I’m an immigrant from the Philippines who grew up in Los Angeles, CA. I earned my B.B.A. in marketing from Hofstra University, and started my marketing career at Kaplan Test Prep’s medical licensing division, working primarily with medical and allied health students, learning about their journey to licensure. I then attended USC Marshall School of Business where I earned my MBA. While at USC, I was fortunate enough to become a fellow of the MBA Society and Business Fellowship sponsored by the USC Marshall Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab. This was one of the first programs of its kind, bringing together business-minded individuals who shared a desire to make a difference by reducing global poverty and improving health and education around the world. Now I am the Director of Marketing at Osmosis, a health education company that’s empowering over a million clinicians and caregivers with the best learning experience possible.
Q: What would you like to see your team accomplish in 2019?
There’s a lot of exciting things happening this year, and so we’ve set some big goals for our team. We’ve already achieved a huge milestone of 1,000,000 Youtube subscribers, launched the osmosis.org/world featuring Osmosis learners all around the world, and we’ll be reaching 100,000 followers on Instagram (@osmosismed) very soon. Another big goal we’re set to accomplish this year is expanding our core medicine offering and enter into new markets, Osmosis for Nursing and Osmosis for Physician Assistants. We’ve got a ton of fun and creative campaigns planned and we’re ready to hit the ground running!
Q: Who is your role model or hero?
My mom has always been my biggest role model and hero. She instilled in me a passion for education as a way to better myself, and the situations we oftentimes found ourselves in, because that’s how she did it. Coming from a poor family in the Philippines, my mom knew that education was the only way she could elevate her situation and make a living. Even when her parents told her there was no money to send her to college, she found a way. She’s the embodiment of strong work ethic and perseverance. What I admire most about my mom is her ability to keep going during her lowest and darkest moments. When I’m at my lowest, I remember being a young kid observing her struggles: she never complained and tried not to show her grief, worries or concerns, especially when she suddenly found herself a single mother to three children. She’s the strongest woman I know and I wish I could be half the woman she is.
Q: What is your favorite book?
My favorite book is How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. Many people are surprised when I tell them that I’m shy and an introvert. It can make networking events very difficult! I’ve been working for years to be less shy, take more risks, and put myself out there. I definitely struggled when I first started business school, and even early on in my career. It wasn’t until I read How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie that I found some tangible tips on how to become more confident. The main takeaway I got from this book is to ask questions and say other people’s names often. People love to hear their own name spoken. During a first impression, you can demonstrate interest by making sure you repeat the person’s name to show you’ve heard them, and then follow up with questions about their life and interests. I’ve found that doing these things goes a long way if you want to make a great first impression. Practicing these tips helped me gain confidence and take the risks I often shied away from. Now, dreading networking events is a thing of the past!
Q: Do you use any specific method or system to run daily operations?
Each day will have its share of surprises. Osmosis is completely remote and operates in different time zones, so it’s really important for me to start off with an appraisal of what’s already happened in the last few hours, as my East Coast colleagues will have already started their workday. My first order of business is to go through all the Slack messages to ensure I am up to date on the various conversations/projects that have already started. I also hold a standup meeting with my team three times a week to discuss daily and weekly priorities. They also keep me abreast of important issues/occurrences that I may have missed. What I’ve also found helpful is having a daily agenda of meetings, questions and concerns that need to be addressed at said meetings, and a list of tasks that need to be accomplished that day, that week, and that month. This helps me keep a running list of items that need to be followed up on each day. At times, it can be difficult to constantly update this doc; however, I’ve found it really beneficial to take 10–15 minutes to gather my thoughts in one place, as it allows me to prioritize and remain accountable.
Q: Why did you choose your present industry at this time?
I had severe asthma when I was very young, and required hospitalization at least once a month. Thankfully, I have mostly grown out of it. I remember being well cared-for by the team of doctors and nurses. I also have quite a few family members and friends who are current or aspiring health professionals; often, they’ll talk about their struggle to learn effectively and provide the best care possible. Learning about their journeys and the work that they do is really inspiring, so when I stumbled upon a marketing role in medical education, it felt like home.
Q: What is the best/worst moment you can remember in your career?
Someone once told me that when you stop learning at an organization, that’s when you know it’s time to leave. There was a time when I felt stifled and completely lost as to why I was working at that organization, questioning what we were really doing and how we were truly helping our customers. I’m sure I’m not alone in this feeling and that many people have found themselves in similar situations. I had a moment of clarity, and I realized that there was nothing else I could learn at this organization. The moment I made that life-changing decision, I felt relieved and empowered to choose my next career step. Coincidentally, I was in business school at the time, being exposed to a whole new career path of social entrepreneurship and cause-driven work, which led me to Osmosis. The lowest moment I had in my career had to be when I broke down emotionally to a Senior Executive. I was under a lot of pressure at the time, and I was physically, mentally, and emotionally drained. Instead of showing strength and composure, I showed weakness and unprofessionalism in the form of tears. I felt embarrassed and ashamed. How could I be taken seriously as a manager and a leader after that? I don’t know if this incident affected the way this senior manager viewed me and the work I’d done up to that point or even afterwards, but it did lead to that moment of clarity I mentioned earlier. So things did work out for the best!
Q: Looking back - if you could advise a younger version of yourself to do something different - what would it be?
I would advise my younger self to be more confident, and be more forthcoming in sharing my opinions and ideas. I’ve always been more of a quiet observer, underestimating my value and thinking I wasn’t smart enough or knowledgeable enough to match other people in the room. It wasn’t until I received constructive feedback from various managers about being more vocal that I realized how foolish I had been. I had all these people telling me I was good enough and smart enough. I might not be the smartest person in the room, or the most experienced, but I’m confident that I’ll always be able to bring a different perspective to the table. I don’t always have to have the best idea, because really, the best ideas come from collaboration and working together with your team to make something great.