Many things can be said about the concept of ‘change.’ Some fear it, but some welcome it. Some wait for the change, while some make the change. There are many more angles from which one can look at it but as they say, the only permanent view when it comes to this thought is that it is constant.
For someone who went through many changes in their life, Rubylyn Nery-Engstrom is one who realized that all these were necessary to bring her to where she is right now. This is her story.
At a tender age, change was not just a word for Rubylyn, for her young world was already shaken at four when her family decided to embrace the life of immigrants in Canada when they moved to Thompson, Manitoba. At that time, there were only six Filipino families in a sea of 12,000 people.
More than a change of scenery than what her young eyes got used to, what Rubylyn learned as she grew up is the value of hard work and determination. And perhaps, this is what gave birth to her urge to make a change in her community. After all, she said that the best thing in living in Canada is “the only real obstacle that you face is your own limiting beliefs. Opportunities are everywhere if you are willing to put in the hard work and be tenuous about reaching your goals.”
However, Rubylyn did not forget her roots despite loving Canada. So how does she exactly feed the Filipino heart in her despite calling this foreign piece of land another home? Well, she feeds her stomach with Pinoy food. Literally. “I would say my love for Filipino food – it’s not only delicious but food is a big part of the Filipino culture – it brings families and friends together and reminds us that these are the moments in time that are truly important,” she says.
Life continues for Rubylyn as she attends the University of Winnipeg, and then the University of Manitoba in hopes of pursuing her father’s dream – which is to become a lawyer. With her father, Peter’s background in criminology, it seemed natural to have his daughter walk the path to a law career. At that time, no one knew yet that Rubylyn will be taking not just a different path, but more turns to follow and more doors to open.
A Different Path
After graduating from her bachelor’s degree, the change of pace immediately came in front of her, presented as an opportunity to lead a team. She was offered to join an upcoming customer service contact center – The Fanueil Group. And she loved it.
As the Vice President of Operations, she has an entire finance department and it was close to the heart when this department comprised of all Filipina accountants and payroll personnel. The fast-paced nature of the business world plus the room for growth and improvement in a team enticed the young lady. Somehow, seeing an environment where young men and women strive to beat their best, fuelled Rubylyn to be a more effective leader.
This passion of hers for leadership is not limited in the workplace. Her dreams also did not stop growing inside the office.
Another opportunity made its way to Rubylyn which eventually gave her the chance to attend Harvard Business School and Queen University. Her thirst for knowledge made her share to her people the value of education, as her members soon pursued their educational routes.
“Travel is a form of education. Learning about other’s culture, values and struggles only enhances how you see the world.”
Her work experiences in Customer Service took her to places literally and figuratively. From Winnipeg and Manitoba, her feet then graced Dublin, Ireland; Sliema, Malta; and Surrey, British Columbia. Just where else can her feet take her at this point?
While the door in the financial department definitely opened a world to Rubylyn, after the birth of her second child, she ventured into another – health care. Five years of her life were contributed to the rapid growth of private home care.
Currently, Rubylyn is the Director of Operations and Business Development at Care At Home Services.
And after all those fruitful years in her previous work experiences, she feels that those roads led her to her purpose that she probably did not see way before. Her work at Care At Home Services definitely hits two birds with a stone. The company’s services help seniors live independently in their own homes, but Rubylyn’s role also provides opportunities for a lot of Filipino caregivers and nurses. In fact, 70 percent of the Care At Home Services’ employees are Filipinos.
“When you get to work at a career that also allows you to fulfill your passion of helping others, you get to live your dream.”
Rubylyn may have undergone a lot of changes from her many years of work experience and daily life in general, but her heart remained to its roots of wanting to make a difference – wanting to make change.
This article was written originally on the Philippine Canadian Inquirer by Bea Kirstein T. Manalaysay. See the original article here.
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