travel & lifestyle blog by ruth dela cruz


I Will Be Representing the Philippines!!!

October 23, 2011

Yes, you heard the title right. Unfortunately, I am not flying with an entourage, wearing a sash and waving to the crowd and press people. And nope, you wouldn’t see me in two-piece, but I might do alot of Question and Answer interviews in the next few months. And yes, I am hoping for a send-off party! (a wink!).

I just gotten the final list and names of the people I will be working with for the next 6 months. They are from Denmark, USA, Brazil, Austria, Mexico and India (there is another country, I just forgot). In the note, it includes the welcome note and the terms of the program. I was speechless and I haven’t replied to the note yet. If you are still curious what I am raving about here, for the record, it is not a beauty pageant. I will be part of the Corporate Social Responsibility! 
I don’t know how to start this blog or how to start and share the whole story. All I know was that, when I moved to a new position in my organization last year, I found out that my boss’ boss was once sent to South Africa and helped a community’s agriculture system. He worked with a team from different countries. He even has a picture framed in one of our buildings – he was smiling with all the fun students of Ghana. I was inspired, and I thought I wanted to do the same. So when the application was opened, I applied. It is like applying for a new position – it is an online test. Not the type that will measure your math capability (I would fail!) or grammar. I never know if I would pass, there are thousands of applicants all over the world. I just prayed and asked God that if this is not meant for me, I would rather not pass the application. 
A few months after, I received a note stating that I was on the waitlist for the project. I thought that was just the nice way of telling applicants that you didn’t qualify. But my second line manager assured me that I will get my assignment. Until I received a note in July, offering me to join the team in China to replace one participant. So everything is real! Unfortunately, I had to turn down the offer because of business needs – that time we need people in the team because of an important event in the organization. 
Then comes the right timing! The law of attraction does work! I was just checking the online forum for the CSC participants and reading their experiences, when I got a new mail with subject line Congratulations.. I am selected to join the team in Indonesia! (the assignment is based on the applicants preferred geo. I cannot remember the geos I selected that time, or which one was my first choice). I meant to be in another geo, say Brazil or South Africa because I felt that Indonesia is too close for my country, and too close for comfort. I want to explore the other cultures in the other parts of the globe, but the selection and screening process is not an easy job. I have trust in the CSC team that I am placed in the best team.
I needed to make a decision in a week so I talked and asked my manager’s approval (who is always supportive of my aspirations and even my blogging! Thanks! Thanks!). I also talked to my mom who was even more worried and didn’t want me to go. I told her this is once in a lifetime opportunity that not all employees of our company will be given a chance to participate. Anyway, I got her approval and so I said yes in joining the team!
Last week, I received the listing of all the participants. There are 10 of us, and I feel excited and nervous and worried. I checked my team’s profiles and they are like Geo Lead, Senior Architect and other positions with nice job titles, and eventhough I stand tall, I feel little because I am just a practitioner in the team. 
Until now, I cannot believe I will pass the application. My manager had read my application (it needs manager’s approval before it can be processed), and she was teasing me because she felt like she was reading a blog entry with too much emotions and drama. Hehe. 
I don’t know what to expect. I am not even sure who would be our client. All I know is that I will be working with the team for the next few months (over conference calls) and come March I will be flying to Indonesia and meeting my team for the first time, and the client. I will stay with them for a month! It is like a Big Brother set up, with a twist of Survivor because we are not staying in fancy hotel (unlike the usual business travels – like my boss staying in a grand suite all by herself during her training in New York). We have to live in the place close to the assigned community so we can have a better understanding of their lives, their culture and their ways. 
The letter says there will be a clean water supply but there might be no internet connection. We will be given a per diem, but this is based on the community’s standard of living. 
I am excited! My friends are all excited too! They are asking me what should I wear? Yes, we are still thinking of fashion. I thought I would look out of place, if I would wear a maxi dress, a big hat and sunglasses while cleaning the community or planting trees. I thought of fashion for the first 10 minutes, but I am more concerned about who will be the client and the project that we will work on. 
How fun it is to work in my company? Very fun and I feel so proud. I have such nice and supportive bosses who I can call, talk to or even ping if I have issues. My team supports my blogging, my projects and even help me develop and improve so I will be ready for the position that I am aiming for. Filing for a vacation is not even a bargaining act.
I feel blessed. God has been so good. I receive alot of blessings that some I didn’t even ask. When I prayed for something, He gave me more which made me thankful yet guilty because I had been soo bad in the past. Now the position that I wanted to transfer to has just opened, and my team is so supportive of me, giving me projects to prepare me for the bigger position. Whenever I will have my one-on-one with my boss, I always tell her if I don’t get the position I want,  I only want a position that will allow me to go to another country – and look what I got now. Although I am not transferring to a new position, I have a chance to explore another country with such great team. It is not just the usual business travel where businesses think of profit and building brands, but a project that will help improve the lives of the people and will truly change and touch our lives and views. 
I am excited!!! Are you? Keep following my blog so you will get updated with the latest about this project!

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Check out the other IBMers from other countries who worked on the projects here in the Philippines. 

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