Joyce Ann Monakil: Dedication to Deliver Beyond Expectations
March is Women’s History Month. To honour the remarkable contributions of women in the workplace, we are proud to feature Joyce Ann Monakil, one of the recipients of ASW’s Client Spotlight Award. She was recognised by our client partner for being “a highly valued member of the team that others enjoy collaborating with, and who has substantially exceeded the expectations of her position, and performed at a level well beyond normal job requirements and expectations.”
1. Hi Joyce, could you tell us a bit about yourself? Outside of work, what do you enjoy doing?
My name is Joyce, a graduate of BS Statistics at the University of the Philippines Los Baños. Hustling at work so that I can travel to places I want to go to. Being in an output-based career, I always deliver and get things done.
When we were still working in the office, I would enjoy trying different kinds of food around BGC (the business district where the ASW Philippine office is located) and hang out with my friends. But ever since I’ve been working from home because of the pandemic, I now enjoy playing with my dogs and binge watching on Netflix.
2. Can you tell us more about your role here at ASW? How many years have you been with ASW?
This May 2022 will be my fifth year with ASW. I started as a Data Analyst for Business Administrative Services (BAS) and decided to move to a different team, which is Actuarial Services Team (AST). I’m now a Senior Data Analyst of the Analytics and Reporting Team (previously AST) and my main role is to act as a support to our team members based in Sydney. I do data management most of the time and send reports to clients within and outside the company. I also provide support on technical tasks related to the software programs that the team is using, such as SAS and R.
3. Can you tell us what your career was like before joining ASW?
I was previously a Data Analyst for a national survey. That was the time when I started handling big data, doing data cleaning and analysis. Although we used a different statistical software, my first job served as my training ground and that’s why I am now keen on details in managing data.
4. How would you describe the team that you are working with?
I like how my fellow team members want me to grow, not just for the whole team but most especially for myself. They are very supportive whenever we ask for trainings or whenever we would like to take courses that will help us gain more knowledge in our career.
Also, they always want us to reach our maximum capacity. That’s why the work doesn’t always stay as easy as the previous ones. We get challenged most of the time. But they always make sure that there is someone who would help us whenever we encounter issues or concerns.
5. You were a recipient of ASW’s Client Spotlight Award. Congratulations! How did you feel when you heard the news?
To be honest, I was actually confused at first because it was the first time I heard of the award. I thought it was a simple recognition from our manager. But then he explained it to me and then I realised, it was a special “thing” that they do there. After that, I was actually hesitant at first to receive such a huge recognition because the reason I got this award is because of a joint effort with my other teammate, Paul Wai, who guided me throughout the project. Whenever I am asked about this award, I always say that I’m sharing this recognition with him.
It finally sank in when I acknowledged it after a few minutes of discussion with my manager and of course, who wouldn’t want to celebrate? I was in Siargao at that time when I heard the news in the morning, so I celebrated afterwards.
6. We received glowing remarks from the client about your exemplary performance, especially during a certain project that involved the transition between servers. What was that like for you during that time?
When I first heard of the project from my teammate, he already told me that it will take most of my working time for probably a month or so. That’s why I prepared myself and reviewed the codes that will be used in the transition, and the preparation actually helped! We had weekly catch-ups with the project manager and Infra team. Tasks, assignments, goals and timelines were always discussed, that’s why the planning and execution was not that tiresome and difficult. It was definitely not a smooth process but on the numerous issues we’ve encountered, especially during the testing of the transition, the people we needed stepped up and helped. That’s why we were able to finish the project on time.
7. Could you share with us your own tips on how to overcome challenges at work?
Be resourceful. If the answers are not on your plate yet, keep looking. Don’t settle for temporary solutions. If anything still doesn’t work out, ask questions, especially to those who have more experience in the field. Asking questions is not bad. It won’t make you look not smart enough. It will help you learn a lot of things.
8. What important lessons have you learned from working at ASW?
Working individually and accomplishing something alone may give us peace and fulfilment. But for me, learning from others gives me a different kind of excitement and sharing that knowledge with others feels more fulfilling.
9. March is International Women’s Month and the theme for this year is Break the Bias. Women in the workplace sometimes have a hard time getting ahead because of biases against them. What words of encouragement would you like to share for working women? How do you use your own experience to support other women in the workplace?
Unfortunately, there are some men who still think that women aren’t fit for certain job roles just because they see women as too emotional.
Women may be more emotional than men and others may look at it as a weakness, but for me, I see it as a drive to prove others that WE CAN DO IT. We don’t just cry and go home. We cry, wipe the tears, get back to work, and get things done. That’s how we prove them wrong.
10. Thanks for your time! Is there any special message or advice you’d like to share with your fellow ASW colleagues?
To quote from the movie Finding Nemo. “Just keep swimming” and make friends along the way.