Beeta Ansari

Beeta is Ashoka U’s Exchange Director, the world’s largest global convening for social entrepreneurship education.

Changemaker of the Week: Kathleen Paige A. Yu

Kathleen Paige A. Yu, student at University of the Philippines, shares a new vision for the job market that values skills and personal qualities more than college degrees and her journey in connecting candidates to companies through her start-up company.

Kathleen is being featured as part of Ashoka U’s series, “Changemaker of the Week” which highlights extraordinary student changemakers in high school, college and graduate programs around the world. Check the Ashoka U Blog each week for a story of a new Changemaker of the Week!

1) What is your project or organization?
Rumarocket, Inc. is a Manila-based tech start-up that uses assessments and predictive analytics to help companies find and develop their IT talents.

2)How did you get involved with Rumarocket (or how did you decide to found it)?
A very talented close friend of mine dropped out of school to find a job because she could no longer pay for her tuition. She couldn’t find any good jobs since she didn’t have a college degree, and she ended up working menial jobs in the service sector to support herself and her family. Financially distressed, she came very close to suicide several times. I thought it very unfair that someone as talented as she was would be discriminated against, just because she wasn’t a college graduate. New hires should be assessed on their skill levels, not on which school they graduated from or who their parents are, I thought.

I also found it funny that companies would put so much weight on a college degree, when rapid information turnover via the internet has made the old paradigm of “graduate from a good school to get a good job” no longer applicable in today’s society. The priorities of the job market had changed, and schools were no longer efficiently meeting the demand for skills.

This inspired me to found Rumarocket Inc, a tech company that specializes in finding and developing talents in the Philippine IT industry. Our platform is open to everyone—whether high school dropout or university graduate—and helps HR personnel find suitable candidates based purely on skill proficiency and experience. Through this, we eventually hope to develop an education platform for schools to provide short lessons and assessments to further develop the quality of talents on the platform.

3) How has being a college student changed the way you act as a changemaker?
As a college student, I’ve always understood that I still have a lot to learn from my experiences and the people around me, and I’ve always tried to keep an open mind when faced with opposing opinions or viewpoints. This has really helped me understand situations better, and make more well-rounded decisions for my organization. I think this is something that all young people—especially the millennial generation—should take to heart.

We’re not invincible and all powerful. The rock-star entrepreneur is a myth. Success is a team effort, something that takes a lot of grit and humility to achieve.

4) What’s the best part of working on Rumarocket?
I think it’s working with a great team who shares the same passions and motivations. I wouldn’t be where I am today without them.

5) What’s one piece of advice you’d give to any college student thinking of becoming a changemaker?
There’s no substitute for hard work and persistence. Also, be prepared to fail a lot. It’s something that comes with trying new things, and shouldn’t be avoided. We learn so much more from failure than success.

6)How has your school or school’s social entrepreneurship initiative helped you progress as a student social innovator and in this venture?
My professors always approached my ideas with open-mindedness and enthusiasm and I think this was something that really encouraged me to always try and explore new things.

More information about Kathleen will be featured on social media this week, so make sure to like Ashoka U on Twitter and Facebook! Check out Ashoka U’s blog each week to see new stories of phenomenal student changemakers making a difference in the world.