Has the COVID-19 crisis accelerated us into a new age of learning?

I spent the first month of summer working on several small side-projects in the education and future of work space in the Philippines. These ranged from sizing the market for online learning to calculating the costs for prolonged school closures.

Those few weeks revealed some exciting trends for education in the country and in the broader Southeast Asia, which I’m looking forward to seeing unfold. Here are my top five predictions.

Source: Forbes.com and Ruangguru

Prediction #1: Traditional and formal education will be replaced with byte-sized training programs with clear pathways to jobs.

In a post-COVID Philippines, communities will move away from treating tertiary degrees as the ultimate signal for skill or credibility and begin prioritizing programs that help them land jobs…

Schools in the Philippines will remain closed until August 24 for health concerns — but at what cost?

A month ago, the Department of Education announced that schools in the Philippines would remain closed until August 24, 2020, postponing the originally slated back-to-school date by 12 weeks. In conjunction with the COVID-19 Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF), the DepEd cited health and safety as their primary concerns in pushing for this delay.

The decision was immediately met with criticisms on both sides — some saying that schools should reopen sooner, and others fearing that deliberations were too hasty. …

After nearly two days of travelling, I finally arrived back in the Philippines last Saturday morning. I was so tired, I felt like I was wading through a vat of slime when I walked out of NAIA Terminal 2 that day.

So much angst and anxiety had gone into waiting, planning and preparing for the trip that I had no energy left to celebrate once I actually got back. …

Learnings on life, friendship, and the pursuit of profit maximization

The welcome screen in Klarman Hall on the first day of school

Over 8 months and 300 cases later, here we are! As of last Friday — and barring the fact that I bombed any of my final exams — I am officially done with my first year of HBS. The day after it all ended, I slept for 12 hours straight. That probably captures best what the experience felt like for me.

As I now take the time to step back and reflect on the year, I thought to share some ‘marbles’ I’ve added to my jar of learnings from a…

An unexpected and sudden hush has blanketed the world.

Existence as we know it is on pause: events postponed, people shackled indoors, restaurants and bars shut down. Calendars once packed end-to-end with appointments are blindingly clear. For the first time in months, I can hear myself think.

The price of this peace? A virus that is ravaging every corner of the globe, slowing down for no one and discriminating against no one, devastating businesses, governments and millions of lives in its wake. …

I had always imagined the mid-20’s to be an awkward and confusing time. Spoiler: I was right.

The mid-20’s were exactly as their name suggests — full of “middles” or “in-betweens”. And as the person sitting in the center seat on an airplane knows, in-betweens are a rough place to be, especially when looking for a comfortable spot to rest one’s head for a nap.

Those of us in our mid-20’s are past the deer-in-headlights, new adulthood phase of the early 20’s, but not established enough to feel the confidence and security of the late 20’s. We’re too old to…

Throughout the 6-month ALX Launchpad Program, I wrote several letters to the Young Leaders in moments of both challenge and celebration. As I look back on my time with the program and read over these emails, I’m surprised at how much they reflect the arc of the lessons and conversations we had in our community, narrating a story of hope, trial and growth. Below are some of the highlights!

A proud Mother Hen looking over her little chicks.


Dear Young Leaders,

When I first began thinking about what message I wanted to share with you all on this special night, I went through a mental list of all of…

I delivered this speech at our recent ALX Launchpad Tambali Ceremony, to the first ever graduating batch of our program. The word “Tambali” comes from the Wollof language and means to start.

The Pioneer batch of the ALX Launchpad Program in Nairobi

As your self-proclaimed mother hen, I can’t help but approach this the way that a true mother would. On this special day, I am nothing but proud of you all and want to take endless photos. I also feel like I would love to impart some great life wisdom to you all — a nugget of wisdom that you can call back when you most need it. …

Since ALX launched last September 2018, we have been home to 120 recent graduates and 100 middle managers who are accelerating their careers and leadership development journeys.

To be the #1 Most Innovative Company in Africa, our teams at ALU and ALX have had to move fast and iterate quickly. Most of us like to say that we are “building the plane as we fly it.”

Of course, this type of approach can, at times, be stress-inducing and result in varying levels of success. We have started and staffed projects that we’ve quickly had to scrap. We have also recruited and hired people whose job descriptions changed within a month of their arrival. Moving fast oftentimes has these side-effects.

At the same time, though, this nimble and…

When I was younger, one of the first lessons my Mom taught me was to “give more”. During our morning car rides to school, she would prepare me for quizzes and tests by drilling me with questions — one hand on the steering wheel and the other on a textbook. With her eyes trained on me in the rearview mirror, she would push me to share all that I knew about a particular concept. One sentence answers were unacceptable. “Give me more,” she would say. “The more information you give on your exams, the more points you will get.” At…

Michi Ferreol

Educator. Globetrotter. Proud Filipino. || MBA Candidate @ Harvard || Building and investing in the Future of Work || IG: @michiferreol

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