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Direk, I’m Ready for More Mature Roles! 

From a Management Trainee to a Product Manager

By Judy Anne Culangan
Product Manager
Sardines Marketing


Hilaw. It is probably one of the most frightening words for young professionals like me. It’s probably the imposter syndrome talking, making me wonder if I really am ready for more challenging roles after two years as a Management Trainee.

However, I realized that looking back, this is the same feeling I had before I joined CPFI last September 2020. It felt surreal to be one of the pioneers of the Management Trainee Program, but at the same time, it was a nerve-racking experience as we rotated through different functions of which I had little to no knowledge about. 

We all started in Domestic Sales where we learned the basics of the business, most especially relationship building with our customers. As a newbie, I felt like I would always make a mistake. I was afraid, but I did it anyway. Now, I am more focused on turning my mistakes into progress rather than counting them. 

After six months, I joined Dairy Finance. It was probably the most intimidating function for me since numbers and I have a love-hate relationship. I was so nervous, but I made it anyway. Hence, my financial acumen was enhanced through business cases, among others. 

Lastly, I was transferred to Sardines Marketing after four months. Here, I had more exposure to cross-functional teams and project management. It took me some time trying to apply the college theories I learned into actual business output. I was confused, but I tried anyway. As I took on more projects, I gained a better grasp of the process and the ins and outs of the business.

As you can see, every time I cross to another post, it makes me feel uncomfortable and afraid. It makes me feel slow-witted and undeserving to be there. But I realized I am exactly where I need to be, because the things that scare us make us grow the most. 

Now that I have graduated and been promoted to Product Manager, the feeling of being hilaw is here again. Except this time, I am less terrified and more confident instead. What keeps me strong in facing this new horizon are the bunch of lessons and support I have had during those past two years of being a Management Trainee.

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