As we approached Saint Petersburg in Russia, my wife, Marissa, got the surprise of her life during her birthday party. My children prepared a great video on her, as a tribute to being a great mom and mentor. It was one of our family’s great bonding moments, especially when my father sang The Impossible Dream. My father, like me, is not a singer; but he sang it with all its meaning as sung in Don Quixote, The Man from La Mancha. This has been his theme song, even as far back as the days of Martial Law, being one of those who stood up and fought for democracy.
These times are precious, as our parents reach their senior years. Every moment spent with them is precious. As children, and now parents, we tend to follow the footsteps of our own parents on how they mentored us.
I am reminded again of the importance of mentorship especially when I talked to a crew of close to 300 on this ship. There are more than 60 Filipino guests on the ship, and more than half of the 600 crew members are Filipino. All Filipino crew members usually go home for two to three months for a vacation, but only after working so hard for nine to ten months. They are not able to be with their kids all the time. As narrated by one Filipino crew member, he was lucky to have been able to request to take a vacation earlier so that he could attend the graduation of his child.
Life is not perfect for all, but we have to make the best of what we have. We have millions of Filipino workers overseas who are not as lucky as we are, as we are able to mentor our kids 24/7. My admiration goes out to these men and women who strive for a better future for them and their families, and who are also our biggest source of dollar revenues.
As we approach the school season again, let me share a question from one of our readers which is quite relevant. With the start of the school year just around the corner, many parents are guiding their children on the right college course to take. This mother is thinking whether her son should take up entrepreneurship or business administration.
“My son will change his college course to business since I want him to open a new food business and be in charge of my existing one. Whom will I ask for advice? Should it be entrepreneurship or business administration? Which is a good school for business?” – Gizel Miguel
For your question Gizel, we’d like to share our thoughts on what can help your son run his own negosyo someday. We also called in esteemed Go Negosyo Angelpreneur and Dean of Entrepreneurs School of Asia Francisco “Pax” Lapid for his advice.
First, I assume your son has the passion to get into business. As a parent, we need to bring out the best in our children, and hone their interests so they can excel in what they do, whether in business or in other things. Either course will be helpful in preparing him for business. In the end, it’s in the right attitude and with an openness to learn that will make him successful.
He should take his learnings to heart, not only for the grades but to make him competent in dealing with the challenges in business and in life. Both would offer relevant business subjects that are critical to running a business. There may just be a bit of a difference in the format and approach. Entrepreneurship would normally require setting up actual business projects as a thesis. Through the mentorship of a student advisor, entrep students are guided step by step up to the execution of the project. This allows the student to put his learnings and knowledge into actual application and gain experience, making this business course an “incubation” process. To find the right school, review the curriculum and approach being used by various schools you are considering for your son.
Remember, whatever we do as parents, we have to support what our children really want to pursue. It’s always been a dilemma for our children on whom to follow – his heart’s desire or what their parents tell them they should do. Gizel, you need to really understand where the passion & potential of your son is. Is it really his intention to set up his food business or take over your existing family business?
Please remember that college degrees give us the discipline & framework for the careers or professions we eventually choose. If his ambition is to set up his own business, then Entrepreneurship is the course for him since it will guide him towards evaluating the best practices in opportunity seeking and opportunity seizing. If the aim after college is to run your existing company, then maybe any business course can help set the framework for a more productive, profitable & professional enterprise through the study of marketing/operations strategies.
Entrepreneurship is a JOURNEY of self-discovery & self-development for the individual (especially for your son). I am reminded of the usual quote of co-Angelpreneur Ping Sotto, “Our children are the arrows while we as parent are the bows. We stretch ourselves so that the arrow can reach the farthest but GOD is the archer,” a quotation from Khalil Gibran.
Thank you to Gizel for your inquiry. Our mail is always open to aspiring entrepreneurs who may have more questions for our experts. Send them in and we’ll be more than happy to answer.