I was asked by a friend who is a sophomore Mass Comm student to be his beat on a story for their Feature Writing class. At first, I had a second thought whether to accept the interview invite or not. That time I guess I am not yet credible to be featured on a journalism class. But I told myself that it doesn’t matter if I am not as popular like the other people who are featured by the other students. What matters to me is the principle and the leadership journey that I can share to the readers. So here’s what Bryan wrote for me.
Leadership Transformation from the Ordinary
by Bryan Keith Dimanlig
Out from an ordinary kid way back high school is now one of the most celebrated student leaders of Far Eastern University. Definitely, Jennifer Anne Pascua is not just popular in the Mass Communication society or the whole Institute of Arts and Sciences; at the age of 17, she is a certified campus-wide phenomenon.
Jennifer Anne Pascua, Treasurer of FEU Mass Cmmunication Society ‘12-‘13
Before becoming a student leader, a girl the likes of Jennifer Anne Pascua is just a not-so-special student in High School. Her usual routine on a school day are; Go to school, go home and do assignments. Not an ounce of what she have become today.
“When I was in high school, I admired my classmates who were part of the Central Student Council because, they always do room to room campaigns, announcements and I feel like I envy them,” Jennifer Anne Pascua said during the interview.
The green-eyed-monster struck her really good. From that feeling, she drew humongous inspiration and started doing volunteer work in the said student council. Even though you can’t technically call her volunteerism in high school as a powerful credential, it served as her miniature training ground through her future in student leadership.
Starting out as a Leader
One of the major highlights of Jennifer Anne Pascua, like most of us, is entering college. During her 1st year life as a Mass Communication student in Far Eastern University (FEU) way back 2010, she discovered The Far Eastern University – Central Student Organization
(FEUCSO), the most superior of all existing academic organizations in FEU, which is headed by Aeron Morado, also a Mass Communication student during that time who she claims to be one of her greatest mentors.
She started out as an Executive Committee (ExeComm) of FEUCSO way back 2010. From there she underwent extensive and comprehensive training under the organization, and also from her political party. In fact, Jennifer Anne Pascua has done major contributions to the organization like the; “SAYAWIT” 2010 and 2011, “The Agenda: Students’ Press Conference” 2010 and 2011, “Concierto Piyu 83 Reloaded” and many more.
Indeed, Jennifer Anne Pascua has given her precious time and effort to the organization for one and a half years which have sprouted a lot of experiences, and opportunities for her, and honed her abilities, and skills as a young student leader. From that exposure, her political party, SANDIGAN, discovered her potentials and made her run as the 2nd year Representative in 2011 in-line Young Empowered Students (YES), a political extension of SANDIGAN. Now, she is serving the Mass Communication Society as the organization’s Treasurer.
“Having a position sometimes makes you feel like you have the authority. Unlike when you are an executive committee, you are just a follower. You are just someone who follows the officers, someone who just does the task. But, when I became an officer, it was life changing. Because, I am not the only one that follows, I am the one that empowers and more than leading my constituents in Mass Communication society,” she said.
Leadership and its Essentials
Being elected as the Treasurer, one with the heaviest tasks in an organization, of the Mass Communication society, and one of the most admired Student Leaders in the campus, Jennifer
Anne Pascua is equipped not only by her previous experiences, but also with her outstanding skills, abilities, talents, and inspirations that she uses in her student leadership career.
One important factor is combining your passion for leadership and your goals through progress. “I think one important factor is passion and your goal as a student leader because sometimes, some student leaders have the passion but, they don’t know where they are going,” she said. “I think it must be a combination of both your goal and your passion” she said.
Second, a student leader must be experienced. Your passion and goal will never take you to anywhere if you don’t know how to use it. It is very important to gain experience, whether big time or flop, it will become his or her foundation through the years. Like Jennifer Anne Pascua, she has made a very powerful stronghold through her volunteerism in high school, and her continuous service for the students.
Third, a student leader must be humble and friendly in nature, but strict and disciplined. Being like a combination of a Democrat and Authoritarian. “. Democrat, in a way that I accept ideas, and suggestions,” she said. “Authoritarian in a way that I am strict with people, and my executive committee. Most importantly, with deadlines. For me, one great thing a student leader must possess is Time Management. Time and Deadline. Because when one is late with the deadline, all will follow,” she said.
And finally, a student leader must be adaptive to change and must be a risk taker. “I think the most important is change because people are very afraid of change. They don’t want to embrace change because, they have this fear that it will be hard for them to adjust,” she said. “But I think a good leader must be a risk taker no matter how hard and new the thing is. He or she must make it to the point to try it. Because you’ll never know the result of an experiment
unless you will try it and it is very important to embrace that change because you will learn that you still have this kind of limit and potentials and that you should explore and show to the world,” she said
Academics and Connections
Despite having the authority and power, this young leader gives more importance to academics and her connection to her co-students than student leadership. As some of us don’t know, Jennifer Anne Pascua is a consistent academic scholar and has a General Weighed Average (GWA) not lower than 1.50.
“More important than the numerical figures, is the understanding I gain through in class and I think it’s justifiable that I am a great student,” she said. “We should be good students first. Good student in a sense that you are able to balance studies and come to class despite of an event. You must choose academics first before anything else,” she said.
Jennifer Pascua defines Student Leader as someone who knows how to lead his or her people, and empowers others, creating new student leaders while balancing with studies. “I think being an excellent student is the prize and being a good student leader is just a bonus for being a college student,” she said.
In fact, all of her constituents are her friends. She talks and interacts with them like there is no sexual barrier between them, yet there is always this strong sense of professionalism with them when tackling tasks, projects, and events. She believes that in this way, she will empower and motivate her subordinates to be better leaders. “What is important is you establish friendship from leadership,” she said. Also, she said that she wants to see her constituents as the leaders who will take her and other officers’ place. In that way, she can say that she empowered them
and at least accomplished one of her lifetime goals, to change for the better. “Like what I always tell them soon I will leave FEU and I want that someday I want them to be the leaders that will lead the Mass Comm people,” she said.
Finally, the most important thing of all is her dedication of her work to God. The strongest connection she had that made her strong despite of all her shortcomings and failures in life. “I still believe that God has a proper purpose and a perfect time for me so what I do I just wait and pray,” she said. “But I still prepare myself for that because, what if God gives it to me and I’m not prepared. So I just prepare and pray.”