MELISSA Marquez's professional journey was a series of accidental choices.

“My classmates knew exactly why they wanted to be accountants,” Melissa recalls. “While I signed up for Accountancy because it was first on the college course list. I dreamed of becoming a millionaire.”

Melissa received a full scholarship from De La Salle-Lipa. After seven years of balancing work and studies, she decided to pursue an MBA. She cited helping her family as her prime motivator to succeed.

A leap of faith

Born and raised in Batangas, many thought it was a risky move for Melissa to pursue an MBA in Japan. It would be her first time living apart from her family.

“I considered a lot of feedback, but at the end of the day, it is about my investment, not only to myself but for my family. The greatest regret for me is not trying when the opportunity presents itself.”

She added that some relatives thought her plans were too ambitious.

“I am the first in my family to have an international MBA degree. Fortunately, my brother received a job offer in Kyoto. Knowing that we were in the same country increased my confidence and strengthened my resolve.”

Becoming a global professional

After graduation, a Globis University classmate introduced her to a contact in London who was working for Ernst & Young (EY), one of the largest audit, tax, and professional service firms in the world.

She related that her move to London would never have been possible without her GLOBIS network. “That is one of the most valuable benefits of studying there -- having relationships you can leverage.”

Globis' rich network and innovative curriculum also prepared Melissa for the international workplace.

“While studying in GLOBIS University, we were 28 in a class from 16 different countries,” Melissa recalled. “This diversity brought interesting debates, insightful discussions, and cross-cultural appreciation. It broadened my perspective and understanding.”

EY has a diverse workforce and many of Melissa’s colleagues come from different backgrounds. She adds that having real life experience in cross-cultural communications enabled her to manage her team well.

From scholar to benefactor

Despite the thousands of miles her journey took her, Melissa never forgot home.

“Globis University’s leadership courses are very personal,” Melissa shares. “They help you develop and realize your personal mission orkokorozashi. It is a core strength of a leader.”

This made her more aware of her strengths, allowing her to build on them in order to find her purpose in society.

A product of scholarship, Melissa shared her education experience with others. “It feels good when cousins send their report cards to you. It feels familiar since I started small myself.”

Melissa continues to help her family and friends. She raised more than £500 (around P35,000) to aid the neighboring towns of Ibaan, San Pascual, Lian, and Nasugbu after the Taal volcanic eruption.

“I tell them, it is okay to be scared, as long as you give your best, one step at a time.”

To learn more about Globis University and how to start your own MBA journey, visit the official website. (PR)