSU in a global business case competition at Seattle, Washington. We competed against teams from different universities around the world. I consider that trip to be an achievement because just being selected is already such an honor and a privilege. I also received a lot of training.

And then this year, 2014, I got elected as the chairperson of the accounting pool of JPIA, which is a prestigious group of students who need to meet certain stringent academic requirements. As Spiderman says, “With great power comes with great responsibility,” so currently I have 3 other officers with me. We’re managing, implementing projects like a Peer tutorial program, distributing midterms and finals reviewers, hosting quiz bees, seminars, and more academic related activities. So that’s it so far. Hopefully I’ll be graduating by February 2015 with honors.


Why do you think difficult is different from the term challenging?

I think difficult connotes a sense of giving up almost right away or blocking out the possibility of even trying to succeed in it. When you say it’s challenging, you’re trying to work on it or finding ways to make it work, and it’s challenging because it stimulates you, not because it blocks you from any form of achievement however small.


How prepared are you to face whatever may come your way in the future?

I won’t say 100% because I want to give some leeway to certain times when you feel like you’re the most despicable and hopeless thing in the world. To be more accurate, let’s just say I’m 90-95% prepared to face maybe the next 5 or 10 years of my life. I think that’s what life in the university has prepared me for. But for the next decades after that, my 20s to 30s life-learning will prepare me for that stage: the 40s and 50s.


Where do you get inspiration and motivation?

I don’t want to sound too self centric, but for me it’s a very internal motivation because I want to finish things. When I start something, I want to finish it. I started Communication Arts then accounting so I’m very much motivated to finish it. They’re useful in my career in the future that’s why I’m motivated to finish them.

Well, just because I started something doesn’t always mean I’m motivated to finish it if what I start proves to be worthless already halfway through. I feel I have to finish things and at the same time I feel that graduating is one step closer to my ultimate goal in life which is to be successful in [a] corporate career and to be financially well off.

Externally, I think a lot people around me push me to finish things and to try [and]  excel as much as possible in what I do. That’s my mom; she always tells me to be ambitious and [to] try and achieve everything. Friends all around remind me as well. They would tell me that it would be such a waste if I let go of things halfway through.


Why is it important for a person to care about his/her future?

Well, I think it’s important because you’re the one who will face the benefits, the risks, and the consequences in due time. What happens in the future is influenced by what we do today because all of this accumulate and contribute to what you’re going to have in the future. So I think we have to really plan ahead and make good decisions as much as possible so you can have a good future. If you have a brighter future, then you get more benefits and rewards than negative consequences.


What is your message to those who want to achieve as much as you do?

I would tell people to never stop dreaming, never stop being ambitious, and never stop striving for what you want, but first of all, you have to know what you want. Always plan and people are important. No matter how good you are, even [if] you’re the smartest person in the world, you cannot be successful if you don’t have good people around you. Value the people around you because they’re the ones who can sometimes try to get you ahead, pick you up when you’re feeling down, or recommend some things to you.


What’s next for you after graduating college?

What’s immediately next is review school, and then after that I have to take the board exam in accountancy. After that, I want to take a short break for a couple of months and take up certificate course in makeup artistry because I’m also an aspiring makeup artist. I like helping people look and feel beautiful.

I may go into one of the big four audit firms if they’ll accept me. That’s where I hope to get training in accounting technical skills for around 2 to 4 years, then I’m hoping to transfer to private organization or a multinational corporation. I’m hoping to land a good corporate position at an established well known company while getting paid well and with good benefits.

I also hope to have my own business or a part time job in makeup artistry. As for journalism, I hope it will always be there. I feel that journalism is something you can do alongside your corporate career. Maybe I can contribute to a magazine or a newspaper. I don’t know if that’s possible but it’s something I’m very open to while I have my corporate career.


As a chapter is about to reach its end, graduation may be considered as a part of a student’s success in his/her life. But the struggles and challenges that come along the way will mold a person to be more than just a student, more than a just graduate, and even to be above the average.

April Anne Villena

By April Anne Villena

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