Hi! My name is Maine Manalansan, originally known as the culprit and editor-in-chief behind Stache Magazine. I love looking at pretty things and working with amazingly creative individuals. I’m also interning for Arriane Serafico of Wanderrgirl.com and freelancing as a graphic designer.
Every great speech needs a starting quote. Here’s mine:
“There is an expiry date on blaming your parents for steering you in the wrong direction; the moment you are old enough to take the wheel, responsibility lies with you.” -JK Rowling
I’ve always been that student. At first, I thought business school was the way to go because my dad took up accounting. It made so much sense back in high school. But come second year college, when I realized that my habit of doodling in class wasn’t a hobby but a passion, that I wanted to create more than witness creation, that I wanted to help other people find their passion, I knew I was in the wrong place. So I did what every person should do when they’re lost in the dreams of other people: I followed my OWN dream (what a cheese ball).
Stache’s conception happened in a car with one of my closest college friends and my frustration to do something other than balancing financial statements. “Let’s create an online magazine,” I said. And that was pretty much the start of it. Every great thing that’s happening in my career right now started with that impulsive decision. At that time, I wasn’t aware of what it will do to my life, I just knew that it was the best way to develop my skills, feed my passion and help other people realize their capabilities.
Because of that one spur of the moment decision, I learned a lot of things about the real world that business school never taught me. I learned that people are kinder and more professional in real life. They will respect you if they respect what you do and more often than not, they do. They will give you tips and mentor you if they see potential. But dipping my toes into the real working world is not all fun and games.
Being a 17-year-old editor-in-chief of a “makeshift” magazine was tough. I’ve always had the fear that people will not take me seriously because of my age or because they think that what we’re doing doesn’t follow the rules of magazine-making (if there’s one). Even though I read about a lot of painfully constructive criticisms every month during our first few issues, they never discouraged me because I understand that this is part of the working and learning process and I knew I had to suck it in if I want to be successful.
With the workload I’ve been doing since I started Stache, I guess I can say that I didn’t feel the transition from being a student to a working person. Or maybe I haven’t even transitioned yet. I marched in PICC [during the graduation ceremony] wearing black robes feeling exceptionally normal. It was both a good and a bad thing because I was lucky enough to be doing what I like at such an early age but at the same time, I wasn’t able to feel the joy and fulfillment of finally finishing school.
I think that’s the trick to staying sane after (or even during) college: Start working early. It doesn’t have to be a full-paying 8 to 5 job you love to hate. You should start by working on what you love and other people will potentially love. It will soften the blow of plunging into the real world.
So far, all of my work experiences are pleasant. I’m currently working with social enterprises and people who share my same sentiments about how things work in this country and how we all want to improve it. I don’t want to make up stories about how everyone in the business world are mean and evil, because they are not. You just have to find your working soulmate. If you can’t, you just make sure that you keep your principles intact and you don’t lose yourself during the process.