Saturday, August 20, 2016

Halfway to Ten: Ending the First Part of the Journey

A gazillion things happened in 2011, several launches was done but more importantly it was decided that a local office would be opened. This meant that my mission was complete and I had to find a new role. It was both exhilarating and sad. I was ecstatic that I completed my mission, but I wasn't sure if there was another role I would fit into.

I spent the first half of the year doing a lot of lectures/workshops for businesses, attending GDG events. I was thrilled though when I was invited to attend the first geo community summit in Singapore. I was tasked to present the achievements of the local mapping community together with the top mappers in the Philippines. I was so happy to be in another country together with the top mappers and community leads.

Team Philippines at the Geo Summit. 

Things got more exciting though mid-year as I had to work on some back-end requirements for the planned launches that year. It was one of the most difficult tasks I had to complete and I think I utilized every experience I had from the time I started working to make things work. I also wanted to launch before another Southeast Asian country, so I really worked hard to reach targets. It was all worth it though.

With my Pinoy sisters Rachel and Cathy. 

Photoboothing with my then manager, Julian Persaud, plus Deborah Nga and Ann Lavin.

YouTube World View with President Aquino.

Did you know that the Philippines was the first country in the world that generated #1 market share for Google Chrome? It was essentially through word of mouth that this happened. Chrome just made surfing the internet much faster and so people preferred to use it. Because of this we were included in the first batch of countries that launched the Google Chrome Webstore. This meant we were one of the few countries that had local apps launched (i.e. ABS-CBN, Pinoytuner etc.).

And before the year ended Google Maps was launched. It was over-shadowed though by the other launches, but this essentially completed my to-do list. It was serendipity though that led me to my new role as my manager, James, always looked after my well-being. He met by chance my future manager, Juergen, in Jakarta. Juergen then was looking for a person who could start communities in the region. James knew that doing community development was in my heart and recommended me. He immediately made arrangements for me to speak with Juergen. What I thought was just a conversation was apparently my first interview. After a few more interviews my new role was just waiting for me... in Singapore.

My Pinoy friends, Christine, Cherry, Lalen and Divee.

At the newly opened office when I moved. 

Also got to attend the YouTube Singapore launch.

I moved to Singapore in mid-October and at that time I was in the middle of the launches happening in the Philippines. Juergen though couldn't wait for me to finish my work for the Philippines and insisted I start immediately, so I basically had 2 jobs overlapping for about 2 months (well with all the inquiries I still get until today my original job never really ended). I shuttled back and forth between Manila and Singapore like I would just commute between QC and Paranaque hehe.

No rest though for the weary because by December I launched my first community outside the Philippines -- GBG Jakarta. I was lucky to be a country scout because it meant I had brother and sister scouts in other countries I could get help from for my next projects.

And so ended my first five years in Google. I never had the chance to write about it five years ago because I transitioned so fast to my new role I had no time to sit down and blog. Looking back, my first five years seem like I was all over the place, but it was because I had to establish local relations and prove that there was opportunity in my country. I think I managed it well because it made it easy for the teams coming in to reach out to the right people as the more mature programs were brought in the country.

Christmas party at the museum, we had to come and dress like we were part of the museum. 

It was an awesome first five years. I learned a lot, met a gazillion people, garnered a lot of new skills, but what many people don't know is to this day I'm still overwhelmed with the job. I just always pray and ask help from God to guide me every single day in everything I do.