Dec 19, 2016

The digital economy is growing by leaps and bounds. With its growth only headed upwards, tech has been changing people’s lives by making so many tasks easier and more convenient ― from getting to work on time, delivering food at your doorstep, shopping for the holidays, and transferring money to a loved one.

This was why Alex was so keen on growing in the industry and making a difference one tap at a time.

After her five-year stint in banking and a graduate degree in Management at Boston University, Alex shifted careers to the tech startup industry. At Uber, she was one of the pioneering team members to revolutionize the way we travel around our cities. With the country’s traffic and public transportation problems, this disruption in the transport industry was much needed and, unsurprisingly, became a huge hit.

Alex in the Grace Top in Blue Printed from Patty Ang x AVA.

“As far as having an impact on even just your immediate family and friends in terms of how they get from home to work and back, I think Uber really changed the landscape here in the Philippines in that sense,” she said. This comes as no surprise, since the public transport platform in the country has expanded enough to make it the largest in Southeast Asia.

Indeed, it was the integration of offline problems into the digital world that has attracted us into seeing where the tech industry would go. Alex adds that there is so much room for growth and disruption in various industries when it comes to tech and the Philippines is at its prime spot for this to happen. “We are [at this point where] we are all encroaching in that space but we are not quite there yet,” she said yet she anticipates seeing an impact in industries such as healthcare and consumer banking.

She points out, however, that despite this imminent growth we still have a long way to go. For starters, we have yet to achieve 100 percent internet penetration, specifically in areas outside the city. This is especially relevant for education, where Alex believes that in order to prepare this generation and the next for growth, we have to equip them with skills that will help them adapt.

Alex in the Grace Top in Blue Printed from Patty Ang x AVA.

During her downtime in the past two months, Alex was able to work with education non-profit organization Teach for the Philippines, where she helped scale out some of the programs they have been rolling out across the country. It was through her volunteer work at the organization that she saw the need for our education system to be more forward-thinking which, she says, leaves raw talent to become wary of their next steps in their professional career.

“We have a lot of raw talent here,” she adds. “But for some reason we are unable to fund that talent across other parts of the region.” With efforts like introducing coding to students at an early age, we can definitely get a step closer to adapting our system to the changes we want to see.

Alex in the Isabelle Top in Blue Printed from Patty Ang x AVA.

As of press time, Alex just started in a new role with Google Philippines as its Partnerships Lead. After going through many digital launches while not having a background in engineering or computer science, she encourages others to do the same by taking advantage of the resources that we have online through self-learning. If we can combine that with having conversations with people whose industries interest us, then we have learned more than about 95% of people who spend about eight hours a week on Facebook.

From that point, there’s so much we can do. Tech is revolutionizing how we live, and not only can we adapt to the current and budding changes, we can also use them to our advantage. As mentioned, there’s nowhere for the industry to go but up ― so just like Alex, we should be rising along with it.