Unleashing Potential: An Aboitiz Scholar alumnus’ journey in Pilmico

Ronald Torres had always been passionate about learning;  he often represented his school in various competitions and even graduated on top of his class. 

As a valedictorian in High School, his teachers saw great potential in him and encouraged Ronald to apply for the Aboitiz Foundation scholarship. The closest Aboitiz office to him then was the one of Pilmico in Capas, Tarlac. 

Little did he know, it was the same company whose competition he joined a few years ago when it was still named “Farmer’s Edge.” Ronald thanked destiny for playing a significant role in shaping his career. 

He enjoyed a full-ride scholarship from the Aboitiz Foundation for his 5-year stay at Tarlac State University, where he took up a degree on Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. 

More than the financial support, it was the experience of having been able to take part in various Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs like ‘Brigada Eskwela’ and company events that he appreciates the most. It was these events that led him to find a mentor in Pilmico, even when he was still young, who guided him and encouraged him up until he started working.

He also interned in the Engineering Department (formerly Central Maintenance Department) of Pilmico’s Tarlac Feedmill, where he got firsthand experience in operating and repairing machines. 

Ronald shared his most memorable experience during his internship. “Noong on-the-job training (OJT) ko, marami akong nakuhang knowledge about sa planta. Sa technical side, marami akong hindi alam paano gawin at first. Pero dahil sa guidance ng engineers (ng Pilmico) at dahil pinayagan nila kaming mag-try, natuto rin ako,” he said.

After successfully passing his board exams, Ronald had his mind set on working at Pilmico. He felt a deep sense of gratitude towards the company, which had supported him throughout his college years, even though no contract bound him to the company. 

He shared he once felt hopeless when he didn’t hear from Pilmico several months after his application and thought he wouldn’t be able to join the company. It must have been fate, Ronald said, as the much-awaited call came unexpectedly. Despite an offer from another company, the choice was simple for him, and that was to choose Pilmico. 

It has been a little over six years since Ronald joined the company. He has had multiple roles, from Feeds Technician to Feeds Maintenance Specialist, all of which taught him valuable lessons both in his career and his personal life. 

Ronald believes that the values of responsibility and leadership as some of the most significant lessons he learned. “Kapag employee ka na, ang main difference ay “Responsibility.” Sa OJT, wala kang masyadong responsibility kasi more on observer ka lang, ‘pag employee ka na, doon papasok ‘yung deliverables and responsibilities mo sa planta. Kung may nasira mang equipment, ako mismo nagtr-troubleshoot. Na-mold rin ang leadership skills ko kasi nagkaroon ako ng chance na mag-handle ng mga tao,” he shared. 

(When you’re an employee, the main difference is ‘responsibility.’ During your OJT, you don’t have much responsibility because you’re there to observe, whereas once you’re an employee, you will have deliverables and responsibilities in the facility. If an equipment breaks down, you have to troubleshoot it. My leadership skills have also been molded since I got the chance to handle my people.)

He also thanked his team leader who willingly taught him valuable skills and knowledge that he continues to do even to this day. “Since nag-start ako, team leader ko na si Sir Michael Cayabyab, siya na ‘yung naging mentor ko sa planta. From the start as a fresh graduate na walang idea kung ano ‘yung mga gagawin ko, siya ‘yung nag-guide sa akin. Hindi niya pinagdadamot ‘yung knowledge and experience niya sa planta. Swak rin ‘yung leadership style niya sa akin; mas nag grow ako ‘pag na-aappreciate ‘yung hard work ko,” Ronald said.

(Since I started, Sir Michael Cayabyab has been my team leader and mentor in the feedmill. From the start, as a fresh graduate without any idea what I was doing, he’s been my guide. He willingly shares his knowledge and experience in the facility. His leadership style also fits me; the more my hard work is appreciated, the more I grow.) 

Ronald Torres at work as a Feeds Maintenance Specialist at Pilmico’s Feedmill at Capas, Tarlac. 

Despite the challenges he faced both in his studies and at work, he was determined to persevere and ultimately succeed in life. He went from being a dedicated scholar to a diligent engineer, who is now capable of supporting his loved ones. Ronald expressed his utmost gratitude to the company that has been supporting him throughout the years. “Thank you for the opportunity na binigay ninyo sa akin, especially from the start — from scholar to OJT to employee. I’m looking forward to spending more years in Pilmico and sharing my knowledge and expertise. Hindi ko matutulungan parents ko at hindi ko maaabot ‘yung ganitong estado ng buhay kung hindi dahil sa inyo.”

(Thank you for the opportunity you’ve given me, especially from the start, from when I was a scholar to my OJT to being an employee. I look forward to spending more years in Pilmico and sharing my knowledge and expertise. I won’t be able to help my parents and reach this state of life if not for you.)