Dann Wenzley Garcia

Up Close with the School of Engineering (SoE) ’s 2007 Alumnus…DANN WENZLEY GARCIA

By Deeno Lapira

After more than 25 years, Asia Pacific College (APC) features members of its alumni on our website, the RAMS Success Stories. As an educational institution, waving the flag of success by its graduates would ultimately be a living a proof of reaping achievements and milestones. Over the years, APC undoubtedly has contributed to the growth of the country through quality graduates. This has been proven not just by its industry based-curriculum offerings but most importantly by the members of the alumni who has succeeded and made a name for themselves in their respective fields of specialization.

To grace our pilot feature story, we are happy to have the current president of the APC Rams Alumni Association (APCRAA), DANN WENZLEY DIMLA GARCIA. An alumnus of the School of Engineering, Dann majored in Computer Engineering. Back in 2002, when he started as a freshman, he said that he only learned about APC thru a magazine. And as the cliché goes, the rest was history. But let’s try to unravel some of his fond moments as an APC Engineering student, his struggles and successes, as well as his challenges in his chosen field.

Just recently, the Publications Office had the privilege to visit Fujitsu Philippines in Makati City, where Dann has worked for the past 9 years. Presently, he is a Shared Services Field Support Team Leader (Managed Services Delivery Group).

As we had an opportunity to exchange pleasantries, Dann candidly and willingly answered some interesting questions.

Q: How is life now after APC?
DANN: Currently, ako yung current president ng APCRAA, since then I became active with the alumni community again. Ako din nag handle ng yearbook ng batch namin noon as editor-in-chief.

Q: Looking back, why did you choose APC for your college education?
DANN: It was a long story…I was a product of a public high school, Ramon Magsaysay High School in Cubao, Quezon City, where I learned about APC thru a magazine. Back then, it was really far to travel from my residence in QC to Makati, taking the MRT every day, but it was the facilities that attracted me to enroll, then with Computer Engineering, if I would be investing in a course, I believe being a partner with IBM, their facilities and equipment are really state of the art.

Q: What did you think of your professors back then? Were there any one of them who stood out?
DANN: Yes, meron, Sir George Daliva. It was a major subject -- Logic Circuit. Even after he left for Canada, we still keep in touch. I remember that he is the type of teacher who is approachable and does not pressure students with his downto-earth personality. He would really go out of his way for his students to help his students for them to learn.

Q: What were the most useful / fun classes you took?
DANN: Noon and even now, we thought that the minor subjects like math would not really be used in the workplace. But I believe that it was really discipline that was taught to us, just like logical thinking. We were able to appreciate our major subjects as to assembly of circuits. I recall that it was for Applied Projects (APPROJ), parang thesis namin, where we designed and put together a cueing system for the Registrar, since they needed one during that time. They were able to use it effectively for about 2 years.

Q. In your case, how did APC help prepare you for your current career?
DANN: The Dress Code. Kung paano manamit ng tama… I know that our freshman students are feeling awkward and neglect its importance. They tend to compare it with other schools, but APC is really preparing you for the future. And yun din tinuturo ko sa mga technicians when they go to the field. Dapat presentable sila when facing clients.

Q. What was your experience like getting a job after you graduated?
DANN: It was a challenge back then since Fujitsu was the 5th company I applied with. From January 2007, I was already applying for a job but I was also working on the Yearbook at the same time as Editor-In-Chief. When I finished my obligation for the yearbook in March, I was able to apply with four other companies… napunta ako sa Amkor, IBM to name a few. I actually found the job opening in Fujitsu on JobStreet as a programmer. Since I had background in programming, so I tried applying. When they found out I took Computer Engineering, eventually, HR referred me to another position as a Technology Support Engineer, which was more on the technical side. Then I had undergone three interviews, with a manager, the vice president, and finally, the president. After that, there was a 3-month boot camp required by Fujitsu. Luckily with patience and perseverance, it has now been 9 years since then.

Q. Did the school’s internship program help you find your dream job?
DANN: In a way yes, though medyo malayo talaga sa specialized field ko. My internship was with Festo, Inc. in Parañaque, dealing with industrial automation, specifically, with didactic which ung pagtuturo, halimbawa sa factories, logic circuits ang ginagawa. During that time, usong-uso na din ang robotics. We (I and another intern from APC named Jon Hernandez) were trained by Festo to use their PLC for Mecatronics. This was where we won 1st place in the national competition and was given an internship award for the said project. We competed with 3 other regions, including Cebu and Davao.

Q. Were you involved in any student organizations or clubs? How did these extra-curricular activities help you as a person?
DANN: I was involved with the Processor - which started as a newspaper from 2004-2005 for the School of Engineering. Then it was noticed by the Student Activities Office at that time, Ms. Cha Kipte. We were also given support by Sir Alex, our Program Director for SoE in 2006, to convert it into a magazine. Kung di ako nagkakamali, we had about 4 editions of the Processor newspaper and about 5 editions of the magazine. But after we graduated, it was handled by the succeeding batches but eventually ended in 2011 or 2012. Maybe because students weren’t able to handle the pressure of academics.

I was also involved with the Engineering Society that time – it’s the inter-personal skills using communication skills that developed and dito na shape yung leadership qualities ko that I have used here in Fujitsu.

Q. Having worked for Fujitsu for 9 years, what keeps you going?
DANN: It’s the company itself and yung loyalty ko. During my 9-years here, I was tempted by others within the company to try other companies. But with certifications I have already gained, I almost thought of transferring but I held on and saw the improvement with the management. I like the job and the culture here in Fujitsu. I am very happy to the point that I am considering to be retiring with this company.

Q. What’s your advice for students who are considering APC?
DANN: APC is a good choice that they will make dahil sa magandang facilities, regardless of what course they are taking. Advantage ang culture of corporate setting, the up-to- date laboratory equipment that are provided for its students. In APC we don’t have problems sa mga labs. I also learned about APC through the Bantay Usok project with ABS CBN which was also done by APC students. Dun pa lang, naisip ko malupit talaga sa APC dahil nagawa nila ang project na katulad nun. Sabihin na natin na talagang may Real projects, Real learning for all the students dahil magagamit talaga nila ang mga matututunan nila from APC.

So with that, our interview session ended on a happy note that Asia Pacific College has lived up to Dann’s expectations and is now enjoying the fruits of his hard work and dedication. Kudos to you Dann, a true-blooded APCian!