EQUIPPED with decades of industry experience and an ever-burning drive to excel, these exemplary women have rightfully earned their stripes. They represent what it means to be a woman in charge and to do it well, whether it’s as a high-ranking position in a company or as the chief executive officer of one’s own business.
Feature dates: Darlene Go (March 30), Karen Mendoza (March 31) and Nova Noval (April 1).
Karen Mendoza, 54
General manager, Maayo Hotels
SunStar LIVE! (SL): As a strong and successful career woman, what’s one important quality that young women of today should possess?
Karen Mendoza (KM): Be a woman who accepts her imperfections, a woman who is not afraid to be herself and who knows exactly what she wants and is fearless to embrace life’s challenges. You have to love what you do in order to be successful at it. If you believe in yourself, you are unstoppable.
SL: In your life, what’s been one of the greatest hurdles you’ve faced and how did you overcome it?
KM: I attended school and had a full-time job at a very young age. I had to juggle classes, work and personal life to stay sane. The hardships and challenges I faced helped me grow. The worst days gave me valuable lessons.
SL: For you, what’s been the greatest highlight of your career?
KM: I rose through the ranks and it has always been a hard climb. I experienced rejections along the way, but I learned that hard work and determination will get you where you want to go. When I look back on where I started and seeing how far I’ve come keeps me inspired especially in times when I just want to quit.
SL: Why did you decide to pursue this career path? What do you love most about it?
KM: It’s nice to work in a lively and dynamic work environment. You are always on-the-go and you never get bored. You get to meet interesting people from all over the world, too. While it can be physically and mentally demanding at times, it sharpens your customer service skills and it improves your critical and creative thinking. Personally, it also gives me an enormous sense of fulfillment and satisfaction from making other people feel welcome and happy.
SL: In the next five to 10 years, where do you see yourself, both personally and professionally?
KM: I would still want to be productive and spend more time on my favorite hobby which is farming, which always fell on the wayside due to my hectic working schedule. On the professional aspect, I can still do consultancy jobs on the side.
SL: If you could talk to your 21-year old yuppie self, what would you say?
KM: Hey, you! You have been through a lot and you made it this far. Continue to persevere and just keep going. God always has your back.