June 3, 2012

Model Employee

I have been meaning to blog about it since last week, but schedule had been crazy. How do I start this blog? I'll try with disclaimer - I am not a model. Although I did some shows back in College, I do not want to tag the term to my name. Wherever I go and whenever I meet people, they always ask me if I were a model. I always tell them - yeah, I am a model employee. But I think being a model employee is far more difficult than posing in front of camera (or maybe not).

With Trishia, Chester and Tom
Amazing people I get to work with 
although we work in different teams.

The story started when I received a note from Marketing Team for an invitation to be part of the models pool and photoshoot, for the company's marketing initiatives. I am surprised and glad. They said that they chose "models" from the Top Talent Pool. It means that they want employees who are not just physically model materials, but those who really excel at work. I like that idea - I know how some companies do it - they get models from agencies to pose for their ads, and add a little testimonials beside their faces.

To read about my "modelling" experience, click

So days after the shoot (last Saturday), I have been receiving updates and reminders regarding the said event. We were asked to bring clothes of certain color. I was distracted with work and all other things that I didn't find time to really prepare for this shoot. But I bought a new blazer and black pumps because I realized I don't have those basics pieces in my closet - and that is the perfect time to buy them. 

The night before, I even attended the Philippine Fashion Week, which gives me only 3-hour of sleep the night before, and a stressful week before that. 

Morning of Saturday, I was tossing and tossing clothes from my closet. I do not have anything to wear for the shoot! Unlike most of the shoots that you might have read, models are usually provided with sponsored clothes. But we do it differently. :)  I realized most of my clothes are too fashionable and fancy for a corporate brand. I would have wanted to wear something which was made by my mom - but realized most of those pieces are too fancy and fashionable. When I finally decided on what to wear, I ended up bringing 3 pairs of shoes and three sets of clothes. We only need one for corporate and casual attire.

When I finally made it to the venue (an hour late!), this is what greeted me.

Before getting my face done, they asked me to fill out the Model's Form again. It asks about my background, affiliation with other groups/clubs, etc.

Then, we were sent to the Interview Room. An Interview Room?!?! You will ask. Well, the team just wanted to hear first-hand experiences from the models about how the company has helped them develop as individuals, as an employee, or even how one is given a chance to collaborate globally, and be a Global Citizen. I think I got too much to share during the interview. I was lucky to be on the same interview as Grazey. She is also an IBM Corporate Service Corp alumna, and we have been tweeting and talking since the start of our assignment. That was the first time we met! She is a Resource Manager and she speaks Italian.

During the interview, I told the interviewer how IBM lets me be myself and be the person I always want to be - that is having a challenging role and doing the things I love (blogging, attending events, traveling). I cannot question the work-life balance aspect. IBM also help me reach my goal - that is to show that one need not be an executive, or in a top position or a celebrity to be influential. Look at how my IBM Corporate Service Corp assignment changed me and the people around me. 

Now off to the make-up room. Met some employees who are also make-up artists! Interesting people and talent.

Yes, even guys had their turn in the dresser!

That's the "Before" shoot :)

I am not very knowledgeable about make-up although I love collecting them. They look like water color palettes. I was a bit uneasy with the make-up that day because I thought it was too "thick and strong" for a corporate shoot, but I have to trust the make-up artist, and the photographers said it is good since lights would eat all the colors.

So, in the "shooting room" - I am surprised to see more employees from different business units. Most of them are not that strikingly gorgeous and handsome, but they look good for photoshoots such as this. They can pose, laugh, and smile, and just be themselves capturing the happy mood and happy feeling of being part of the organization.

I, on the other hand, was feeling awkward. I have never done a lot of photoshoots in my life. I did some fashion events when I was in College, and I even had a photo session with Boudoir Dolls, but for something serious such as this, I do not know what to do. The photographer said that it need not be too high fashion (so I am for high fashion now?). My biggest problem is that I cannot smile. I am wearing braces and if they say that smile is the nicest thing a person can wear, for me, smiling looks so unnatural and insincere. Probably because I have sharp eyes too. That even my colleagues said that I have this certain look that seems snob and unwelcoming.

So, anyway, I just wish I have nice shots - nice that they could use to promote the brand.

Here are some shots I took for the other models.

IBMers might not know him, but he's popular 
for manning the task ID in our business unit

Two generations of IBMers.. 
Mom and Daughter - really cute!

They just met in the shoot! (I think!)
But they have chemistry! Really fun to watch!

I didn't know who else was going for the shoot, or who else was chosen. I know that my third-line manager was, but he didn't confirm because he was on vacation. I was happy to see some friends coming in the afternoon, so I stayed.

We even asked the photographers to take some fun pictures of us. The picture above is just one taken from my camera. I had already changed then, and my friends were just having their corporate attire shoot. I had to change again to my corporate attire and we had our picture taken ala - Familia Zaragoza. Unfortunately, I was still awaiting for a copy of that pic. We also posed ala - Spolarium just for fun!

After 8 hours of staying in the location, time to go home. On my way home, I was regretful, that I only thought of some nice poses that we can use to promote Global Citizenship - and also some shots that I can probably use for the project I am working for the IBM Corporate Service Corp.

Anyway, it was a fun day. I am not sure if you would see me again in newspaper or probably in billboards in national highways. Yes, again in newspapers. I want to share these.. Not sure if I had previously shared. These were taken during Freeway events (and guess, I would attend another Freeway event on Monday! Guess who is the new National Artist they would feature!).

People say that I can be a model. Sure. Thank you God for the height and the skinny figure that people always mistaken me to be a model or even a celebrity (when I was in China). But probably I am meant to be something else. Like a regular employee. But look - my company even gave me a chance to be a model. And I say, modelling for a brand that you really believe in is so much more rewarding.

So how's all the experiences change me so far? Honestly, since I have been given the chance to work with different teams (aside from the team I currently belong to), and even work globally, I try to really live up with the company values. I don't know how I juggle work and blogging, and events. I have such a challenging role even if my role is at the bottom of the organizational chart. Sometimes I want to quit. But when people and colleagues tell you that you inspire them, you find reason to stay.

Thanks again for the IBM team and to everyone who believe in my talent and skills.

I am not expecting a token but appreciate the thought!

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