It is the first
Saturday Sunday of the year – and I can still greet everyone a Happy New Year! (yes?) Holiday break was a little busy for me – but it was busier when I got back to the office – especially that I have to shift my body clock. I am glad that I am opening blogger again, and feeling the need to write.
I am not really planning of writing a 2012 year-end review – as I thought it would be too much work to dig through pictures, notes and brain cells for the highlights of my year. But I read some of my blogger friends’ year end entries, and I thought it would be nice to have a blog entry too so I have something to look at aside from my Facebook’s timeline (which is a mess too). Plus, you have become a part of me too – so let me share with you the highlights of my year.
Even before the year 2012 started, I know this is one of the biggest highlights of my year. I always tell my friends that this is one story of my life that I will never get tired of sharing. Imagine staying in another country for a month with people from different parts of the globe who you only know by name and their voices. Do I sound like I were part of the Ms. Universe Pageant? Close to that, (and yes, I wore swimwear!). I passed the 2011 IBM Corporate Service Corp Program. It is a very competitive leadership program and most who made it to the list are the ones who are already in managerial and executive positions. So it was such a great accomplishment to be part of the program. The experience is really priceless – I would not trade with anything.
Click Read More to know what other surprises I received in 2012
The experience brought me soo much more than what I was expecting. I got to learn more about different cultures, gained experience about consulting, got to take part in an annual coral reef check (that explains the swimsuit!), visited a mosque, traveled to Tana Toraja, learned a few yoga poses, went spelunking for the first time, presented to our client and mayor (with an interpreter!) and smiled at different flashing cameras.
I gained so many friends from the host country and from different parts of the globe (hello to US, India, Mexico, Brazil and Austria!). I told you, I can go on and on sharing about the experience. Please just, visit my dedicated blog about this experience – www.ruth-goes-to-makassar.blogspot.com.
After I came back from the trip in May (highlight number 1), it was time to embrace a new role. It may sound odd for some, but I am not the typical worker who aims for high position. When I left my previous job as a store manager, all I wanted is a role/job which would let me do the things that I love to do (like blogging) and provide an opportunity to travel. All I really want is to enjoy life, but still continuously grow and learn from my job.
I thought that the role that I landed to was not the most challenging and best for me – you guess, my first few months were a challenge – I had escalations, and I lost time for blogging/writing. But the irony of life, each day, as I do my work, learn the process and perform – I got to love and appreciate the things that I am learning, the skills I never know I would acquire – simply, I love the job title under my name.
It is not the easiest job on earth. You see, sometimes it even requires me to support my client outside work hours, crossing timezones, and distance.
It allowed me to travel (see highlight number 1 – thank you to my supportive management team!), and gives me time to maintain my blog, sometimes, even attend events.
Is this what they call successful career? 🙂
Don’t ask me how much I paid for this – all I know, it is worth including in this list! My favorite boy band since I was 6 and yes, I still love them! I never realize I would ever see them perform live! This was also the chance to bond with one of my best friends! Thank you Joan!
I got to participate to a survivor-slash-amazing race-like games! I am not the sporty type of person so running, rolling and completing the tasks are all new to me.
Thank you Aeriel for the feature!
Being a part of the IBM Corporate Service Corp Program brought me so many opportunities – and now that I am an alumna, it is time to give back to the program. I was invited to facilitate the pre-work of the team who would come to the Philippines.
The work is like a transition manager – I led the 3-month weekly calls, coordinated with the NGO partner and IBM Philippines contacts, ensured that they finished their pre-work courses, invited guests speakers for each weekly meeting, and answered their questions about immigration, Philippine culture, what to bring, what to wear, vacation destinations – while ensuring we are building teamwork and relationship among the team of experts of different fields from Italy, India, Switzerland, Mexico, USA and Brazil. They were assigned in Cagayan de Oro and worked with CHEd, Mindanao Alliance of Self-Help Societies – Southern Philippines Educational Center and Department of Agrarian Reform (read their team profile: http://www.ibm.com/ibm/responsibility/corporateservicecorps/wwa_philippines.html)
Imagine my first welcome call with the team – I was the only one talking while trying to make them more comfortable and excited about the assignment.
Unfortunately, I was not able to meet them when they arrived in Manila on October – because I was also scheduled for business trip then. But they sent me postcards from Cagayan de Oro!
I have good sets of friends! They always believe in what I can do – sometimes they even think I can do acrobats and eat live chicken.
So when my good friends planned their wedding and needed a host, they asked me if I can do it. I don’t have money to buy the couple expensive gifts. So I said yes for the free hosting service.
It was not the first time that I hosted an event. I hosted small get-togethers, meetings and intimate parties, but this one is something bigger because it is more formal, and it had videographers and photographers, and people I didn’t know as part of the audience. Thank you Jeiz and Stephy!
Last year, I found more time to do more volunteer work – although not as much as I wanted it to be. The first one was in Makassar, Indonesia, where we visited a Juvenile Center and taught students how to use computer. It was the first time they used the internet and their favorite search is all about Justin Bieber 😉
I will find time to share this heart-warming story with you. We cried after the event on our way back to the hotel. On the same island, we also donated KidSmart computers to a local library. Last December, I joined the IBM Philippines team and donated KidSmart computers to a school in Pampanga. There, we taught Aetas the English language.
I wish to find more time to do volunteer work this year. This time, I want something that I organized and lead. Who wants to join me?
In 2011, I had my first Project Headshot picture taken by the world-renowed photographer, Niccolo Cosme.
In 2012, I was once again became part of the project. This time, it is a global project with people from US (San Francisco and New York), France (Paris), Italy (Rome and Florence) and Australia (Melbourne) joining the campaign.