Meet the Candidates: Rajiv Menghrajani
Interview by Randall Teh
What compelled you to run for the position of Externals PRO? And what do you think you can offer the SC and the student body if elected?
I think I owe it to the school because no one was stepping up, and our COMELEC rep was already asking around, seeing who would possibly run. It’s actually partly why I filed late, because I was thinking if I could commit to the position. After thinking it through and talking to my friends and family about how I could commit to this, and then I decided, yeah, [I could do it].
During my undergrad days, I worked with a lot of organizational communication majors, so I really learned a lot from them in terms of promotional communication. This is one of the major pillars in my campaign: the streamline of promotion and communication.
What would this “streamline of promotion and communication” entail?
I’m going to set up the Lukan Branding Guidelines. It’s a formal branding guideline: everything from color, hashtags, tone of voice in descriptions – everything. It’s going to be detailed, laid out for everyone to follow. It’s laying the groundwork for future improvements. For communication, I’m going to pressure the APMC to schedule events earlier and announce dates earlier because the problem with last year’s APMC was that they announced dates of events such as MSS late.
Are there any existing projects from the previous year you would like to improve on as E. PRO? What projects or activities would you like to implement?
I really liked the support I felt as a Chorale member in the MGMR days coming from the Externals committee, and I would like to continue that and build upon it further. One of the new things I want to implement are IGPs in conjunction with Athletics Guild, expanding beyond the school. The problem with setting IGPs only within the school is that it limits the people who purchase our items. What I want is to expand further to other med schools and beyond and really widen our customer base.
What is your vision for the SC and for the Lukan community for the next school year?
I envision an SC that belongs up there with everything else and more interconnected than isolated. That’s the kind of thing I felt here, it’s a bit isolated from other schools, so what I want here is to improve connection with the others as an Externals PRO.
What do you think are the qualities of an ideal leader? What qualities do you have that would exemplify this type of leader?
I don’t think there is a real ideal leader. Everyone’s specialized, and everyone has something they are good at. You want them to be persistent, hardworking – a really good example… But for the Externals PRO, there are some characteristics that just don’t fit. [As E. PRO], I have to learn to compromise… especially since he will be working together with a lot of other schools — unlike the President who I think should be uncompromising… I think the most important quality is the willingness to step up because no one wanted to run for E. PRO, so I felt the need to step up and be the leader the St. Luke’s community needs.
Q: What other experiences have you had in leadership in the past?
Most of my undergraduate positions are usually the highest level of promotions. I’ve been VP for promotions in a lot of orgs… I’ve been VP for Promotions for Hot PC __, that’s a gaming org. For that I had to help with accreditation and make logos and pubs for initial recruitment. I was the Externals PRO of Bio Chorale [in UP], so I was in charge of getting us gigs and getting us sponsors. For the Hope Project, I was a founding member, so I was helping with the accreditation. I was also the Corporate Communication Officer together with another person. Together, we made the branding guidelines for the whole project. I was also a part of AIESEC UPM. There, I was in also in charge of exchange. I was in charge of contacting companies with getting them to agree to receive incoming exchange person. I have experience with cold-calling, warm-calling, and I am aware of how to handle sponsorships. I am capable of creating presentations for sponsors. I was also Documentations Officer for a Bio org, and I was also in charge of documenting events and promotion.
Earlier, you said that one of the biggest problems with MGMR is that there was difficulty communicating with other schools. You also mentioned that you feel isolated here in our school. If you were elected as E. PRO, how would you address those issues?
The first thing is I would really annoy them for more [information] because the problem is their information dissemination is very slow from top to bottom in all schools. Even my other friends from Chorales in other schools felt that. I would pressure them to start planning earlier and set concrete dates as early as possible so that other schools – everyone – can adjust. I would also streamline the information dissemination because it is also a bit slow here from top to bottom. I would like to improve on the dissemination here inside [the school] because the other APMC events also, I felt I did not know that much about what was happening. There was no pub about the debate competition, no shared pub about MSS, and I think that can be improved upon this year.
What pressing issues do you think the Lukan community should be aware of? How would you address them?
The most pressing issue is the lack of or shortage of people applying to St. Luke’s. That’s one of the focuses of my campaign… It’s the promotion of the school to more potential students. My batch now, we’re just 75, and the incoming batch is just around 60 so far. So I think it really is the most pressing issue in the St. Luke’s community now. Like I said, it is about improved promotion and communication. I talked to some of my undergraduate friends, and they did not even hear about St. Luke’s at all. What I want to do is to work together with the rest of the SC to have events to for pre-med students. Nico mentioned the pre-med quizbee in his campaign, and I would like to help with that, to help promote and reach out to schools which have pre-med students and invite them over. In addition to that, promotion of our events also externally helps with get students to apply because it makes them feel that there are things happening here that isn’t happening anywhere else, and I would like to show them that.
What do you think is your greatest accomplishment as a leader?
I really think it’s the Hope Project. It was a passion thing. I was a founding member of the org. It was just a bunch of friends who would like to help out PGH. It’s a volunteer organization that gives kids experiences through play [just] like those in the cancer institute and pediatrics ward in PGH, so it is really a passion project, and I am proud of the Hope Project. It’s still going strong with more members, more sponsors, having wider reach, expanding to other hospitals like POC, and other hospitals in QC. I volunteer still, but I am hands-off already with the organization itself. I passed it on to younger members, and I still support their events, such as a film-showing for fundraising.
Do you have any last message for the Lukan community? Why should we vote for Rajiv Menghrajani for Externals PRO this next school year?
Lukan do it! I think people should vote for me because I think I have a lot to give, and Externals PRO is the right position for me to deliver it.