23 years ago, a simple quest for a quick buck to fund my university enrollment turned into a career that has defined my life. I had been looking for a summer job when I bumped into a friend who invited me to apply at Ford. At the time, Ford was kicking off its manufacturing operations in the Philippines, and that’s where my career in the automotive industry started – as a Production Operator, working on bits and pieces of cars, including Ford Rangers, Lynx, and Escape.
It was at Ford that I learned the nuts and bolts of the auto industry, literally and metaphorically. My job was a far cry from the corporate offices – it was hands-on, gritty, and provided me with a frontline view of the vehicles we were creating. I spent years installing parts, learning about the intricacies of each model, and understanding the symphony that is automobile production.
However, my journey at Ford didn’t end at the production line. I was transferred to Material Planning and Logistics, opening a new chapter in my career. This transition was challenging, but it also offered me a broadened perspective on the business. The next promotion led me to Supply Chain and the Customer Service Division, where I learned about the intricate web that ties together production, sales, and after-sales service.
Finally, I became a Business Development Analyst for the after-sales business at Ford. This role sharpened my skills and understanding of the automotive industry, offering insights into customer behavior, market trends, and business strategies.
Through these years, there was one thing that lingered at the back of my mind – I never completed my university education. Ascending the corporate ladder without a degree was daunting, but Ford, being an equal opportunity company, focused on my abilities, not my academic qualifications. I am forever grateful to those who believed in me and took risks with me.
In 2008, when I was 26, the financial crisis hit, and I took the retirement package from Ford. But this was not the end of my journey in the automotive industry. I ventured into various automotive-related spaces, leveraging the vast experience and knowledge I had gained at Ford.
Today, as I reflect on my 23rd anniversary since starting at Ford, I look back with a great deal of gratitude. I am grateful to Ford for being the launchpad of my career, to my mentors who guided me, and to my colleagues who inspired me. This journey has been about recognizing opportunities, seizing them, and constantly learning and growing. To all who have been part of this journey – thank you. This article is a tribute to you.