As the second-generation managers of a family-owned school, sisters Maria Carmina Santos-Perion (Ms. Cookie)- human resource officer & Maria Creselda Santos-Evangelista (Ms. Cres)- finance officer of Montessori De Sagrada Familia acknowledge the importance of continuing their studies to keep up with the changing demands of the education industry. Last July 2021, they completed their master’s degree in Business Administration with specialization in Strategic Human Resource Management & Accountancy at the Miriam College Graduate Studies Department.
Their close relationship as siblings prompted them to take up their master’s education at the same time. As mothers of two children trying to integrate professional work in their personal and family life, Ms. Cookie and Ms. Cres would attend their class and work on their academic requirements together. According to them, being best friends made their academic journey easier and meaningful.
Towards the end of her master’s program at Miriam College, Ms. Cookie passed her comprehensive examinations as the top of her class. Her research paper entitled “Wellness Program: A Stress Management Intervention for Employees of Montessori De Sagrada Familia” was awarded as the Best Capstone Paper of their batch. This research was also translated in the MDSF workplace where wellness activities among its employees are regularly facilitated every week.
As the HR officer of MDSF, Ms Cookie is in charge of managing the employees, from hiring to ensuring that they have an optimal working environment at MDSF. She is also responsible for establishing HR- related programs, systems and policies that are aligned with the school’s vision, mission and goals.
Ms. Cres, who is in charge of the school’s financial operations also wrote a very relevant research paper that allowed her to create a Strategic Innovation Management Plan for MDSF in a Time of Pandemic. It aimed to identify the strategic components that the school may leverage on towards improving the school’s financial viability while undergoing a global health crisis.
According to Ms. Cres, the economic recession brought about by the pandemic did cause a major disruption in the financial wellness of the institution but her research taught her that strategic thinking, topped with creativity can help leaders and managers overcome setbacks like COVID-19 health crisis.
Ms. Cres and Ms. Cookie are driven and committed to continue the legacy that their parents, Mr. & Mrs. Alfredo & Concepcion Santos, founders of Montessori De Sagrada Familia, had started 25 years ago. Their story of sisterhood and hard work hopes to inspire the Sagradan community.