Filipino UAE: It’s What I Do

Filipino UAE: It’s What I Do

A peek at the lives of Filipino professionals in the UAE

2014-09-07 18 38 45GEOFFREY SALATAN

Business Travel Consultant

Airlink International U.A.E.

I have been working with Airlink International as a business travel consultant since 2006. As a business travel consultant, my typical day at work starts and ends with assisting passengers with their travel needs and booking queries. I’m often overwhelmed with calls till late midnight, but somehow at the end of the day, I know that I was able to genuinely assist others. I just don’t sell, I build. My job requires me to be an ear to people and that means I listen to not only their travel plans but their sentiments and OFW stories, working so hard to uplift the welfare of their loved ones back home.

Over time, the Filipino community in UAE grew and this led me to make a business decision and do a 360-degree business shift, from corporate to retail, targeting the Filipino market.  My valued cash clients greatly multiplied and kept growing through continuous referrals as a result of excellent service. I have gone to the extent of openly sharing my personal mobile number with anyone I came across to widen my network.

Every single penny really counts!  This motivated me to use my profession to help our kababayans to access the cheapest and most reasonable rate available. During emergency cases, I prioritize and ensure that my passengers are attended to.

I created awareness about my business by utilizing the most powerful tool in our generation now: social media.  I also keep on interacting and associating myself with different Filipino organizations to tap potential clients and to increase my contacts.  My best endorsers are my satisfied passengers who know they can trust me with their travel plans.

My dedication to the job paid off. In June 2013, Airlink International supported my vision to put up a Philippine Support Desk, which I have been entrusted to lead.

Rommel Pic Special 4ROMMEL SERGIO

Associate Professor

Canadian University of Dubai (CUD)

 I am an Associate Professor at the Canadian University of Dubai (CUD). I am the Chair of the Human Resource Management Program under the auspices of the School of Business Administration.  I directly report to the Dean.  My teaching experience covers the areas of human resource management (going seven years here in Dubai, UAE) and organizational psychology (eight years in the Philippines).  Currently, I teach organizational behavior, organizational development and change, and business research; among other human resource management courses at the graduate (MBA) and undergraduate levels.

Not all people get the chance to travel.  I am blessed! I get the chance to travel outside UAE because most of my research presentations are funded by my current university.  Recently, I visited top-brass schools such as Harvard University, Oxford University, among other places in the US and UK as virtual part of my research endeavor.

DSC_0106Prior to university teaching, I served in various multinational companies as HR Manager then later on as Organizational Development Consultant in the Philippines and in the UAE.

My schedule is as a faculty and administrator always tedious! Crazy as it may seem, I always find reason to love what I do so that work does not become a toxic routine.  Essentially, I see to it that my research agenda in the year-long schedule is met.  So I do my research work almost on a weekly basis. We need to have a minimum of one refereed publication and at least an international conference per year to present our research findings.

A few months ago, my dream came true upon presenting a research paper in international business conferences at Harvard University in Boston, USA and at Sydney, Australia. I, together with some Filipino- and Puerto Rican co-authors were chosen as the recipient of the Best Research Paper Award.

Most recently, I was named the Most Outstanding Asian Faculty in Human Resource Management during the 2014 Asian Education Leadership Awards.   I am more than happy to know that I qualified for the screening criteria based on research publication, teaching effectiveness, awards received in the past, and media coverage obtained.

With these accolades, I only have these things in mind: I shall continue to teach minds and inspire hearts of my students.