Jorelle Robles started his career as a producer for a television network. It was after 7 years that he decided to take a jump from the world of media, to the corporate world. Even without the right experience he gambled, aware of how difficult it would be to fit into that “mold” that most corporate companies look for.
He knew that the transition wouldn’t be an easy one. His applications were rejected many times, as he lacked the competencies most companies were looking for. But if there’s one thing that all those years in the media had taught him, it’s grit. It’s sticking to your cause despite the challenges. Soon, Jor was hired by a multinational beverage company as an Internal Communications coordinator.
Getting hired by one of the most loved brands in the world was a great morale boost for Jor. But that initial happiness was soon replaced with anxiety as he struggled with the demands of working for a business with massive operations. “It was really intimidating,” Jor said. “I reported directly to the Chief HR Officer who was a very well established Colombian lawyer and executive. I remember that I cried on our first performance review when he told me how tactical I was and that my years of working in the media plateaued my ability to learn the fundamental skills of leadership, critical thinking, and strategic planning.”
Jor realized that he needed to adapt by quickly learning new skills. With mentoring from his boss, backed up with his strong determination, Jor was able to not just survive, but thrive. Six months into the role, he was promoted as a Communications and Culture executive. “I knew that I was not as intelligent as my peers, but I also knew that I was street-smart, and I have a strong sense of perseverance that stems from the experiences I had growing up,” he said.
THE POWER OF GRIT
In 2016, the company sent Jor to a training and development program at its head office in Mexico. The country’s diverse culture amazed Jor. “Mexico back then was an alien territory for me. I have never been on that side of the world. When I first visited our head office, I knew from the get-go that something was missing from that diverse crowd – a Filipino representative. I also knew right away that I wanted to be that person, and that against all odds, I needed to make that happen.”
And he did make it happen. After several attempts, he was promoted as the Diversity and Inclusion Manager, making history as the first Filipino at the corporate office. “It was my proudest moment,” Jor said. “Not just because of the opportunity to raise the flag of the Philippines in Mexico, but also because I was able to exceed even my very own expectations.
As in the Philippines, Jor credits a set of attitude for his success, which included the courage to raise your hand and the willingness to take on new challenges and face the unknown. “I believe that being naturally smart and talented is great, but to truly do well and thrive, we need the ability to persevere. Without grit, talent may be nothing more than unmet potential.”
In 2019, Jor returned to the Philippines. He joined Sitel Philippines to lead its Marketing and Communications team. Now, he is the BPO leader’s Head of Marketing for Asia-Pacific, in charge of the company’s marketing and internal communications, external communications and media relations, and employee engagement. Jor will be relocating back to Mexico this year and will be managing the region overseas.
“The training that I had overseas solidified not just my professional experience, but also my career path. I believe that our generation has been constantly labeled negatively and I want to break the stereotypes,” Jor said. “Millennials like me are not just dependable. We are also overachievers, fast learners, tech-savvy and informed ̶ we are the future leaders of the world! I hope that my story serves as an inspiration to others, that with grit and good luck, you can achieve great things and that the possibilities are endless.”
Jor is currently the Head of Marketing for the Asia-Pacific region at Sitel. He was also the former Inclusion and Diversity Global Manager for Coca-Cola FEMSA where he managed the global I&D strategy and programs across Mexico, LATAM, and Asia.
Jor Graduated from Far Eastern University in the Philippines with a degree in Communications. He has a certificate in Corporate Communications from the Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication, and also a certificate in Leadership Skills and Managing Employees (Diversity and Inclusion) from Cornell University in New York.