Bubbly and vivacious, meet our Head of Marketing and Communications, Thea Del Barrio, as she recounts her colorful journey in her field of expertise and how she transitioned from being part of a fast-moving consumer goods company's Corporate Affairs and Communications team to leading the Marketing & Communications strategies of a real estate services firm.
1. What made you choose Marketing & Communications as your career path?
Funnily enough, I shifted out of my Management and Communications tracks to focus on Psychology and Creative Writing, because I felt that publishing was where I wanted to grow my career. And then, my first job straight out of university was as an External Corporate Communications Specialist for a food & beverage company. At first, I saw the opportunity as a training ground and stepping stone to my vision of being in publishing, but I’ve been in this profession for 10 years and it has surprised and intrigued me in ways I couldn’t have predicted as a fresh graduate and I’ve since come to own this path as a long-term career. Just goes to show how fate can sometimes take a hand and lead you where you’re supposed to be.
2. What advice would you give to somebody who’s about to lead the Marketing and Communications team of a company for the first time?
Don’t rush change. I’ve known and experienced the pressure and temptation to immediately make waves and create significant change to display your leadership abilities and your talents. But when you rush to prove yourself and change things, you miss the opportunity to develop a strong foundation to create your long-term strategy and build relationships within the team. A Marketing and Communications team works best when they have a solid working relationship with every other team within the company. Take your time to learn the ropes, know the people, keep what works in the existing strategy and focus first on making small, incremental changes before implementing your own plans. Don’t empty your bag of tricks all in one go.
3. What would you say to young professionals who are embarking on a career in the corporate world?
The corporate world offers a lot of learning opportunities both for your professional and personal life. Take advantage of these opportunities, even if you don’t see yourself staying in corporate in the long run. Learning how to navigate interpersonal, professional relationships and to find the quickest, most creative solutions to complicated problems are only some of the valuable skills you can learn while working in corporate.
4. How do you spend your weekends?
In different ways. Sometimes, I just want to spend it quietly and have some quality time with family and other times, I go out with friends to eat and relax with some drinks. I would crochet a lot, though. Even at the beach.
5. If you could visit any place in the world where would you go? Why?
I would go to Iceland. I’ve always wanted to go ever since I read Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth. I’ve re-read the book a couple of times, but the first time was back when I was still in high school. I had just finished Around the World in 80 Days, which was a reading assignment in my English class, and I found I wanted to read more stories from Verne. It wasn’t just the science that struck me; it was how Verne wrote about his characters’ travels and how he described and revealed Iceland. I must have watched and read dozens of features on Iceland and what attracts me most about it is how the sights and sounds seem to drift constantly from calm and peaceful to vivid and dramatic. In today’s world, human hands have carved and shaped lands and waters in our quest for modernization and advancement. Not that I think it’s a bad thing but somehow, it seems to me that the people in Iceland have found a way to move with the land as they move with the times and that amazes me.
The Haunting of Hill House
Mariah Carey song - Dreamlover
80's song - Where's the Party by Madonna
90's boyband - Boyzone
Espresso or Macchiato?
Neither. Just plain black coffee.
Local tourist spot - Tagaytay
Foreign city - Vienna, Austria
Local movie - Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros
Foreign movie - La Jetee