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Maria Aurora (Ria) Dela Vina
Country Director, Philippines
How long have you worked for IDP Education?
By end of April 2015, I would have worked for IDP Education for 4.5 months.
Can you describe your role?
My role is to ensure that IDP operations in the country are efficiently executed according to the vision, strategic directions and expectations of the company. It is my role to maintain our position as the leading student placement services in the country, and to gain market share advantage in IELTS testing. In order to do this, it is my responsibility to ensure that the members of our organisation are fully equipped, capable and motivated to perform their respective roles.
What are your plans for IDP Education in your country?
A priority of the IDP Education in the Philippines is to strengthen our foothold as the premier services provider for student placement and IELTS.
Can you share with us your educational and work background?
I have a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English from St. Scholastica’s College, an exclusive school for girls in Manila. My early professional career was spent in Customer Service and Marketing in McDonald’s where I got to develop my training, customer relations and marketing promotions competence. I was with Avon Products, Inc. for 20 years, where the first 15 years was for a Philippine-based assignment. Over the years, I assumed various and increasing responsibilities from sales territory management, brand marketing, promotion and incentives development, sales recruitment and activation, recognition and events planning, and business development and strategic planning.
The remaining five years with Avon were spent as regional resource lead for sales support and development for the Asia Pacific markets. Prior to joining IDP Education, I was engaged in a business development and consultancy project for Personal Collection, a locally owned and operated direct selling and manufacturing company in the Philippines, while aiming to complete my first book.
What do you like to do outside of work?
Depending on the time I have available, I love to travel both domestically and internationally. I enjoy watching TV and films as this transports me and nurtures my imagination. I would love to have more time for writing, painting or drawing. For simple pleasures, I enjoy discovering new restaurants, both for the food and the ambiance.
Which local restaurant would you recommend in your side of the world?
I would recommend the old favourite and multi-awarded Antonio’s Restaurant. It is located one and a half hours south of Makati City (where the Manila office is located). Diners are accepted by reservation only, but walking into the restaurant feels like going home to rich grandparents’ home. After a spectacular meal, you can take a walk under the trees and have cocktails alfresco. It’s pricey but it is definitely worth it.
What motto do you try to live by?
Do not settle for mediocrity. Work with added value. Never compromise integrity.