These 5 Pinays Pursued Jobs That Aren’t Related To Their College Major

Is it worth it?
by Ginyn Noble
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Deciding to move on from nursing—my actual course—to pursue a career in publishing was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do. I didn’t want to feel like I just wasted my time and effort. It’s been three years and I’m now the Social Media Editor for the brand marketing unit of one of the most well-known publishers in the country. This job—despite the sacrifices I had to make for it—made me realize that I have no regrets and that I’m in this for the long haul. Not only do I have the best mentors, I even have the opportunity to contribute stories to different Summit Media titles like Cosmo.ph aka Best Website In The World.

Like me, several Pinays know that pursuing a ~*passion*~ or any job that isn’t related to your college major is a journey filled with obstacles, but also incredible rewards.

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Joan Sibal (26) studied nursing in UST. Before her current occupation, she became a sales manager and then an area manager in SM. Now, she’s a professional makeup artist and a business owner of Snip Hair Studio, earning around P60,000 to P80,000 a month.


Why did you take up your major?

There was a nursing boom back when I graduated in high school and since my parents wanted me to take up medicine, I chose B.S. Nursing as a pre-med course.

What made you decide to pursue a profession that's not related to your major? Passion—I am not productive without it. I felt like something was missing when I tried doing nursing jobs, so I followed my gut and jumped ship without looking back.

What were the struggles you had to face?

My parents were furious when I told them that I won’t be taking the board exams since I wanted to shift careers right after graduation. When I finally became a makeup artist, I didn’t have any background so the 30+ cosmetics companies I applied to didn’t even grant me an interview. I did a lot of gigs for free just to gain more experience. To get by, I applied for jobs unrelated to makeup because passion won’t pay my bills.

What are the perks of your current job?

I enjoy the whole experience, actually. But the best parts of my current job are the free travel and the countless networking opportunities.

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Are there lessons from college that you can still apply today?

Definitely! Because of nursing, I know how to build rapport, multitask, and hold on to my composure under pressure. I still thank all my professors for teaching me discipline.

Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?

Last March, I opened my own makeup studio. In the future, I’d like to open more stores. One of my goals is to build a makeup institute, to give aspiring makeup artists a chance even if they have limited resources.  

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Monica Mingoa (35) has a degree in Public Health from UP Manila and was also a medical student at UST. She discontinued studying medicine. Before her current occupation, she was a technical support agent, a communications specialist, an internal auditor, and a quality assurance and security lead. Now, she’s the regional training manager for an IT Company earning around P50,000 to P70,000 per month.


 

Why did you take up your major?

Because my whole family wanted me to become a doctor

What made you decide to pursue a profession that's not related to your major?

I wanted to prove to my family that I didn't have to become a doctor to serve and help people, and I wanted to prove to them that I could earn more.

What were the struggles you had to face?

Having self-doubt, causing my family major disappointment, and repeatedly being told I'm overqualified.

What are the perks of your current job?

Being able to collaborate with a lot of people from all walks of life (from top management to entry-level positions, whether in the company or externally), learning from others, [having] work-life balance, [and having the] ability to purchase company stocks.

Are there lessons from college that you can still apply today?

Not really, but the moral lesson of me quitting med school is that no matter what other people say, I have to choose my own path in life.

Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?

I am happy and plan to still be happy 10 years from now. I never planned to get where I am five, 10, or even 20 years ago. It doesn't make sense for me to start planning now, but my life goal would be to visit destinations on my bucket list. [In my career, I want to] continue to create a learning environment (whether at work, yoga, or free-diving) and to help others discover and develop themselves into who they want to be.

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Ranzel Montanez (31) has a degree in Communication Arts, majoring in Journalism, at St. Mary’s College. Before her current occupation, she worked as a call center agent, an operations and logistics manager, and a creative assistant. She now runs the online clothing business she founded, shop5minutes.com, earning around P25,000 to P50,000.


Why did you take up your major?

It was my goal to work in a newsroom. It doesn’t matter if it’s onscreen or off-screen, TV, or print. I just wanted to create and write something.

What made you decide to pursue a profession that's not related to your major?

I had zero luck in finding a job related to media. I did almost 30 job interviews after I graduated and no one called back. I tried to cast the net outside the field I pursued and amazingly, it worked.

What were the struggles you had to face?

I was in my junior year of college when I realized that the industry I wanted to enter is extremely competitive; it’s hard to make it. This epiphany came when I was applying for an internship in all media-related companies—from publishing to radio. I thought that if this is what it’s like to apply for an internship, imagine looking for a job. I can’t even begin to count the number of rejections on my first year of job hunting! At some point, those rejections and the frustration took a toll on me. I stopped sending out resumes in my field and decided to apply for work that’s completely unrelated to my course.

