Meet Donica Cuenca, one of Research Associates at Colliers Philippines’ Advisory Services team. Donica cites professional growth as one of the best things about working at Colliers.
It was honestly daunting at first, because the type of research that I had to do was different from what I used to do as an analyst when I was in the Research team. Back then, the insights that we provide were more on a macro-level. But now as an associate under the Advisory Services team, we handle research at a micro-level to cater to the specific needs of a client. I get to research on the real estate market outside of Metro Manila, particularly in major cities in the Visayas and Mindanao. On top of that, we do a lot of field work in these cities. Despite being a bit challenging, it is fun since you get to explore new areas, learn about their market, and hit your “steps per day” goal.
2. What is the best thing about working in Colliers?
They support your professional growth. I joined the company as a fresh graduate in 2018. It was, honestly, a bit of a stretch for me because my degree is unrelated to real estate, but I was really interested in doing research work. As we collaborate a lot with other departments, I gained plenty of insights about the type of work that each of the departments here handle. When I decided to pursue a career in real estate for the long run, I wanted to learn more about the market and do research that is based on clients’ needs. So I really appreciate how supportive the managers are about this. It was extremely helpful, especially for those around my age who are still figuring things out.
3. What is the biggest risk you ever took?
Definitely deciding to pursue a career in real estate. I majored in Human and Family Development in college, so you can imagine how distant is that from real estate. But when I started seeing research positions being posted by real estate companies, I became really interested. So when Colliers offered me the job after my interview, I took the leap.
4. What is your most cherished memory?
The meetings that I used to attend as a kid with my dad. When I was younger my dad used to own a heavy equipment and demolition company. He was a hands-on type of businessman; he preferred attending meetings with clients rather than delegating it to someone else. When I was around 6 or 7 years old, he started bringing me along to his meetings. That went on until I was in college. It was one of my most cherished memories as it exposed to business at such a young age.
5. Once the pandemic is over, where is the first place you would travel to and why?
I have been watching a lot of Studio Ghibli films with my significant other during the pandemic and it made us appreciate the different prefectures of Japan. We are also big fans of their cuisine. We plan on exploring the country once the pandemic is over and it is safe to travel again. For now, we are saving up for our travel fund.
Favorite movie or TV show: Casablanca
Favorite leisure activity: Baking and painting
Favorite travel destination: Anywhere new, but preferably somewhere cold
Coffee or tea: Coffee
Favorite comfort food: Mini animal biscuits from M&S and a glass of milk