Being a teenager in this digital era is already hard enough, but what about facing real-life business issues? Believe or not, students all over the country are actually raring to take on the world. Gen Z-ers are known for being connected, driven, and creative.
This year’s Thames Teenpreneur Challenge, one of the country’s most highly acclaimed annual entrepreneurship competition among top schools, proves that Filipino teens have what it takes to be future leaders. After a series of extensive workshops by industry mentors in the creative industry, high school students competed with each other to come up with the best ideas for music, product design, and commercials.
Get to know the Teenpreneur T-shirt Design Winner, Angelica Nicole Tan, as she talked about her goals, inspiration, favorites, and more in this heartfelt Slambook Q&A interview.
BETWEEN YOU AND ME: MY STUDENT EXPERIENCE
What is your school and SHS strand?
I’m from the HUMSS strand of Makati Hope Christian School.
What was your favorite subject in school and why?
If I had to choose a subject, it would most probably be Research. I think people will think I’m weird because of this, so let me defend myself. I actually had this love-hate relationship with making papers (I still do sometimes), but by the time I was in senior high, I ended up loving the peace that reading source material and analyzing data could bring. So I’ve learned to love it no matter how stressful it gets.
What made you decide to join the #Teenpreneur Challenge?
To put it simply, I just wanted to take challenges and opportunities to learn and know more about the world. Teenpreneur was an opening offered by my teacher, so why wouldn’t I take the chance to get some experience and new skills?
What was your biggest barrier?
I guess I could say that the lack of experience and fear of failure was something we needed to overcome. As deadlines came, complacencies and creators’ block did not help at all. I found that I needed to expand and stray away from my comfort zones so we could make something we could be proud of. Thankfully, I had the company of people with fresh ideas, and the internet to keep ideas moving and the energy going.
Where did your winning idea come from?
Though we all had parts in the planning and creation of the different challenges, my main duty was with making the T-shirt and Poster Design, since I had the most experience with that area of arts. Looking at the design, I don’t believe many would think that it had so many iterations before it and trust me, it took a long while before we finished its final design.
All we knew and definitely agreed on since day one was while we needed the design to be faithful to our culture, the beauty of the Philippines, and its people. It had to first and foremost be a T-shirt design that anyone would willingly wear out of the streets today. Our design may look a bit unconventional, but that is one of the characteristics we love about it.
How did your school support you?
The school supported us with great advisors in the form of multiple teachers, media support by sharing our experiences and encouraging our school community to vote and support us, and providing resources and time for us to complete the tasks for the competition.
We were actually quite shocked by the support from our school and our teachers gave us, and I believe that their constant encouragement and guidance made our experience in Teenpreneur all the much better.
How did your school prepare you for success?
Though we all hoped for success, we concentrated on presenting our best abilities in projects we can be proud to exhibit. I’m glad to say that this is a discipline my school has taught me through the years.
If you could invent something specifically for the Philippines, what would it be?
If I could find the solution to alleviate many if not all the problems our country and people face, I would do it in a heartbeat. While traffic congestion and pollution are serious topics of concern, I would want to specifically find or invent a means for reliable communications around the country.
I hope that we can reach the inaccessible and connect with others as a means for delivering help and news. Not only for those in developed areas but for all Filipinos.
What’s your favorite book?
This is actually a real tough choice for me, but I’d go for Percy Jackson And The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. What can I say? It was one of the novels that fueled my love for reading and I’m quite the sucker for modern takes on old tales.
What’s your hidden talent?
Though I’m more known for drawing and the likes, I actually have quite the passion for little clay crafts which amuse and entertain people, especially when they see me focused on such small and detailed works.
In your own words, what’s your life motto?
Compete against your past works that you can get better each step of the way.
My mom always told me that you should not compare yourself to the works of others, but to work harder so that you may surpass yourself. I guess I can say that this kept me grounded as I keep working on myself.
Who is your favorite superhero? Why?
I would pick Nightwing. Maybe it’s the fact that despite not having an actual superpower, he continues to protect and save people, or that he works hard on his skills to be better. Those values really interest me.
How about your favorite lines from a movie or TV show?
“I look like a moose.” “But a very cute moose. Make all the boy moose go ‘WHAAAAA.’” – Princess Diaries 2
It’s shallow, but it never fails to make me smile.
What do you do for fun? How do you manage stress?
I read fanfiction, watch YouTube videos, and take naps. These apply to both questions. It can be scary and stressful outside and I’m really a “homebody” by preference.
Message for aspiring creatives
One thing I would’ve liked to hear before would be: “When things get rough, just start something. Anything actually. Find what you can do and what you want to do, and work with it. Don’t box yourself in ideas, keep yourself open and ready for change.”
Sometimes, we all just need a little inspiration from our peers who have succeeded before us. Remember: you’re never too young to start. With the help of experienced mentors from school, we can unleash our creativity and realize our potential. Learn more about the Teenpreneur challenge and find more career-related stories that will inspire you to be the best that you can be at Edukasyon.ph.