Mark Joseph Espeleta: Naturally inspiring
People in the ASW Philippines office would know when Mark Joseph, or MJ, is around because he effortlessly lights up a room. But one thing’s for sure: when MJ is working, he seriously gets things done. We sat down with MJ for a quick interview about his life at ASW.
Hi MJ, could you tell us about yourself?
Hi, I’m MJ, a Team Leader for a claims management team here at ASW. I would say I am a self-starter with strong interpersonal skills. In my current role, I have had the opportunity to complete numerous corporate training programs and participate in special projects with Senior and Operation Managers.
I graduated Cum Laude with a Diploma in Telecom Access Network Technology from the University of Makati here in the Philippines. I love playing chess and had represented my school in various district-level competitions. I love to work hard, but I’m also a social butterfly and can party all day and night!
Oh, and one thing I’m very proud of: I know the exact location of every food item in the supermarket. I’m a diehard foodie!
That’s actually a fun and enviable talent! And we’ll definitely circle back to being a foodie. Right now, can you tell us more about your role here at ASW?
As a Team Leader, I’m responsible for assessing my team members’ performance, helping them accomplish their tasks, meet their KPIs; as well as motivating them. Essentially I provide direction and guidance to the team as we work together toward our claims management tasks. I believe my role as a team leader has been amplified in the past year because of the pandemic – good leadership is critical especially in times of stress or difficulty.
Can you tell us what your career was like before coming onboard as a Team Leader at ASW?
I had spent five years as a Quality Assurance Specialist. I performed quality assurance efforts on multiple application releases, and monitored and documented testing activities. Basically it was my responsibility to ensure integrity and that standards are being met for all our products.
What are the usual challenges of being a Team Leader?
I think the main challenge is keeping the energy high as often as possible. Sometimes you can feel the motivation for projects fall flat, and that’s normal, especially throughout the pandemic. It happens to the best of us, but what you need to do is muster all of the good stuff around you and get back on track. Don’t spend time dwelling on what isn’t working – unless you can fix it.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
What I specifically like about my job is that everyone in the team shares the same vision and is dedicated to the mission. This creates a strong work environment, and you soon see that people are willing to work with each other, and it’s just nice seeing that around you – a team that naturally works together so well.
How do you think your colleagues and bosses would describe you?
My colleagues would say I’m consistent in pursuing and reaching my goals. Rejection or negativity doesn’t get me down or take me away from achieving my goals. As for my bosses, I believe they’d describe me as someone who takes initiative and doesn’t shy away from difficult problems.
What has been your favorite experience at ASW so far?
I have a lot of great memories here at ASW with my team and my friends over the years. But I guess one of my favorite experiences has been attending one of the corporate training programs. I really enjoyed the course because the lessons in these programs, whether business communication or something else, I’m able to use in different situations in my daily life.
Going back to what you said earlier about being a foodie, we would like to know how you reconcile that with your fitness, given that you were a weight loss challenge winner in 2019. Can you tell us more about that?
When I joined the weight loss challenge, I soon realized that to lose weight successfully, I needed to make sustainable lifestyle changes. It’s less about what diet I follow but more about what works for me realistically so I can stick with the changes I’ve made for the long-term. It wasn’t easy, but I kept going with a ketogenic diet – a low carb, high fat diet that offers many health benefits. It was doctor-approved, along with my intermittent fasting. He was very surprised that I was able to maintain my cholesterol levels and congratulated me on my progress.
Amazing, and congratulations on improving yourself! On a related note, how do you make sure to continually do better at your job after all these years?
Before I start my day, I go through the list of tasks or activities I have planned for the day. After that, I take the most urgent and essential tasks into consideration and get them completed as soon as possible. I think it’s important to have a realistic day-to-day view of your tasks to essentially get a wider view of the team’s deliverables.
As a leader, I think my way of improving relies on how connected I am with them, their lives, how well I understand their career goals. When my team members feel assured that I can help them achieve their goals, that they are supported, they are most likely to do well and be an engaged part of the team.
What would you like to do be doing five years from now?
I would like to do more management responsibilities in the near future. I would want to take advantage of all the learning opportunities to develop my skills even more and meet people I can learn from. I think that there are many innovative thinkers here at ASW and that’s a big reason why I would love to further my career here.