In recognition of employees for their exemplary work performance, Beepo awards the Most Valuable Professional (MVP) every year, and I am very blessed to be hailed the first awardee of this title during the first year celebration of Beepo last 16 April 2014. I was selected by the CEO and directors of the company basing on employee performance. I consider the award unexpected as they announced giving it few days before Beepo celebrated its first year. As an incentive, I was given an all expense-paid trip to Australia where I had the chance to visit the Cities of Brisbane and Sydney and personally meet some of our Aussie clients at Beepo. The incentive was a surprise to us all because initially, a cash incentive was communicated to the team. Because of this, I had the pleasure of experiencing to travel in a place I’ve never been before, alone.
Day 1, Acquaintance Monday
I had smooth connecting flights in the morning of Sunday, 27 November from Clark to Singapore, then Singapore to Gold Cost in Brisbane. There was a confusion with the time once I got to New South Wales from Queensland as they have different time zones!
For the first day, Aimee and Mark toured me around Byron Bay in New South Wales where we took our lunch at The Farm, a countryside restaurant that served really good food. The big day started at the first day as I was introduced to the Beepo Sales Team and Outsourcing Consultants Nick and Nicole. During the same day, I also had the pleasure of meeting one of our biggest clients wherein we had a tour in their office and their businesses apart from meeting the owners of the company. For lunch, we headed to Breakfast Creek Hotel, an iconic place in Australia and a famous watering hole in Queensland where they served beautiful steak at your own choice. The steak is served with bacon sauce, coleslaw, slices of tomato, a bread roll and Idaho potato. It’s either steak or steak!
Day 2, Relaxing Tuesday
The second day was my first Reward and Recognition day where I was brought to two of Queensland’s top tourist spots, the SkyPoint Observation Deck in Gold Coast and the Surfer’s Paradise. Aside from a sightseeing from the top, SkyPoint is also where we took our breakfast. Shortly after, we headed our way to the Surfer’s Paradise for a sunny swim where the wave was relentless/
Day 3, Business Wednesday
Wednesday is another big day as we are scheduled to meet some of our major clients and discussed topics like Net Promoter Score and we can improve our as a Company. Some of the clients have mentioned their plans for 2016 and in growing their teams in Beepo.
Day 4, Ping-Pong Thursday
Another big day was set for the 4th day as I was brought to the HTG to meet the point-of-contacts for the first time. We had our lunch with the owners of HTG (Tim and Paul) and talked about best practices and how I can leverage my visit in Australia with our staff in the Philippines. Heidi Loomes, General Manager toured me in their office and challenged me to a ping-pong game right after she toured me around the office and we both won! Finally after 15 years, I was able to play ping-pong again and I’m glad it happened in Australia.
Day 5, Furry Friday
My fifth day marked another Rewards & Recognition day as Mark and Aimee brought me to the zoo together with their kids. This is where I’d seen Kangaroos and Koalas for the first time. In the arvo, we had our “me time” where I had a walk in the beach and just savoured the moment. Right after, we headed our way to Butchers BBQ as dinner.
Day 6, Adventurous Saturday
For some clients, I gave them packs of dried mangoes and coffee beans as presents. Before I finally left Brisbane, I had the chance to bid goodbye to some clients who hugged me (which reminded me of my mom). I thanked them for taking good care of me and for their kindness during my stay. They told me they’re simply returning the favour because whenever they visit us in the Philippines, I do the same for them.
I was ready for the take-off. Aimee drove me to the Gold Coast airport as I was heading my way to Sydney to meet my high school friend. While on the trip, I was on for an adventure as I was walking along the streets of Sydney alone having a map to the train station as my guide. Finally I reached Wesley’s Newtown Space Hotel where I stayed for a night. Then, my friend fetched me from there and we went to the Bondi Beach in Sydney. We also visited the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge all in one night. By night time, we went to the Darling Harbour to see some fireworks display and Christmas music being played on the road, which made me feel I was home.
Day 7, Farewell Sunday
Sunday, the last day of my Australian trip started with a jet boat ride at the Darling Harbour, Sydney. Starbucks and other popular coffee shops are not so popular in Sydney simply because they have their own unbranded coffee that tastes much better than what we have in the Philippines. We also went to shop at the Chinatown in Sydney. For dinner, we went to KFC (just to check how the taste differs from the KFC in Philippines) and it was not a bad idea at all. A tourist /traveller should try!
Comparing Brisbane and Sydney, I think both cities offer two different tastes: Brisbane highlights the beach and high-rise buildings where Aussies usually visit to relax and have fun; while Sydney is all about city living where a lot of the main businesses are located. It only takes a 45-minute flight from Sydney to Brisbane and vice-versa, while it may take up to 9 hours for a long drive. While it was remarkably my first time to travel alone, I will never forget the fun and thrill of getting lost in long walks on the streets.
The travel is remarkable itself not only because of the beautiful journey or being able to experience things for the first time, but because I know it was a reward given to me for hard work. These experiences made my trip to Australia worth remembering and worth sharing. This experience motivated me to work better for the company and for myself professionally. I can’t wait to finally know who will be awarded the next MVP!