Meet Kat Ramnani, 30, Globe Telecom manager for content and strategic partnerships, mobile data services division. She left Manila for college when she was 18, and earned a BA degree in Marketing and Communications at Santa Clara University, a private Jesuit university in Silicon Valley, California.
Silicon Valley is the base of the multibillion-dollar tech industry and the coolest jobs on earth. Ramnani attempted to make her mark, applied in a few companies right before graduation.
Lo and behold, she landed a job at Google, as an online community manager.
"I flew back to Manila to spend some time with my family," she recalls. "I got an e-mail one night from Google asking me to come in for an interview ASAP. I begged my mom to help me get on a plane to make it to the interview. Mom works miracles, and within 48 hours I was on my way to California. I ended up getting the job!"
She was also part of the team for Orkut, the social networking website owned and operated by Google, named after Google employee Orkut Büyükkökten. "I gained 20 lbs on my first year working because of all the free food!" she says of her experience. "Yes there are slides, game rooms, ball pits, dog walkers, nap pods and Segways to get around," she says. "All that stuff is there, it exists!"
But work perks aside, what became more appealing for Ramnani was the creative working environment. "It was the collaboration of brilliance that existed within these companies, and a passion for the products we were creating," she says.
"Seeing people congregate from different departments to build technology only imagined in dreams was astounding, fascinating and beautiful to watch. I was lucky enough to have a front-row seat to all these."
She didn't stop at Google, and impressively found her way to working for tech giants Apple and Facebook (she was the 109th hired employee). But she would soon decide to drop everything to go back home, since a family member became ill.
"This put mortality and a lot of other things in perspective for me," she explains. "Sickness has a way of making things that seemed so important at one point, suddenly trivial. I wanted to make sure I spent the most time possible with this person to ensure a full recovery."
Now she's been with Globe for more than a year, and things have been pretty exciting. "No day is the same, which is what I love about my job," she says. Her duties allow her to develop products for subscribers; most recently Globe brought in Spotify, a digital music service, to the Philippines, giving it free with GoSURF.
In the future, Ramnani would like to develop a system to connect the entire world via the web. "I'll borrow a line from internet.org: 'Nobody should have to choose between access to the Internet or food or medicine,'" she explains.
"The Internet should be accessible to everyone, especially in underserviced communities and remote locations."