by Jian Martin Tenorio, Keisha Faye Casabar, Daniela Nicole Gavina, Beatrix Zaira Daysor, and Jiselle Diane Manzanero
First-year students, shiftees, and transferees (FSTs) from the UP Los Baños College of Development Communication (UPLB CDC) embarked on a four-day mock press conference held from August 29 to September 1 via Zoom and Facebook live to develop their skills in preparation for their incoming college life as BS Development Communication (BSDC) students during the first semester of AY 2022-2023.
Organized by the UP Los Baños CDC Freshman Council (UPLB CDC-FC) and Student Council (UPLB CDC-SC), the program entitled Freshie DevCamp Fresh Conference (FDFC) aimed to expose CDC FSTs to two of the four domains of Development Communication (Devcom).
The participants were initially trained in Development Journalism and Community Broadcasting by two of CDC’s academic staff members, namely Mr. Miguel Victor T. Durian and Dr. Trina Leah T. Mendoza, respectively. The participants were expected to use the learnings they acquired from the trainings to be able to produce news articles and broadcast scripts.
Those who mostly benefited from the said activities were FSTs who have no background in journalism.
Juliane Robee Ona, a freshies without any prior experience in journalism, explained that she feels pressured the most when it comes to writing articles and broadcasting, which is why the FDFC was of great help to her.
“It (The FDFC) assist(ed) me in being confident in DevCom kasi kaya nga nag-aaral para matuto. Nakatulong naman siya in a way kasi parang naging training ground siya sa bawat freshies,” Ona said.
Meanwhile, Clariss Ann Garcia, another freshy without any background in journalism, explained that the activity helped bridge the gap between her high school years and upcoming college life as a BSDC student.
“I do get some anxiety and concerns late at night, wondering if I’m on par with BS Development Communication or if I’m good enough to survive the course as it was far from what I’ve [learned] during my high school years. [The] CDC Freshie DevCamp has helped me a lot by giving me the gist of what studying in Devcom feels like,” Garcia stated.
Additionally, the said event also provided the CDC FSTs with the courage and motivation to learn new skills as was the case for Marielle Estrada, who also lacked prior experience in journalism.
“Even though I lack experience in journalism, the DevCamp gave me courage and reminded me that it is never too late to learn and hone new things, especially the skills that are needed for BSDC,” Estrada mentioned.
Aside from the learnings, the FDFC also served as a venue for the FSTs to interact with each other and with upperclass students and to be introduced to the CDC faculty.
“I think nabawasan ‘yung pressure and takot. I get to interact with my co-freshies. Nawala ‘yung nararamdaman kong intimidation. And syempre, ‘yung mga tips and advice from our DevCom seniors really helped a lot, as well as ‘yung workshop and lecture from Day 2 sa DevCamp,” stated Abigail Castillano, another participant.
The FDFC is part of the Freshie DevCamp: BSDC 22 Onboarding!, a welcome activity for CDC freshies intended to provide a safe, interactive, and insightful space for FSTs, especially those who have no prior experience in journalism.
It is a student-led activity, which, as stated by UPLB CDC-SC Chairperson Shey Levita, allowed the organizers to greatly serve the FSTs and meet their needs as they start their journey as new members of the CDC studentry.
“Lagi ko ngang sinasabi dito sa mga kasamahan natin na organizers ng DevCamp na we should be the people na hinahanap natin noong tayo ay freshie. Kasi alam namin kung ano ang paghihirap… Mahalaga na alam natin ang goals, kung alam ba natin kung ano ang dapat ibigay kasi at one point, we are on your position,” Levita shared.
Aside from the mock conference, the Freshie DevCamp also allowed the freshies of BSDC to immerse themselves in various information and essential tips as the first day of the event enabled them to get a glimpse of what to expect at CDC and what will be in store for them when they step into UPLB and experience the potential life of a BSDC student.
Initially supposed to be conducted in a hybrid setup, the said welcome event pushed through amidst the challenges that the UPLB CDC-FC and SC encountered in organizing it.