In my 12-year career in media, PR, and corporate communications, I’m fortunate to have met three of the most amazing, smartest, and coolest women bosses any employee like me could ask for. They were more than bosses; they were life and career coaches, cheerers, mothers, big sisters, friends, and above all, my writing mentors.
Mentor #1 is MF – the hippie food writer and researcher who has made it her life’s passion and advocacy to promote Filipino food and culture.
- Where we worked together: the food and dining website of a giant media company
- What I learned from her aside from food writing: Humility. Childlike wonder in everything.
- Why she’s amazing: Any legitimate, self-respecting Filipino food writer knows her. She’s not just well-known but also well-loved in the local and international food scene. She frowns upon nasty and opportunist media people who throw their weight around. She’s almost the same age as my mother but she keeps her youthful vibe by being updated with the latest news, not just in the food industry but also computers. She always smiles. She’s kind (can’t think of any other word).
- Plus, she’s friends with two other writers I admire – Lourd de Veyra and Jessica Zafra. How cool is that?🙂
- Quotable quote: “If don’t have anything nice to say (about the food, chef, or the restaurant as a whole), better to keep your mouth shut.”
Mentor #2 is JP – the former ramp and fashion model who graduated with a degree in accountancy but eventually found her niche in the hotel and PR industry.
- Where we worked together: the PR department of a 5-star hotel
- What I learned from her aside from PR writing: Confidence. Beauty inside and out. Words are powerful.
- Why she’s amazing: The hotel GM was not too keen on hiring me for various reasons. She believed in me at a time when even I didn’t believe in myself. She convinced the GM to hire me and he did! That single gesture meant a lot to me. Every single day at the office or some kind of event with her was a great learning experience. She taught me the basics of PR and media relations. She’s good with both numbers and words. She can write really well and can make an old, stuffy ballroom seem like it’s the most beautiful ballroom in the world with the magic of her words.
- Plus, she taught me a thing or two about make-up and pointy shoes. She’s like Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada, only nicer. Waaaaay nicer.
- Quotable quote: “Never assume anything.”
Mentor #3 is DL — the former journalist who became an outstanding corpcomm professional but whose heart is really into teaching and mentoring.
- Where we worked together: the corpcomm department of a utility company
- What I learned from her aside from corporate writing: Integrity. Patience and perseverance. Work-life balance. Less is more.
- Why she’s amazing: I worked with her the longest so she has seen the major ups and downs of my career. She always knows the right words to say but will never ever spoon-feed. She puts things in perspective when coaching or mentoring. She’s like my own personal Zen master.
- Plus, she’s the perfect travel companion – relaxed, never fussy, and knows where to get antibiotics in a foreign country. I will never forget those winter trips with her in Kyoto and Osaka in 2009 and Beijing early this year.
- Quotable quote: “In the scheme of things, does it really matter?”
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