Name: Ayesa Lubag
College & Majors/Minors: Bachelor of Arts, Major in Journalism / University of Santo Tomas
Current Location: Manila, Philippines
Current Form of Employment: Content Specialist for Trend Micro
Where do you work and what is your current position?
I work at Trend Micro Manila as a content specialist. We manage the content of our website and do a lot of writing, editing, HTML coding, SEO and proofreading for assigned products.
Tell us about how you found your first job, and how you found your current job (if different).
There is an assumption that you already know what to do with your life after graduation. But the reality is, some people don’t. All I knew at that time was that I had to use the perk of trying my hand at new things.
Deciding whether to go with a large or small company may be one of the most important decisions that you make while job hunting. I landed a job in a relatively small public relations agency as a media relations officer. Some people prefer large companies over small ones, and that's ok. But as a fresh graduate without any work experience at all, I couldn't afford to be choosy. If an opportunity arises, I wholeheartedly grab it.
Working in a small company might appear to be lacking potential. But the truth is, the possibilities are endless. You need experience to get your dream job. You have to work your way up. After I gained work experience in the field, I moved to a multinational public relations agency.
It occurred to me one day that it was time for me to return to the Philippines after living and working in Malaysia. I found Trend Micro’s job opening online. The IT industry was something new to me. But after working in public relations, media, and advertising, I was still open to be part of a different industry again. I’ve always believed that a broader work experience can be an edge. And for this reason, through the years, I’m able to distinguish a good workplace—one that has a mission-driven company culture, a great career advancement opportunity, and a wide array of benefits and perks. I’m grateful that I get to experience these things in my present job.
What was another writing-related job that was important in your career?
I worked as a copywriter for an advertising agency in Malaysia. My job was to write copy for clients’ ads and to develop creative ideas and concepts. Most of our clients were property developers. Writing real estate copy in a country that I wasn’t familiar with was challenging. I had to take note of the property’s location and the buyers’ culture and preferences. There were frustrations at first, but that didn’t stop me from doing what was expected from me.
Some of our clients, the property developers, submitted entries to the International Property Awards. This became the turning point and the most exciting part in my writing career when two of our entries, which I worked on, won some awards. I took it as a sign that maybe it was the right time to go back to my country and contribute something different.
The whole experience taught me that change is never easy when working abroad, especially when adjusting to a different culture. But getting outside of my comfort zone gave me the chance to see things from a totally different perspective. Adapting to a new culture became truly inspiring. It broadens your horizons like no other.
What did you do in college to prepare for your post-grad life?
I did internships that covered TV (ABS-CBN), radio (DZBB), and print (Manila Times) during the summer and even when the academic year had already started. Internships are designed for career development and personal growth. I made valuable networking connections with professionals aside from gaining valuable knowledge, skills, and experience in the career field of my choice.
I also invested in personal development by diversifying my experiences through travelling and trying new hobbies. I even travelled alone. Travelling allows you to discover so much about yourself and offers you a whole new perspective. Not only does travelling provide a sense of adventure, it also opens doors to cultures that can be totally enriching. Moreover, I also knew that I needed to prepare myself to the world out there by becoming a cultured person. I read voraciously, watched well-written films, listened to a variety of music genres and appreciated art. Above all, I told myself that I was young and I shouldn’t be afraid to take risks. I made a lot of mistakes but I don’t have regrets. They made me who I am today.
What is your advice for students and graduates with an English degree?
If you haven’t found your passion, let your strengths lead the way. Trust your intuition, explore new things, and inspire others. Also, don’t forget to maintain a positive attitude in the workplace.