Lessons from a C Student

“Success cannot be measured by your title or your position. It is when you do what you love most that you become successful,” said Baiverth M. Diabo. He is a CBA class of 1992 alumnus, and now president, CEO, and co-founder of various companies. He shared significant experiences in the corporate world in his Balik-Talent Lecture last Aug. 26 at the MBA presentation room. Diabo is a BBA Management graduate; just an average student during his time in Silliman.

He lectured about “The Curious Case of a ‘C’ Student: Navigating Corporate PH Using the Via, Veritas, and Vita Principles.” Diabo is a proud C student. His QPA is 2.66, actually a B- during his time but he considers a C. “I am a C Student, and I am proud of it! I hope you are,” said Diabo.

During his student life, he was not an achiever. Most of his grades were A-, B- and C. However, his grade in Entrepreneurship was A. At that time, he weighed his opportunities in entrepreneurship, sales, and banking. Young Baiverth, at the age of 24, pursued a career in banking. At 27, he became assistant to the president. At the age of 40, Diabo became the president of APEX Mining Co., one of the country’s leading gold producers. Realizing that his career is at its peak, Diabo still believed that there is something greater and better ahead. At 2013 he resigned in APEX, then pursued another career that led him to his success.

Diabo now owns and co-owns different businesses like Chicken Charlie, Presidency Capital, Diaca Ventures, DiacaKonstrukt, BTBD Ventures, Shrimp World, and Ful Serv. Diabo said that if he hadn’t pursued his dreams, he wouldn’t have those companies. However, Diabo highlighted in his lecture the three life lessons he wants to teach his young audience, the future business leaders and innovators.

Know who you are, your core beliefs and values, and your priorities. In his ups and downs in the corporate world, Diabo shared with the future business leaders this very important lesson. He stressed out that he is a “big Jesus believer.” He is a faithful person even during his student life. For Diabo, he valued hard work, loyalty, integrity, patience, and friendship. Aside from being a Godly person, he is also a family man. He firmly stated in his lecture that his priorities in life are his faith, his family, and his friends. “If my job goes in between [my priorities], I may disregard it,” said Diabo.

Know what you can do and build on it. He emphasized in his lecture that this generation is an “Internet generation,” the generation of “smart creative.” He challenged all the students of this generation to use the Internet to improve their skills. Diabo said, “During our time, we only had two sources of information—our teachers and the library. But we chose to listen to our teachers.” His experience in the corporate world only taught him that knowing his capabilities is nothing if he doesn’t know how to build on it. Looking back at his dream in becoming an entrepreneur, Diabo realized that he is more than being an ‘entrepreneur.’ He found that he is interested in finding new ventures and turning it to a profitable business.

Know what you want. Be passionate about it and be willing to sacrifice for it. During his student life, he thought that being an entrepreneur is what he wanted to be. Everything changed when he became the president of a company. He said that being a president has its perks, but there’s nothing in it that made him feel successful. Diabo articulated that one should be passionate about his/her dream and is willing to sacrifice for it. “Because if you don’t pursue your dreams, you are pursuing other people’s dreams,” said Diabo. He explained that he will not be in his position right now if he hadn’t pursued his dream. Once an average student and now a CEO, Diabo is truly an exemplar of a Sillimanian molded with the Via, Veritas and Vita principles.

According to him, it is a person’s dream that matters most. Diabo didn’t receive a Latin honor, but he made it to the top. “I started as a clerk and I climbed up to the top,” said Diabo. His lecture gave the students an inspiration that nothing is impossible if one pursues his/her dreams in life. Diabo gave his final and inspiring statement to his audience, “Don’t be afraid to fail [in achieving your own dream]; otherwise you will follow other people’s dreams.”

By: Eric Gerard D. Ruiz

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