John Robert Patricio – Customer Service and Sales Representative

VA John PatricioMy name is John Robert Patricio from the province of Guimaras. I am a person who always wanted the best for my family and my only dream is to have a stable job and a happy life with them.

I was born into a simple family. I have 2 siblings and I am the second child of Mr. and Mrs. Patricio. My Dad was a police officer, but he lost his job when I was younger because of some legal issues he got involved with. My Mum is a public school teacher major in Filipino (national language in the Philippines). I graduated my grade school in Liningwan Central School as an honour student up to High School.

My hobbies are playing volleyball and basketball. I love to listen to music and drawing. I also love extreme sports, motorcross and drag racing. But drawing is really my passion. I started competing in drawing when I was in 3rd grade right through to High School. What I do everyday is hold a pen and paper and draw whatever comes into my mind. I was a Drafting Class President from my 1st year in High School up to 4th year. I have received many awards in drawing. I was even able to compete in the Regional Category of House Planning. During the competition you are given a floor plan and you need to create a blueprint from it.

When I reached college, the course I wanted to take (Architecture) was not an option. My mother said that it was going to be too expensive because one needs to attend college for 5 years. So, I was enrolled at a maritime school as a Marine Transportation Student. I was already a graduating student when my mother decided not to send me to school anymore. She believed I was being influenced by the people around me and I was overwhelmed with the life in the city where no one is monitoring you. During grade school and high school the watchful eyes of my parents were always cast our way. The fact that my mother is a teacher meant everyone reported to her any time I had issues at school. So by the time I reached college I was beyond excited to finally live away from home. But I will admit it was heart breaking seeing your friends from high school graduating and having their dream jobs.

I commenced working in the BPO industry back in 2011. I was really nervous about applying for a job at that time. Before I applied, I had asked so many people about how things work in BPO. I felt nervous as the repeated answer that you have to be a good communicator as you will be working with people from across the globe. And you have to be proficient in the English language. And that was the biggest challenge when I started: speaking fluent English. When I was in high school, the language that I really disliked the most was English! So, when people were telling me that I have to be good with English to get the job, I started thinking it was a no-go and I should choose a different job instead. The fact that I did not have the opportunity to finish my college meant that I could not choose a job that offered a competitive salary. After considering this, I decided to try my luck and have a go.

I decided that I needed to be equipped before applying so I started training myself. I studied hard to learn English. It took me months to pretty much know even just the basics! In order to improve my vocabulary, I started reading English books, despite some of the boring topics. I watched English cartoons and movies everyday with a pen, paper and dictionary beside me. Every time I heard a word that was new to my ears, I listed them down on a piece of paper to look for the meaning in the dictionary. I did this everyday.

After months of self training, I decided to push my application and start my journey in the BPO industry. My first application was really challenging as it was my first time applying for a job. But I’m happy to say after all the exams and interviews, my hard work paid off. I was able to get in. I was hired as a sales representative for a seasonal account. I stayed for months and my English vocabulary grew. Speaking the language everyday made me think that I can do even better in the future.

After my contract, I went to Cebu with my sister due to a family issue. I applied for a job with another company in Cebu and luckily was hired as a customer service representative. The role also required me to do some basic troubleshooting and sales. I had been working with them for almost a year when my mother asked me to come back to Iloilo.

When I came back to Iloilo, I applied to my first company again and was hired for their biggest and most challenging account. I was handling customer service, technical service and sales. The most challenging part of working for a TV subscription, was the irate customers yelling at you almost everyday. I stayed with them for over a year and then received a better offer from another BPO company. Then, I was hired for another job with a different company… however my stay with them was short as I was in a serious motorcycle accident. I was advised by a physician to take a rest after the accident. My collar bone was damaged and I had 8 stitches in my head. I was very lucky not to have sustained a major brain injury.

Since I have children, I needed to get a job in order to provide for their everyday needs. So even if I was still not totally fit to work, I pushed myself to look for another job. I got into another BPO company that offered a better salary than my previous employment. Years have passed and the English language has became my second language. I was lucky to be able to work with different companies where I honed my skills and gained my knowledge.

My last employment was owned by an American who met a Filipino from our region and started their business. Before it was only a small office with a few people that came in to work each day. And I am part of that pioneer team who started with the company. My first role with them was an online proctor, who provides instructions and watches test takers online while taking their exams. After a couple of months I was hired as a client services representative. My function was to review the reports from the proctors and attend to the concerns of the institutions regarding the exams of their test takers. I also chat with the test takers and answer their questions.

After a year and a half I decided to move to a more challenging account but in the same company. Luckily they opened a senior level of customer service for a solar company. I applied for it and thank God I was able to get the position. I attended to clients concerns via phone and email. I’m almost like a one man team! You don’t have team mates to work with for the account. You only have your manager to help you with your concerns or questions. It’s been a challenge for me as most of the time you receive technical issue calls which is way different from what I have been handling in the past. But with the help of my manager I have been able to smoothly attend to the clients concerns.

Now that I have a family, I want to have a job that will give me the opportunity to be at home while receiving the same salary from my previous companies (or even more!). I am still thinking of finishing my studies so my kids will have something to be proud of and something to look up to as they grow up. I always have a hunger for learning as it is my only weapon for battle in the corporate world and being able to reach my goals in the future. I want to be an inspiration to everyone around me, especially my family.

Thank you.

For a copy of John Robert’s resume please click here.