Karla Isabel R. Antonio – Virtual Assistance
Hi! My real name is Karla Isabel but you can call me “Kian” for short. I am 26 years old and I am from the Philippines.
When I was young, I always dreamed of becoming an Electrical Engineer. During my childhood days, my neighbors didn’t know I existed! I didn’t usually play outside with other children, instead, I liked cleaning our electric fans, fixing our old television, and fixing the remote controls. I didn’t like to play with toys, instead, I played with real items and made them my toys.
I remember one time, my mum bought me a scooter for kids so I could play outside, but then, I disassembled and repainted it and gave it as a gift to my cousin!
So you see, I liked exploring things on my own. High school came and everything changed. I realised that to be an Engineer, you need to love mathematics and I, unfortunately, didn’t. So I decided to take a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality and Restaurant Management Major in Culinary Arts. Yes, I know, very different from being an Engineer! I was encouraged to take it because, during that time, I wanted to own my restaurant and to learn different types of Cuisines… so did I. 🙂
After graduation, I was absorbed by the restaurant where I finished my internship. After 6 months, I decided to have my own bakeshop and restaurant. It went well for years until I realised that I needed to learn more. I need different skills, and a different career. I wanted to grow. So, I entered the BPO industry. Being a shy-type, I was nervous. I was outside of my comfort zone. That’s why I didn’t expect to pass the interview – but I did.
I loved what I was doing back then: helping people, talking to different nationalities, and learning so many things!
Years passed and I received a call from my mum who worked with a Cruise Line agency. She offered me a Job on the Cruise Line as a Chef. I felt mixed emotions. I was doing well at being a CSR but then suddenly, circumstances made my mum’s offer a good option.
I left the BPO industry and worked as a Chef at sea. It was hard at first. Of course, being away from my family and having no access to the internet most of the time was a challenge. But years passed and I was enjoying the experience and learned a lot.
I have catered for so many different Nationalities – and having 72 different nationalities on board was not that easy! I learned to cook different cuisines, learn about different cultures and some languages. My favorite food is Indian and Indonesian! They use lots of herbs and spices that make their food deliciously flavourful! I have been able to travel the world for free too! It also helped me support my mum financially, and I was even able to buy my own house.
So you see, it was a good experience and I will never forget it. 4 years later, I needed to return to the Philippines for good. My mum was getting old and I could not stop thinking every day about her being alone in the house. My sister lives in the USA and my Dad is also working abroad. It was a huge decision for me because I was really having a good life working on the ship but then, I decided to go back home and be with my mum.
When I got back here in the Philippines, I decided to work from home as a Chat Support Agent for Airbnb. I enjoyed it so much because I can still take care of the household and bond with my mum without me leaving the house. It is very convenient working from home. Now, I want to continue my career in being a VA.
I am a very determined person who doesn’t want to stop learning different skills. I am a good communicator and a fast-learner who worked as a Customer Representative and a Chat Support Agent during the past years. I have always been committed to my job and to those people who need my help. I’ve handled inquiries, complaints, and performed troubleshooting.
I may not have as much experience as other VA’s – but I am reliable, always a fast learner and I believe in the saying of Zig Ziglar, “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.”
This is my story, my life, and a never-ending journey.
For a copy of Karla’s resume please click here.