This week, we interview our talented Marketing and Design Team Lead. If you meet her bubbly self today, you’d never be able to tell that just a year ago she was an extremely reserved and downhearted person. Read on to find out how she has been renewed and transformed!

How has 1010Life impacted your life?

1010Life helped me get through the most difficult period of my life. Through this company I have experienced many personal breakthroughs and growth. Before joining 1010Life, I was feeling very discouraged as I had lost my sense of purpose. Work was just a daily routine and had no meaning.

It was through this company that I found life again. 1010Life helped me to break past the negative mindsets I had about myself through rebuilding my confidence, and helping me to see the trials I experienced were not in vain.

How did 1010Life help you to experience this breakthrough?

The greatest factors would be the mentoring I’ve received and the community I’ve found. Knowing that I am not just in 1010Life as an employee, but I am valued, and my boss, Michelle, is intentional about my growth and personal development.

1010Life also allows for the freedom of creative expression, and gives me room to experiment with new ideas and learn new skills. I have learnt more about myself and I am no longer afraid of stepping out of my comfort zone or doing things that I have not done before. For instance, in the past, I was never comfortable or confident with expressing my thoughts, but now I know that my thoughts are valued. The encouraging environment at 1010Life makes it feel like home.

What is mentoring to you? What makes a good mentor?

Mentoring is a two-way relationship where a more experienced individual invests into the life of another individual. It is a two-way relationship because there needs be a lot of trust and vulnerability, and a lot of communication.

A good mentor is one who is intentional and sees the potential in you. Initially, I thought Michelle was just being her extroverted self, asking me questions and trying to strike up a conversation. However, after a while, I realised that she genuinely wanted to reach out and help. I am thankful that she was able to see that I needed help, and that I was not functioning at my fullest potential. I did hesitate, but I slowly realised that she was someone I could trust and openly talk to without any fear of being judged or condemned.

I personally feel that a good mentor must also be inspiring. They need to have confidence in their own identity and purpose, as well as a vast amount of wisdom and experience to share. It would be a plus if he or she was in the same industry as well!

A successful mentor-mentee relationship also requires a little bit of luck. There needs to be a connection, which you’ll only be able to determine this after some interaction. Unfortunately, not every willing mentor may successfully become one. Nonetheless, I feel that there needs to be a stronger culture of mentoring in the Philippines! We can see so much further by standing on the shoulders of the giants around us.

You began at 1010Life as a front-end developer, one year later you now wear both hats of Graphic Design and Marketing. Would you have imagined this? How do you find your current roles?

When I first applied to 1010Life, they were looking for front-end developers. With a background in web design, I decided to give it a shot. The perks of working in a startup is that everyone has the opportunity to chip in in every way they can. Because of this, I ended up designing more and more of the marketing collaterals and graphics. I then started to develop an interest in marketing, and felt that this was one area I really wanted to contribute to in the company.

To be honest, it was difficult shifting roles because I had to spend time studying and adapting. However, if there’s no challenge, there will also be no growth. There’s no point in being stagnant. Stepping out of a comfort zone may require a lot of a courage, but it can also be very liberating and fulfilling.

Why did you feel that marketing was an area which needed more work?

Well, I believe that 1010Life has good products, and I see its worth and its potential, but if our marketing strategy is weak, others will never be able to know about them. This is a huge pity because so many people will be missing out on this mutual benefit!

There is also a special power behind graphic design and marketing to communicate – to convey messages that can encourage and inspire.

What work do you have cut out for you right now?

Most crucially, it would be developing an understanding of the market and learning how to appeal to the right audience. Personally, it would be growing in self-confidence and learning how to become more precise in my plans and in my work.

What do you want to tell fellow youths out there?

1. Go for the challenge!

There’s a saying “difficult roads lead to beautiful destinations”, and I can vouch for this. You’ll never really know what your personal limits are until you stretch and test it. You’ll also never know how much you can learn unless you try.

2. If you’re not sure, just try!

Sometimes, the best way to discover what really drives or excites you is to explore and expose yourself to as much as possible. I recommend that you do this while you’re still young and do not have too many heavy responsibilities on your plate (like having your own family or needing to manage your own household).

3. If you want to find yourself, find God first.

This last piece of advice is very personal to me, and others may not agree with it. However, this played a huge part in helping me get out of the rut I was initially in. I mean, just knowing that you are deeply loved and treasured in spite of your brokenness and failures brings so much comfort and hope for the future.

So, what are you inspired to do with your life now?

After experiencing personal breakthroughs in the last year, it has become my life purpose to help other people overcome difficult hurdles. I too wish to help other people learn more about themselves and find their purpose in life.

What is the only thing you need to know about Ayen? She is obsessed with ginger – ginger sweets, ginger tea, ginger cake, dishes packed with ginger, the list can possibly go on forever… Well, if you’re running low on inspiration or ideas, she’s definitely your go to person as well. When not in the clouds, Ayen can either be found releasing creativity juices or quenching her thirst for new knowledge and skills.


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