GCC’s Marketing Associate shares how not getting on the right course at university started her on a journey to a sustainable lifestyle and an exciting new job at GCC.
Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?
I was born in 1992 in Manilla, the capital of the Philippines, and I am currently living in a tiny town called Iloilo. I am the first of three girls, and I went to an exclusive all-girls catholic school. I was raised a catholic so we would go to mass every Sunday, and then I went to a state school for college, where I took organizational communications. For the most part, my career has been focused on social media and digital marketing.
How did you get into social media marketing?
I left school just as Facebook was beginning advertising and It wasn’t something that I thought I would do as a career but I was fairly good at making social media posts and I just fell into it. For the job that I left to come to GCC, I was working at a real estate marketing company and I was their social media manager. The person who found me, found my blog when I was still blogging and contacted me to work for the company and I stayed there for five years, so it was a bit by chance.
Why did you decide to move from Manilla to the countryside?
Where I live now the neighbors are cows! It is a far cry from the suburbs of Manilla, but it is nice and there is fresh air. I enjoy living in the countryside. I would say there were several different events that led me here. I was working for the same company for five years when during the fourth year, I decided to go back to school to enrich my knowledge on social media. I needed new information because the digital space is constantly growing. It was funny because the class I wanted to do was full, so I decided to choose another class, and for some reason, I chose a sociology class.
How did you like it?
At the risk of sounding cheesy, it was a life-changing moment for me as I had never left the bubble of Manilla, and for the most part, I was raised middle class where you don’t see anything else than what you are used to. The Philippines is in the developing world, and I had seen it in books, but it was weird to be living in such a country but not really understanding what strife looks like. So it was because of that class that I realized I wasn’t living a true life, I was living a very detached life from what other people were going through in the Philippines.
How did this realization change you?
It was life-changing in the sense that after the class, I realized that I didn’t want to work for a corporation anymore. I didn’t want to contribute to that kind of greed and that kind of capitalism that keeps poor people poor, and allows rich people to earn even more money. I didn’t want to be part of it anymore. It took me a year to save and prepare. I just needed the courage to leave a comfortable life. I started by stopping buying new things, and I haven’t bought a new piece of clothing in two years, and so if I need something, I always try to buy it second hand, or from a thrift store, or I would ask my mother if she had something that I could wear. So, I started like that, just gradual changes, and then I stopped buying from big supermarkets and went to local markets in my neighborhood instead.
My partner is a teacher and she moved to Iloilo first so it wasn’t difficult for me to decide to eventually leave my job and move here because there was a home waiting for me here. It was a gradual step. And when I got here, a friend from college contacted me, asking me if I wanted to work for a non-profit organization. It was just so serendipitous and the beginning of a new journey.
What appealed to you about working for GCC?
The conversation I had with Matt and Kate was so inspiring. To hear people excited about wanting to change the world but also understanding that when it comes to poaching, people don’t always mean harm, if they can’t eat and feed their families, they will resort to things like poaching and other illegal activities. Every day at GCC is really exciting, creating posts about animals, education, and conservation. Every day is an opportunity to learn more. The short time I have been here has been so much more fulfilling than the last six years put together. If you had told me a year or two ago that I would be living the life I am living now, I would never have believed it.
GCC is also very strong in communications. Can you tell us about this?
GCC also has a whole video team behind them. Many organizations find it difficult to produce content, pictures, and videos, and GCC doesn’t have that problem. We have pictures, we have videos. Sometimes it is more a question of not knowing what to do with the content they have! For me as a marketer and sometimes a writer, it is so exciting for me to have such a treasure trove of content that I can easily access to create posts.
Do you have a favorite platform?
YouTube is my personal favorite but for GCC, Instagram is my favorite. I usually post wildlife facts and images with animals because people love this One time a grandmother commented on one of the posts saying how her grandchildren always looked forward to our posts because they could play animal quiz games together, which was so nice. Our followers on Instagram are so receptive and it is so visual and so nice to reach not only other non-profit organizations that are interested in us but also young people who want to learn more about animals.
How do you stay up to date with social media as it is constantly evolving?
It is good to read. There are lots of really good social media resources online, but for the most part, if you write something that has value or is funny and triggers emotions, you will not lose your way. Most corporations just want to produce content for the sake of producing content, without having a goal in mind. If you create authentic content for your audience then keeping ahead with social media updates comes second to providing valuable information.
What do you love about your job?
I love working with the people from GCC, it has been so nice and we are such a diverse group. For someone a lot younger, it has been such a learning experience. I love our worldwide Zoom meetings where you get so many views from so many different sectors, it is a big melting pot of ideas.