By: Shane Macalanda
I had the pleasure to be part of COMCO Southeast Asia’s award-winning Camp COMCO Mentorship Program for its 15th cycle. Similar to the last few cycles, the program is conducted virtually—and despite the limited set-up, the experience was still a memorable one.
From its description alone, “a program aimed at transforming communication, marketing, and multimedia arts students and recent graduates into industry revolutionaries”, Camp COMCO already assured us that it will be different from standard internship practices.
On our first week, Coach Ferds Bondoy and the COMCO Southeast Asia Squadron warmly welcomed us and gave us a feel of the fun culture of the company. Camp COMCO apprentices are called “COMCOwans”, in reference to the padawan students of Star Wars. Everyone is divided into four Houses (House Bearcat, House Flying Fox, House Hawksbill, House Whaleshark), a call-back to the competing Hogwarts houses in Harry Potter.
But Camp COMCO isn’t a competition-based program, even its culminating House Wars (which may sound intimidating but is actually the most enjoyable part of the program), wherein everyone (grouped according to House) is tasked to create a communications plan for Filipino artisan chocolate brand Theo & Philo for the Cycle 15 edition of the activity. It’s all about unity and coming together to share ideas to learn.
The Camp COMCO Mentorship Program allowed us to go through intensive training, which includes very interactive mentoring sessions that honed our skills on communications and digital work. For our first session, we discussed the emerging practices of New PR and Smart Social. We also get to learn about Writing, Content Planning, Media Relations, Presenting Techniques, Insights Mapping and Ideation, Strategic Communications Planning, and more!
Cycle 15 also had their mini catch-up with Coach Ferds, Matthew Escosia, the Senior Integrated Communications Associate, and Patricia Rana, the Senior Corporate Services Associate, as a way to get to know one another. It was a really refreshing break filled with fun games and conversations.
I’m very proud of my batch, Cycle 15, for the new friendship and the memorable learning experience. My co-COMCOwans would definitely agree that the program really honed us to become better individuals suited for the professional field after graduation.
“Being part of COMCO SEA is a great and fun experience. I learned so much, and they have given me opportunities that honed my skills and will give me an advantage in the future. I’m also thankful for them for pushing me beyond the limits that made me grow and improve. I never regret applying for their company. Even as an intern, they will make you feel like you have long been a part of them and will never leave you behind,” shared Janillaine Platero of House Whaleshark
“I am beyond grateful not just for the lessons COMCO has taught me, but also for making us, interns, feel valued and appreciated. Despite the online setup, I still enjoyed the entire experience which I will definitely bring with me as I go on with my career journey. I remember when we had our catch-up with Coach and the rest of the Camp. COMCO really took the time and effort to surprise us with food, play games with us, and most especially, to check on us and just ask how we’re holding up. And that just matters a lot for me, you know the fact that they are doing that for the COMCOwans says a lot about how much COMCO gives importance to the rest of the Squadron,” said Mabel Villanueva of House Bearcat.
“CAMP COMCO showed me how tedious it is to work in a real working environment and you have to be in sync with everyone that you are working with to maintain the quality of work that you are doing. It also allowed me to become more open as to how things work and how I can contribute to making the process even better,” said Mark Evangelista from House Flying Fox
“I am honored at the same time blessed to be part of the camp as one of the interns of COMCO SEA. This experience is one of a kind and it truly changed my perspective in Public Relations and Communications. It also gave me the ideas and learnings that I’ll be working on in the future like creating press releases, being part of the event, media monitoring, collaborating, researching, and creating a campaign.” said Enrico Rañoco from House Hawksbill.
I think one of the best experiences I’ve had with COMCO is the whole Camp COMCO Mentorship Program. I feel like it really honed a lot of my skills, especially in terms of communicating with people, communicating with the brand. I really enjoyed my stay, COMCO SEA. May you continue to inspire more students like me in the future.
As Camp COMCO closes yet another cycle, and opens its doors for Cycle 16, the learning remains—and will continue to ignite in all of us.
Built by the Agency’s pool of experts, Camp COMCO Mentorship Program is an intensive and comprehensive talent incubation initiative, industry linkage course, and apprenticeship program designed to transform communication, marketing, and multimedia arts students and fresh graduates into revolutionary practitioners of the industry. It won the 2019 IABC Quill Award of Excellence for Communications Training and Education.