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Filipina IT professional shares plight of job loss; emerging to Head of IT

Picture any professional in the field of Information Technology (IT) and 95% of the time people will immediately visualize a man – and this is why women who venture into the field of IT are already achievers in their own right as they raise the flag of empowered, knowledgeable women in a field dominated by men.
2019 The Filipino Times Awards IT Professional of the Year brings this several notches further as she’s not just any mere IT professional, she manages and heads the IT division of one of the most prominent group of companies in the UAE – The Gargash Group, managing more than 10 companies with over 1000 employees.
Fascination at a young age
Arevalo reminisces that she always had the knack and unique interest in electronic items as she closely observed one of her neighbors who makes a living fixing gadgets and other electronic materials.
“I like watching dismantling, assembling and soldering transistors, LED, Triacs and other components in the circuit board it does fascinates me. I remember collecting small pieces of wires with different color from my neighbors’ electronic repair shop, thinking it now it’s very uncanny,” said Arevalo, who furthered that these experiences helped her decide to pursue a career in Computer Engineering from the University of Cebu.
Climbing through the ranks
Arevalo started out as a simple IT Sales Consultant in Cebu and managed to slowly climb the ranks until she worked for the first time as an OFW in Taiwan. But it was when she made the move to the UAE in 2008 where she experienced a reset in her career.
Similar to the plight of many Filipinos who already had comfortable positions in the Philippines and other countries, Arevalo hit the reset button to start anew in the country, but took it as an opportunity to excel: “I had to start all over again, but I saw an opportunity to build a strong foundation of my career in Sharaf DG and in a few short years I progressed from Senior IT Assistant to Project Manager to IT Consultant.”
Resilience through job loss
Just when everything seemed to flow smoothly for Arevalo, she lost her job in 2016.  However, she managed to course through unemployment with the help of financial literacy. “I felt sad. A year of living in UAE without monthly paycheck was challenging. Losing a job doesn’t mean bills will stop coming, Because I have been living and advocating financially literacy, I was in the position where I knew I will survive with my current situation.”
She eventually found a new job where she once again proved her prowess in the field of IT. “Today, I am the Service Delivery Manager – Information Technology of The Gargash Group with over 1000 employees across Automotive, Real Estate and Financial Services Industries. Armed with more than 15 proud and successful years of hard work and experience in multicultural, dynamic and fast paced environments that demand strong leadership skills, and a positive outlook I have embarked on what is truly my greatest professional challenge by far.”
Showcasing excellence
As she continues to work on cutting-edge technologies including MS Azure Cloud, Azure Stack, Disaster Recovery, O365, ERP systems and many more programs in the field of IT, she has never wavered in her dedication to help guide fellow Filipinos to follow their passion to show what Filipinos are really capable of in their chosen field.
“Sign your work with excellence this will show that we Filipinos are world class and we deserve to be recognized and applauded. Information Technology has a plethora of studies, chose any, own it and be a Subject Matter Expert (SME) on it. Lastly, set yourself for continuous learning and constant innovation,” said Arevalo.
She likewise shares that the most valuable nuggets of wisdom come from experiences in life, no matter where you are in the world: “I do agree that experience is the best teacher. It may be our own experience or those around us. What is important is we learn from those experiences. I look up to successful people and make them as my mentors especially in transforming my soul to be a better version of myself.”
 

Staff Report

The Filipino Times is the chronicler of stories for, of and by Filipinos all over the world, reaching more than 236 countries in readership. Any interesting story to share? Email us at [email protected]

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