FTF / Landing in a glossy

12:00:00 AM

For about a year, I worked as a Customer Interaction Associate for TELUS International Philippines, a BPO/contact center with Canadian roots. The job title is misleading, actually; I rarely interacted with customers, because our team wasn't hired to man the phones. We did the back office type of work.

One random evening, my college block mate, Giselle, messaged me to ask if I were still working in TELUS. When I said yes, she asked if her friend could interview me for a feature on Seventeen Magazine about young women who had to choose between their passion and the need to make a living. I said yes because it was a compelling topic.

Rachel Bilson on the cover. I had to buy my own copy! :(
Coming from a lower-middle-income family, I didn't have the luxury to bum around after graduation to wait for the "right opportunity." I had to get a job, and I had to get one really fast. I didn't graduate with honors, and my course wasn't very specialized, so I must admit, I had no idea what I was going to do. But I knew I wanted to (and HAD to) work, so I wasn't in the position to be picky.

I took the call center job to earn a living, and more. I acquired property, invested in mutual funds, and saved money. It was a job that paid the rent, put food on the table, and even occasionally scored me petty luxuries. It was decent, and I didn't appreciate the flak I got from college friends who told me that I'm wasting my Ateneo diploma in that place.

During that time, I avoided bumping into people because I didn't want to have to keep defending my career choice. I was actively seeking other opportunities, but I didn't want to jump at anything half-baked. I took my time, and in the end, the gamble paid off; I got the best job in SMX after this stint.
Nice title
Back to the Seventeen Magazine article, I was interviewed by the Managing Editor, Tata Mapa. We met up at Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf in Bonifacio High Street; I chose that location so I can just walk to work when it was over. She bought me a cup of coffee and a big sandwich, which was my dinner slash breakfast.
Wrong spelling wrong
That was the first time I was getting interviewed for a magazine feature. I was used to interviewing people and writing about them, so the idea of being the subject made me feel a bit uneasy (especially when she brought out her voice recorder). But Tata was a good interviewer, and she made me comfortable.
Don't listen to anything I say!
The article was published three months later. I bought a copy, and I was mildly disappointed that she spelled my name wrong (Isay, not Issay). But she got everything else right. Reading it the first time was a bit weird; it's as if I was looking at myself from an outsider's perspective.

When this issue came out, another college friend, Mabs, messaged me to ask if I were the Issay in the article (she wasn't sure because of the spelling). When I confirmed that I was the subject, she simply said, "Wow! Go Isay! You're doing great!" I felt grateful, but more than that, I felt justified.


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