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For the benefit of our readers, would you please tell us about your career, how you got your start, what you do on a daily basis, how satisfying you fund the work, and about some of the ups and downs?

I took up Communication Arts in college because I wanted to be a field reporter, a journalist. In high school, I was part of the school publication and its moderator believed I’d make a good reporter. So off I went and got myself a degree that’ll lead me to that dream.

I was doing well. Again, I went on to take a slot at a newspaper as feature writer and then later on feature editor. I was also getting top grades for my writing courses. Then in my 3rd year, the curriculum included the courses of advertising and marketing. It was the year of learning copywriting and producing TV commercials for advertising; and the year of formulating marketing plans and defending them to companies who could use them. Surprisingly, I got myself REALLY in to them! Both courses made me realize my knack for creativity and research.

Graduation came and it’s time for me to get a job. I submitted applications and samples of my works to national and local newspapers and all the networks in the US. Since finding a job is quite difficult in this country, the most I got was a part time writing with a national paper. It was okay for awhile but then I was getting antsy with all the free time. I decided to get a full time job while I wait for the break I needed to land a more important role with the newspaper company.

Grolier International, seller of encyclopedia and other educational tools, got me on board as one of their Trainers for the newly recruit sales agents. I was given this training manual about how to make sales. I studied them for a couple of nights and I thought “hmmm…something’s missing here.” While the manual spoke of sales, it did not discuss the process of selling – HOW to make the sale. I jotted all my comments and came up with a proposal. I submitted that proposal to my boss and…he was shocked. He said he has had the most brilliant Trainers in the region but none of them dared to update the manual. I told him I am not brilliant and it was my first exposure to the real corporate world (as a full worker) so I may be wrong. Nonetheless I wanted to try if my “theories” would work. He gave me a class of 30 to experiment with. Fortunately, I made good sales people – they were making sales and reaching their monthly quota.

Over time, I moved on to work for different companies doing marketing projects. When I was 24 I decided to leave the city and move to a bigger one to pursue a bigger ambition. The journalist dream was set aside; I went for the current thing that was going for me. So I managed to be a part of an advertising agency as their Business Development Manager. It was fun, more fun than I ever expected! The creative part of me was completely unleashed!

It was the start of finding what I really am. You see, I am very passionate about the things that I do. When I am committed, I am committed. And when you are in that mode, you get to tap all the aspects of your potential. Then you get to realize that there are things that you can do that you thought you never could. So I was given all these different kinds of projects from different companies coming from various industries. My day was never boring. I would eat apple now and end up with crème brulee the next minute. It was exciting, thrilling and challenging!

And that’s how I pursued a career in advertising and marketing which is now commonly known as Marketing Communications. I conceptualize and execute campaigns, I copywrite advertising materials, I write press release articles, I troubleshoot marketing related (and sometimes even operations-related) issues of a company, I do branding, I formulate communications plan, marketing plan and business plan and other challenging tasks where communication with a specific target is involved.

It’s a stressful job, yes. There are times that it takes 12-16 hours of my day. I fly 4-5 times a month to different cities where the clients have offices. Then again, if you love what you’re doing, would you really call it a stress? And I’ve been in this industry long enough to have learned the science of time management. I’ve pretty much adjusted. And when it gets too “stressful,” I just step away from it for a day or a few days. It’s that easy.

And as for financial rewards, oh you’re going to love this job! It pays handsomely if you just play your cards right. When I was still a hired employee, I was making a salary of above the minimum wage and commissions for the added sales I bring in. The fact that I have proven track record when it comes to handling successful projects, I know my worth and can dictate my terms. Well, this is after 9 years of solid hard work, dedication and passion.

The highlight of my career (so far) was when I handled a Marketing Communications agency as its Managing Director. I was kind of neat being the boss of all bosses. I’ve learned so much from it – the business, operations, financial, networking and others. It was unfortunate that it was closed because the investors thought they had enough money from it and decided to move on to a different direction.

Currently, I’m on my own doing Marketing Communications consultancy work. You can categorize it under freelance service. I can choose which clients and projects I take, and I have the liberty to work under my own terms and time. Since I’ve managed to keep great relationship with the people – clients, suppliers and other business acquaintances – I met along the way, companies seek my services instead of me seeking them. The key here is that I’ve maintained a good name in the service industry. I’ve successfully delivered what was required of me, and I never burned bridges as much as possible.

Oh, I did get that break with the national paper. I just chose a different direction at that time. Besides, it was the writing that I really loved and I was still able to do it (anyway) in my current profession.