From North Caloocan to Sta. Mesa Manila (vice versa), for 4 years, I commute for an average of 5 hours daily. So when I decided to look for my first job, location was number one.
And then there was IBM. God has planned so much more than just cutting my daily commute.
For 5 years, I worked for the best global company I could ever work for fresh after college. This, is personal to me, I know we all have our different stories – God loves us so much that he would pay very very close attention to each and every detail of each of our lives.
In January 2010 God made an appointment for me and IBM and it was the start of my employment. March of the same year, I had my very first plane ride. I went to the United States. When we look at it from today it may seem normal as it happens a lot these days. But at that time, it was really a big of a deal for me and my family and everyone who knows me. Up to today, some people even think I moved to the U.S. in 2010 for good. The whole experience was surreal. I thought I was going to die in the plane. I also thought the plane was not moving when we were up in the air. I cried when I saw the sky from my window, at one side it was light and at the other, dark. I can’t believe I spend almost 24 hours in the plane. My very first air plane ride. Some people could just dream of going to New York, and there I was, inexperienced and undeserving, though it was a business trip, still a trip to America. And so I thought to myself, “Thank God for this once in a lifetime experience.”
A lot of work and sleepless life and making friends and experiences in between, in 2012, my “once in a lifetime” happened again. Just a week before the trip, I was informed I will go back to New York for another business trip. I could not believe it. What? Again? Well, yeah. Twice in a lifetime it is. For the second time I was wiser, I brought less stuff than my first – I knew what things I should not put on my carry-on bag (which was so much of a relief for me). I was more confident interacting with pretty much anyone along the way.
It was also a busier trip, shorter and very challenging. I stayed there for a month and for 2 weeks my computer crashed. It was a lot of rework and I-don’t-know-what-to-do-here-without-my-computer dilemma for me. Praise God, I was able to go to a side trip to see the majestic Niagara Falls with fellow IBMers for a weekend.
Shortly after my second trip to New York in 2012, I was promoted. I was 23 years old and had a privilege to manage team. Oh, it was beyond overwhelming and scary (Most people at work wouldn’t believe I felt this way). But I learned that it was not about me but God’s power though me as His instrument. Promotion comes from God! And He is able. More than able, He would make the impossible happen right before your eyes. It was during this period when God made the best relationships I have now. If I had to go through all those hardships and multiply it by 3, or 4, or maybe 5 😉 just to have my friends and values and experiences I have now, I would be willing.
I left my first team in the middle of 2014 to transfer to another, which later on, I learned, was God’s way of preparing me for what is to come.
A month before my wedding in October of the same year, with the permission and support of my husband-to-be, my third in lifetime happened. I was asked to go Brazil for another business trip. For a whole lot different reasons and purposes with my trips to New York, I had my longest plane ride yet, from Manila to Sao Paolo Brazil. I was just there for a week but learned and experienced so many things I believe I would not have any other way.
After that, I had my last year-end with the Big Blue. 2015 welcomed me with a definite answer to prayers about my career. I praise God for all the years I worked for the company who embraced who I was and who I become. I praise God for opening all the doors I would have not imagined I’d enter. Above all, I am grateful to God for all the relationship I gained throughout my stay in IBM. Even if just for meeting these friends (you all know who you are) it would have been so worth it.
A week from now, I will start my journey to my “Next after college”. I know God has written my story and all I have to do is give my best as I submit to His loving will.