The Final Week

I write this post with sadness, as I approach my final day as an intern for Bayani Brew. However, I am so grateful for this experience. I had the opportunity to work with so many inspiring people in so many cool places. Especially in working with a social enterprise like Bayani Brew, the passion people had for helping Filipino farmers was infectious. It was cool to be involved in a business with so much cultural pride and passion for their country. 

Being in a different environment also taught me a lot about myself. In terms of work, I was usually on my own schedule. My boss gave me the list of tasks I needed to complete by a certain date and checked in only about once a week. While I appreciated the freedom, I also knew that meant it was up to me to keep track of a schedule that would keep me motivated and hold me accountable, since there would be no one to do it for me. I quickly learned a few things about where/when I can work. If I didn’t leave my apartment, I would find myself getting distracted. I had to find cafes or at least places outside of my house to work. I tried to set a schedule of the times during that day that I would work. I forced myself to create deadlines for different photoshopping tasks and video shots. I knew that if I didn’t hold myself accountable, I would fall behind. 

I was also able to improve my Tagalog! This is the longest time I have ever spent in the Philippines. I tried to take advantage of my time here by using Tagalog every chance I could, from ordering food to talking to my taxi driver. Before my time here, I usually struggled to find the nouns for the sentences I wanted to create. Now, I can hold a full (but basic) conversation with my relatives in Tagalog! Immersion was definitely the most effective way of reaching my goal of Tagalog conversational competence.

Being in the Philippines also helped me broaden my world perspective. My whole life, I have grown up in a pretty homogenous environment, living in Northern Virginia, and then attending William and Mary. The Philippines, at least where I was living, has a very different pace than Northern Virginia. At home, I have this feeling that I have to be constantly busy, or working, or doing something productive. Everything is very fast-paced. One of the things I learned in the Philippines is how to enjoy life at a slower pace. Here in Manila, my everyday pace became a lot more relaxed. The work/life balance and culture seemed to be at a different pace than Northern Virginia. I learned that it is still possible to be productive in an environment that doesn’t induce stress. 

I also loved getting the chance to interact with so many successful people. It’s not every day that I meet founders of businesses, investors, or production managers. I was so grateful to be surrounded by people with so much career experience with so much good advice! I learned the perspectives of the business world, from every angle of a company. I am so grateful for the people who took me into their care and helped me along the way.