What are the perks of your current job?

I like that I can manage my time and schedule more. As much as we want to pencil in everything in one day, it just can’t be done. Now, I can spend more time with my family and my daughter. I’m there when she’s home from school and I get to have breakfast with her every morning before she goes to school.

Are there lessons from college that you can still apply today?

Listen and learn! When we were kids, we thought that learning was just for school, but it’s not. Learning doesn’t end when we get a diploma or degree. There’s so much the world has to offer and teach. We just have to listen.

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Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?

I really hope that in 10 years, the brand I tried to create is still alive and kicking! Also, I still want to venture and dabble in other businesses. That’s always been the goal ever since I started working and saving.

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Aiya Rodjel (25) has a degree in International Studies from DLSU. Before her current occupation, she was a project coordinator, an account executive, and a magazine editor. Now, she is an account executive for Strategic Edge (her past clients include an internationally known tea brand and popular amusement park abroad) earning P20,000 to P25,000.


Why did you take up your major?

To be honest, my parents chose my course for me.

What made you decide to pursue a profession that's not related to your major?

I love learning and writing; PR (and publishing) provided the environments that both challenged and excited me.

What were the struggles you had to face?

There's always the issue of financial insecurity, but I've learned throughout the years that's it's not about how much you make, but what you make of it. I am far from achieving my goals, but I can say that I'm working my way there.

What are the perks of your current job?

My job is very dynamic. I get to learn a lot and with the plethora of clients and people I meet, it's never boring. For someone whose problem is getting bored easily, it's really a perfect fit for me.

Are there lessons from college that you can still apply today?

Critical thinking, which was my favorite subject, is very useful up to now.

Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?

Hopefully, I'm more financially stable with a passport full of stamps and a life full of amazing memories.

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Gift So (30), studied nursing at Silliman University and passed the boards. Before her current occupation, she worked as a staff nurse and clinical unit-based educator. Now, she’s a diplomat—a Class IV Foreign Service Officer for the DFA to be exact—earning P64,000 per month.


Why did you take up your major?

I took up BSN because I needed to learn the nursing skill set to be able to take better care of my 100-year-old grandmother who was a stroke patient for almost twenty years.

What made you decide to pursue a profession that's not related to your major?

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I wanted a job that better suited my interests. At an early age, I was told that I had always been the voracious reader. In fact, my very first novel was The Client by John Grisham. I've always wanted to know more about the world around me through print and travel. I've climbed some of the highest summits in the Philippines and I've seen the beauty of our land and our people. A sense of patriotism is well entrenched in me (I joined declamation contests during Linggo Ng Wika in primary school!) I want to tell the story of our nation to the world. Working in the Philippine Foreign Service allows me to do all that.

What were the struggles you had to face?

First, it took a huge amount of courage and faith to make such a drastic shift in my career. I was already taking on a managerial role as a nurse in my previous job and my future in that field seemed promising. It was indeed a gamble when I took the Foreign Service Exam, which has a notorious reputation of being one of the most difficult government exams and of having very low passing rate. My motto, Dominus Est, pulled me through.

Second, there is an insatiable need for me to prove myself every day. The usual educational background of a diplomat is that from the disciplines of Law, International Relations, and Political Science. What I do is that I capitalize on my uniqueness in this field. My story is unusual, so people take an active interest in my ideas. I also diligently read and study as much as I can. I'm about to enroll for my second year in San Beda College of Law.

What are the perks of your current job?

The wealth of information and opportunity for travel while simultaneously being in active service to the country available to a Foreign Service Officer are beyond compare. While being a nurse was fulfilling because of how we help a number of patients and families, being an FSO is all about changing the lives of families on a much greater number. On a lighter aspect, the everyday apparel has been drastic and interesting. As a nurse, one goes to work in pajamas (or scrub suits, as we call it), so dressing in suits and tastefully made Barong Tagalog is on the other end of the spectrum. Looking one's best goes with the job and it's also something to look forward to every day.

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Are there lessons from college that you can still apply today?

In college, the one learning paradigm instilled in student nurses many times over was "Knowledge, Skills, and Attitude (KSA)." I find this relevant and applicable even to this day. This is true in whatever discipline one is in.

Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?

I see myself still working for the government 10 years from now. I'm hoping that by then, I've already acquired the knowledge, skills, and attitude to rise among the ranks from an FSO IV to a Consul-General. By then, I also hope to prepare to take the Career Ministers Examination as a prerequisite to becoming an Ambassador of the Republic of the Philippines—knowledge, skills and attitude, permitting.

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