Jolly University champions start the climb to successful careers

jolly-university
One of the Jolly University Mentors conducting the hands on training in kitchen skills.

by Ana Marie “Alu” Aran, FoodFindsAsia.com |

Deeply rooted in its commitment to recognize and harness the potentials of future industry leaders, Jolly University (JU) — a private company-initiated campaign under Jolly, one of the leading brands in canned foods and vegetables — has been providing students with competitive training and workshop opportunities through an annual campus-wide search.

Following the Jolly University program’s success for the past two years, Jun Cochanco, President of Fly Ace Corporation, exclusive distributor of Jolly Food Line, said the company is very proud to be part of an initiative that builds career-driven and empowered youth leaders.

“We are happy to invest in this program which positively impacts and leverages students’ future professional careers. Because they gain learning beyond the four corners of the classroom, students get practical know-how, values formation and the crucial mentorship which give them the competitive edge. Having all these focused support and training opportunities greatly solidify the foundation of their future careers or in launching their own businesses. Which is why we highly encourage students to join Jolly University; it’s a great opportunity that they shouldn’t miss,” he said.

Now on its third year, the Jolly University goes all out once more, this time with a broadened competition format to tap in more young culinary talents who want to develop their creativity and entrepreneurial leadership capabilities.

Jolly University Elite students showcasing their culinary skills during the Jolly University Intra school competition
Jolly University Elite students showcasing their culinary skills during the Jolly University Intra school competition

“What sets the Jolly University apart from other culinary competitions is that it trains students in crafting effective business planning; it’s a complete immersion. It also acts as a great motivational boost, for them to engage in a program that fuels their innate passion to excel. Which is why every year, we highlight a boot camp for participants to gain key learning that help them prepare well ahead for careers and real-world work environments,” said Marilou Acuña, Jolly Senior Product Manager.

More exciting features for Jolly University Year 3

The Year 3 kick-off on January 2016 is touted to be bigger and better, as Jolly University will be a more expansive and “individual-focused” campus search. Apart from the bootcamp, next year’s program will introduce a new individual category for the cook-off challenge and a congress.

“We are highlighting individual talents and capabilities this year. As much as it is fun and entertaining to have group competitions, Jolly University brings out the full leadership potentials of a person during individual participation,” said Jolly University Head Master Chef Mitchie Sison.

Mr. Jun Cochanco, president of Fly Ace Corporation, ... xperiences and wisdom in leading Fly Ace Corporation
Mr. Jun Cochanco, president of Fly Ace Corporation, … xperiences and wisdom in leading Fly Ace Corporation

Another exciting new component is the Jolly University Congress. “Besides the live cooking competition, attendees will be engaged with activities, interactive booths, jobfair and workshops by key speakers from top industries which will help participants in their future careers or food business,” she added.

While still primarily aimed at tapping collegiate trainees, Ralph Rebulanan, Jolly’s Product Associate, stressed the goal is to make next year’s Jolly University campus search and learning program more inclusive and far-reaching.  “The program is continuously growing, and we are devising ways to expand its audience reach. We are looking at the possibility of inviting and showcasing a younger segment, like senior high school students,” he said.

As Jolly University enters its third year, let us look back at the winners of Year 2 and see how their group’s journey continues to inspire JU’s advocacy of empowering the younger generation.

Wholistic transformation

A passion for culinary arts is only the first step towards a successful professional cooking career. But for the Year 2 champions of Jolly University — University of Sto. Tomas HRM students CJ Asiddao, Rian Cajiles and Monique Siguenza — their climb to a future career in the food industry is easier as they are now equipped with the competitive edge and right mindset to stand out early on in their lives.

Apart from the prestige and cash prize,  20-year-old CJ revealed that the biggest rewards were the lessons, motivation and the vast opportunities that opened up to them.

Winners of Jolly University Year 2 - From left, CJ Asiddao, Monique Siguenza, and Rian Cajiles
Winners of Jolly University Year 2 – From left, CJ Asiddao, Monique Siguenza, and Rian Cajiles

“We learned a lot from our Jolly University Boot Camp experience. We got to listen to key industry experts who conducted talks and workshops on various topics, from culinary to mentorships on leadership, creativity, business planning and personality enhancement,” CJ noted.

Along with intense hands-on intense culinary trainings under Chef Mitchie, part of their prize as Grand Champions include taping four cooking shows for Jolly Food Line (which will be exclusively featured in the Jolly ‘s official Facebook page, Jolly Eats, and website jolly.com.ph ) and undergoing a crash course on professional food styling and photography wherein the photos will be published in jolly.com.ph, magazines, and newspapers, to name a few.

Career-building advantage

On their way to receiving their diplomas, CJ, Rian and Monique are now focused on starting their solo careers. Twenty-year-old Rian is aiming to expand their family business using what he has learned from the Jolly University Boot Camp. “Personally, it gave me plenty of opportunities to put what I’ve learned into practice, especially in crafting strategic business plans for our bakery,” he shared.

Come graduation day, the Jolly ambassadors are excited to start climbing the steps of their career goals, eager to enter the competitive food industry with an increased confidence.

“I used to have reservations and doubts whether I can do it. But through Jolly University, I’m motivated to follow my dream of becoming a professional chef.  I know I’m on the right path. I’m ready and excited to face the future!” said Monique, as she plans to further her culinary mastery at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris.

Online application forms for Jolly University Year 3 can be downloaded at jolly.com.ph and Jolly Eats (Facebook) and will be accepted beginning November 2015. For more updates on Jolly University, visit jolly.com.ph. Also like its official FB fanpage (Jolly Eats) or follow via Twitter and Instagram (@jollyeatsph).

* * *

Ana Marie “Alu” Aran

Alu is a partner at Courage Asia (business consultancy firm & foodservice event organizers), an adjunct faculty at Enderun Colleges and a food and lifestyle writer. She also a Contributing Editor for www.foodfindsasia.com, Managing Editor for www.dineph.com and a resource person & speaker on marketing, event management and parenting.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here