[Career Advice #4] Ina Yulo on crafting your career path without limiting yourself
If you had to choose one type of mentor to learn from, who would you choose? I think I want to learn from someone with positive energy, who puts in their full effort into helping me out. Highre is very delighted to introduce you to a mentor like that, Ina Yulo!
‘You can probably tell, but I like to talk and I decided to make a career out of that.’
- Tell us about yourself.
I was born and raised in Manila, Philippines and I left when I was 23 to do my masters in Marketing Management in Barcelona. Before that, I was a Communications graduate. During the degree, my focus was on Advertising and PR. I wanted to get into the advertising industry, so I moved to London. Unfortunately, it was really difficult to get into that industry. Growing up, I was raised to believe that if you did well in school, then that’s it. That’s a shoe-in to get your dream job. However, when I first came to London, I realized that I might have wasted time and money on studying so much that when I started applying for jobs, I was just not getting them. Luckily enough, I now have a lot of responsibilities at BrightTALK, I am a Senior Content Manager and I am also the Global Manager for the FinTech and financial services community and the newly launched women in business community and the Team Lead in the UK.
2. How did your background help you form your career path?
One of the things I discovered is that my courses taught me which things I liked and didn’t like. There is a reflection of what I enjoyed at university in my current tasks. My academic background didn’t necessarily help me get a job, but it helped me concentrate on the skills that I needed to get a job.
3. Do you have any previous work experiences?
I did an internship back in Manila for a non-profit organization. I was putting together a charity auction and I had to interview some of the biggest names in the Philippine art and architectural scenes. Actually, I now realize that it’s similar to what I am currently doing, it’s still about reaching out to people and figuring out what part of their story our audience can relate to.
After that, I also did an internship with a sports start-up in Munich, called be coached. It was like an Airbnb, but for sports coaches. The idea was for you to go on the app and look for a coach, wherever in the world you were. My tasks involved outreaching and finding coaches to join the ambassador network. With any job experience, you are able to slowly find out your interests and certain things you’re attracted to. In my case, I do apply many of the learnings from my past experiences to my role today.
4. What would you tell students without much experiences to land a job?
One thing that I want to emphasize is that it’s never too late to start learning. When you identify that you have a weakness somewhere, you have to do something about it. One of the biggest mistakes people make is to be aware of the problem and then do nothing. Let’s say you want to get into Data Science, and you heard that you need to know how to code, but you don’t know how to, and you come up with the conclusion that you are not going to become a data scientist.
As an example from my own experience, I have been in marketing for over 5 years now, and I recently realized that I didn’t know much about Search Engine Optimization marketing. It’s not something that I use in my day-to-day job, but I wanted to know more about it because it wasn’t enough for me to tell my clients, ‘I’m not familiar with this, I can’t help you.’ So I enrolled myself in an one day boot camp and went through the foundations of SEO. If you look for an excuse not to do something, you will find one. There are so many free courses online that learning is now easier and more convenient than ever. If you can find out how to curl your hair perfectly on Youtube, you can figure out how to do things that can help you professionally and improve your profile.
The tables have kind of turned now and I’ve been interviewing people for roles in our team. In terms of CVs, I look at courses they took, but in all honesty, what I look at more is what they actually did within those courses. When it comes to work experience, it’s not enough to drop a big name, because, after that, it’s about ‘what did you do at that company?’ and ‘what were the results of those tasks?’. This is something my previous manager told me: “When you write your CV, it’s not enough to say, ‘I wrote this press release’. It should be, ‘I wrote this press release, which resulted in X% increase in website views and Y% increase in social media engagement.’” That is much more powerful than just saying what you did. It’s about what happened from that action.
5. On what do you place more importance- interview, CV or cover letter?
The interview. That’s why it’s so important to practice. Sometimes you think ‘oh yeah, I know how to answer those questions’, but unless someone asks you and you physically answer in front of a person, I don’t think you can ever be that prepared.
Moving on to the CV, it has to be good, just because that’s your way in. It’s the first filter. If it’s not good, then that’s it, you’re out.
But honestly, there are so many people who have gone through the interview process with amazing CV and writing exercise, and you go and interview them, and it feels like they are different people. There are things that you see in the in-person interviews, that make you realize: ‘Oh, I wouldn’t have noticed that on paper’. So I think the interview is by far and wide the main deciding factor. That’s because you can have a less than impressive CV, but can then win it back in the interview. Some candidates have made me think, ‘Wow, I didn’t think that her CV was that great, but she was so impressive in the interview, I want to hire her!’ It is less likely that someone who had an excellent CV, but completely bombed the interview will get through to the next stage.
I know that you want to read and listen to more advice, so we have decided to come up with Part II with Ina’s interview.
Stay tuned and get Highred @www.highre.co !!