Julian Yao (’10) and Team Win Top Prize at the UPJMA Marketing Event

by Marquis Tan ('10), Year 4, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Julian is the 2nd from the left

Xaverians are known to have a strong competitive drive, and a natural calling for business. True to form, Julian Yao (’10), who is taking up Business Administration and Accountancy in the University of the Philippines Diliman, was a key member of the team that won the Major Marketing Event held in the Cesar Virata School of Business in UP last September 21, 2013, hosted by the UP Junior Marketing Association under the lead of Michael Lim (’10).


The Major Marketing Event is an annual marketing competition where teams try to come up with the best IMC (integrated marketing communications) campaign based on a given advocacy. The case for this year was how to use marketing to boost support for our country’s national athletes, especially for international meets, such as the SEA Games and the Olympics. These campaigns are then presented to a panel of judges, which include members from the U.P. academe, Yabang Pinoy, and the Philippine Sports Commission.

julian speaking

His joining the contest was spurred by his friends, who wanted to form a team. “I decided to push through with it because of my team. We’ve had a lot of experience working together, and I really look up to my teammates because they’re ultra-talented and driven, so joining was a no-brainer.” says Julian. Even though his focus is accounting, “[Julian has] been dabbling a lot in marketing.” and has prepared for and joined a handful of of marketing competitions.

But the path to victory also entailed some setbacks. “Unfortunately, I always fell short [of winning competitions]. At the back of my mind this also motivated me to join, because I wanted to prove that I could do it – that all the stress, training and all-nighters before presentations actually went somewhere. After being quite discouraged from all the previous setbacks, I wanted to make sure I actually had a chance to win before I even decided to join a contest.”


There were close to 100 submissions for the competition, 6 of which (including Julain’s team’s entry) made it to the top, where they presented the campaigns in front of the judges. The hard work did pay off, as Julian and the rest of Teampromptu (Marty Gonzaga, Nina Gerodias & Jeanina Tee) went on to become the Grand Champions of the said competition, taking in the P100,000 grand prize.

Business Administration and Accountancy (BAA) is one of the most acclaimed courses offered in U.P. and is highly coveted by most students who want to take up a Business course. Thanks to his mother’s advice to take the course, and the high level of training and thinking the course entails, Julian was able to gain a lot of knowledge and experience. Julian writes:

“I’m taking up Business Administration and Accountancy, though the focus is more on the latter. I actually followed my mom’s advice on this one because she’s from UP and she said it was a good course. I don’t regret taking my mom’s advice. I like how the course is flexible in terms of career paths, as the training we receive here can apply to so many industries and functions. So it’s really up to you whether you want to do marketing, HR, finance & accounting, or whatever you like, in whatever company you like. More than anything, I really appreciate the character-building of my course. Hands down, this is the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life, juggling overwhelming amounts of exams, papers, presentations and org work. It’s made me learn to push my limits beyond what I thought I was capable of, and more than anything, to keep fighting even if the results aren’t as good as I’d want it to be.”

Asked how his Xavier education influenced him, Julian happily answered:

“The foundation Xavier has provided me is a big part of why I haven’t shifted out of my course. I think my experiences in Xavier made me see that I do have the brains and leadership qualities and potential, and that’s given me the confidence to hold my own in a college that’s teeming with leaders, valedictorians and brilliant students in general.

In terms of how XS’s influence has helped me for marketing competitions, I think the school provided me with good ways to cultivate my creativity and public speaking. The Entrep project in 4th year helped me balance out my creative ideas with a sense of practicality, which is very important in coming up with marketing plans. You can’t win going all out on just the creative and witty stuff alone, as you have to temper it with an objective outlook and a solid understanding of what you’re trying to accomplish, as well as the people you’re trying to communicate to.

Cliché as it may sound, the spiritual aspect engrained in me from my days in XS also help, especially when I’m swamped in work and can’t seem to get a break. Prayer helps me take a step back and keeps me motivated to keep pushing.”

Of course, the story doesn’t end here. Julian says he is “Definitely gonna join more competitions,” and further says:

“I have a couple of pretty big contests lined up next semester, then the rest will come along. Of course I hope I’d get to win more contests too! After experiencing this first win, it’s definitely something I don’t wanna let go of. As for long term plans, I’m not so sure about what I wanna end up doing after graduation. Again, I’ll figure that out as it goes. What matters to me now is that I make the most out of the training and opportunities I have in the remaining one and a half years.

Here’s Julian’s message to the Xavier community, and his insights for the students:

“Much love and appreciation to the XS community for everything! The values I’ve learned and the support I get from my friends and teachers from XS help keep me going. (The fact that I’m even being featured four years out of graduating shows just how supportive the community is, I’m honored and touched!)

To the students, there’s probably one thing I’d want to impart that encompasses everything, and that’s to be persistent. No matter what your interest is, pursue it with a passion and don’t be discouraged by setbacks. Darating din ang panahon! Even if you’re not sure of the things that you do now are things you want to pursue down the road, just keep pushing and keep trying. If things don’t work out or you figured there’s something you like more or are better at, at least you can say you gave it your all. Also make the most of what you have and do not take opportunities for granted. I admit this is something I also have to work on, but once I get to a point where I can truly say I have no regrets for what I’ve done, I know I’ve made it!”

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