Facing Adversities and Challenges through Optimism and Constant Self-Improvement with Kimberly Espiritu
Kimberly Espiritu, is a woman who continues to face adversities and challenges through her optimism and constant self-improvement. Currently she is the Associate Director for Business Development for Infosys-Finacle, a multinational financial technology (fintech) company that provides technical infrastructures (software systems) to financial institutions such as asset liability management, treasury systems, cash; wealth management, and the formation of retail and banking websites; mobile apps.
As a SISFU alumna, she graduated from the country’s premier transnational university with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Studies in 2013 under the international partner, University of Chester which is based in the United Kingdom.
She shared the things she loved and the challenges she faced as a student in SISFU. Her high points were winning sports competitions, interschool competitions, and in-house games she took part in as well as her classes being fun and enjoyable. She shared her story on a stock game initiated by the university and how they were able to place first during week one of the competition and how they still ended up enjoying the event despite not winning the top prize.
Another high point in her stay was during her dissertation defense. She remembered receiving positive feedback from Dr Natasha Lamb and Mr Leopoldo Anoche since she knew her dissertation well, cover to cover. This has made Kimberly both happy and proud of herself that she brought that very dissertation to her first job interview and conveyed her passion towards her employer.
As for her low points, albeit not being a real low for her, was that during her time in SJMA. She and her friends hosted a block party in Makati and they invited students to join through the means of selling tickets. The night ended with the participants of the soiree having fun. However—for them—the result of this activity was that their sales only broke even, they did not get the chance to fully enjoy the event, there were some minor arguments along the way, and how the event became tedious and overwhelming. Through this experience, she was able to learn how (and how not) to manage events—albeit being a non-partygoer and as aforementioned, an introvert. Nevertheless, she does not consider this to be a low point since they still had some fun, they were able to bring home good memories, and they have executed it well—which in a way is already a success.
Staying with the theme of the challenges she faced, she mentioned that there were times that she felt she was not ready to be a leader, but she believed that this has really helped her a lot, especially during her career. Through the confidence she has built and the level of trust in her own abilities allowed her to be the best version of herself when she started being part of the corporate world. This of which, despite all the adversities and challenges she had to face, all had produced positive outcomes.
SISFU has indeed helped and contributed to her success today since she was surrounded by very professional professors who really look out for their students. Although being an introvert who does not interact much during class discussions, she had a skill for writing—and her professors, like Mrs Grace Chong (her marketing professor) have often commended her quality of work. This constant positive feedback has inspired her to do better because before she came to SISFU she was used to the fact that her talents and skills were left unnoticed.
In addition, Kimberly was also set-up for success through the subjects she took up as these were all lessons that she will surely use in the corporate world. A good example of this is the professional development class with Dr Nadira Rasheed who helped her set-up her LinkedIn Profile and was really hands-on with her and her classmates when it comes to honing their skills that will help them once they step into the corporate world. Another example was her research classes with Dr Socorro Nuyda. Because of her love for written assessments, she has shined in this area with the help of Dr Nuyda’s guidance in writing a research paper and worked on her interest in the field of finance with Mr Ryk Ramos, one of her college lecturers. Both of them gave her that push to do her research paper right through the use of different methods and formulae. Through this, Kimberly was able to build her confidence and become engaged with learning since their invaluable feedback allowed her to determine where she was good at and things she could still improve on and work on them as she progresses through her stay in the university.
Apart from her professors, she was able to build connections with the people in SISFU and maintain friendships after graduation. Kimberly points out that the environment allowed her to improve her communication skills and work on her other skills through extracurricular activities such as being a writer for The Bridge - SISFU’s Official Publication, the organisation president of the Southville Junior Financial Executives (SJFE), the associate for creatives for the Southville Junior Marketing Association (SJMA), and being part of the Volleyball and Futsal Teams.
Through these organisations, she was able to compete in many competitions outside of the school. First was the promotional campaign for Canon in the Philippine Junior Marketing Association and bagged a podium award as a team along with two other batchmates, Denise Pablo and Alexandria Ralletta. Another would be the Interschool Sports Competitions that she joined that also allowed her to win awards in Volleyball and Futsal. Because of this, Kimberly was able to become a good leader and a representative of her university in prestigious competitions and events.
As we wrapped-up the interview, she ended with a few quips and tips to all the future graduates of SISFU and those who plan to pursue higher education there:
“I really put importance in terms of having balance in your life. One of the things that I have learned from the books that I have read is that: ‘It is best for you to decide quickly, rather than waste time.’.”
“When I learned that SISFU offers degrees that we can already focus on—right when we join our first year of college [and] there is heavier emphasis on the major classes, rather than the minor ones. With that being granted, I did not waste time.”
“When I joined SISFU I was faced with the major subjects such as Marketing; Business Management, and aside from this the school made available different extracurricular activities or clubs we can join in. [For] me this really helped—in combination with the academics, so it was really balanced for me.”
“On top of that I was surrounded by really helpful, encouraging, and professional professors, and being exposed with a lot of activities in college and just taking opportunities in front of me, like becoming a club president or joining competitions outside [the university]. So it really honed my skills, whether [it was] academic or non-academic. I feel that it’s important to hone your skills [, especially in] communication as well, not just written or verbal, but also on how we connect with people”
“I feel like being in an environment like SISFU. [It] gave me these positives, whether [they are professional] skills or connecting to people.”
“My advice for the current students of SISFU, or those who are planning to join SISFU, is that to take whatever challenge or opportunities they are faced with. Take it, grab [the] opportunity, put yourself out there, make the most out of your college experience, and even if you have [already] graduated; finished your paper... continue with self development and improvement, even if you’re outside of the school.”
“With the advice given by my professors, I continued [my] self-development. I continued to learn. I know I am only eight years in the industry—to most they would say that is relatively young—so I still have some things to learn. It was really good being with SISFU because I really learned a lot.”
“Joining SISFU was the right decision for me, because it was really on the business side. I was able to really focus on the finance side. So while you are in school at least get to know what you really want. Read some books or articles on what industry you would like to be in after graduating. So why we’re still in provided with a lot of tools and opportunities from SISFU.”
“Immerse yourself! Take challenges, grab opportunities, and never let low points stop you as it is a way to learn.”
Kimberly’s story was both inspiring and thought-provoking. We, The Bridge, deeply appreciated the time she has shared with us.
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