Ina’s Part II is here with richer content than Part I!!
1. Do you have any tips for undergraduates on how to get ready for their internships or their future jobs?
One mistake that is often made is not researching the companies enough beforehand. I’ve been there. When you are applying, you are sending more than 20 applications a day, you honestly forget about which companies you’re applying for at some point.
It’s easy to say: “I have 3 interviews this week, I will give the same answers to all of them, because obviously that’s me, my experiences and answers won’t change per company.” But, what you cannot forget is that the hiring managers are very aware of the fact that you could be giving copy and pasted answers.
If they ask you “Why do you want to work here?”, people tend to give generic answers, but the candidates who stand out are the ones who use specific cases to explain their point. For instance, one of the people we hired last week, she highlighted a challenge that we had already identified internally with regards to our branding. Keep in mind, there’s a difference between giving criticism and demonstrating your attention to detail and your ability to give suggestions in a constructive way..
2. How is your day-to-day life like? Are there any challenges you are trying to overcome?
The biggest challenge in my job is staying focused because there are always so many things happening. Then again, that’s what I like about it, because otherwise, I would be really bored.
Within my role, I’m a team lead and have three people on my team who I have one-to-one meetings with on a weekly basis, which is a new responsibility of mine. I realized that it’s difficult and different, because you are responsible for other people and their work as well as yours.
I also do a bit of travelling for my job, because we need to be seen at the biggest conferences in the world, and so that I can make sure that the topics being talked about within the industry are reflected in my communities. On top of that, I do a lot of on-camera stuff, such as hosting and panel discussions.
We also work as editorial consultants. Clients come to us and say: “We want to target this sort of audience, here are our content plans, what do you suggest we do?”- We, as the content experts, then suggest different ways of packaging and positioning the content they have based on these requirements.
3. Seeing that there are a lot of responsibilities you need to deal with, are you good at balancing your personal and professional lives?
If I am honest, I am not very good at it. I am trying to get better at it by establishing a ‘no emails after work and on the weekends rule’. Earlier in my career, I didn’t follow that. After a while, I realized, at the end of the day, that email can wait. Noone is going to die if I don’t send that email (fortunately, I don’t work in an emergency room). We are always available because of our phones now. Becaues of this, I’ve moved my email icon to the last screen of my phone, so it’s actually a hassle to go and access it. I do these little things to set boundaries.
On the contrary, on work days, the first thing I do in the morning is to check emails. That’s because I want to set myself up so I am not stressed on my commute to work and when I get into the office, I have already prioritized which things need my immediate attention.
4. General tips:
There is no one career path. I thought I would never work in technology and financial services. I received my education in the Philippines and computer classes were compulsory at school. However, coding was never an interest of mine. Maybe if I was taught differently I would have been more interested, but for me it was just a subject that I needed to pass. So when I moved to London, I wanted to get into industries I was always interested in, such as advertising, fashion, or sports. But then, I realized that I shouldn’t be so limited. When I got here, I was hired to manage the IT service management community. I had to google what ITSM was after I got the job. If there is one piece of advice I can give,it’s to find skills that are transferable, because you can never dictate your career. Things and situations will always change and you should be open to that. The younger generations are especially one-track minded. You shouldn’t assume that a successful career looks a certain way. If I had that mindset, the moment I did not get into the advertising industry, I would have gone back home, thinking that I was a failure. I did not let myself fail. If things didn’t work out in one industry, then I cast my net wider until I found something that was the perfect fit for both my skills and the career path that was right for me.
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