Welcome to our latest Employee Spotlight, where we showcase the one-of-a-kind people that make up the HiEnd Accents family! Learning about each team member is a rewarding experience that allows us to appreciate their unique backgrounds and talents.
This month, we're delighted to turn your attention to Joanna, our cheerful Customer Service Representative in the Sales Department. Since joining us in February 2022, Joanna has brought her bright spirit and dedication to supporting our valued B2B clients. In this interview, Joanna gives us a glimpse into her world, spanning from her home country of the Philippines to her days working in the hospitality industry.
From reminiscing about her love for superhero movies to describing the cozy aesthetic of her home, Joanna shares it all! Her passion for continuous learning and connecting with people is evident throughout the conversation.
Stay tuned for more Employee Spotlights in the coming months. But for now, grab your morning brew and get to know the one-and-only Joanna! We hope you enjoy this glimpse into her journey so far with HiEnd Accents.
Joanna and HiEnd Accents
Q: Can you please introduce yourself and tell us about your role at the company?
A: Greetings, HiEnd Accents fam! Within the Sales Department, I am dedicated to providing excellent service to our valued B2B customers. I'm Joanna Grace Corpuz-Alvarez, your Customer Service Representative hailing from the Philippines!
Q: How long have you been with the company, and how has your role evolved during that time?
A: I became a part of HEA on February 28, 2022. Initially, I joined the Customer Service Department and later transitioned to the Sales Team.
Q: What do you enjoy most about your job and working at HiEnd Accents?
A: Apart from the never ending opportunity of learning, what truly makes my experience enjoyable are the people involved - not just our team members but also our customers. It's fulfilling to remain connected to the vibrancy of the real world while working from the comfort of home.
Q: What is one professional accomplishment you're particularly proud of?
A: As a previous hotelier, I regularly engaged with a wide range of guests/customers, honing my communication and customer service skills to deliver exceptional experiences.
Q: How do you maintain a healthy work-life balance?
A: As I work while the rest of my world sleeps, I find it easier to stay focused on my tasks. However, I make it a priority to set aside quality time for myself and my family after work hours.
Q: What is your favorite HiEnd Accents product?
A: Oh I have plenty! But currently, the Window Pane Plaid Bedding Set tops my list. It may seem simpler compared to some of our other products, but I’m drawn to its modern and timeless design.
Q: Can you share a memorable moment or experience you've had while working at HiEnd Accents?
A: My first day remains vivid. While it was overwhelming initially, the rush of excitement and the thrill of learning made it a core memory that I cherish!
Q: How has HiEnd Accents supported your professional development and growth?
A: HiEnd Accents has given me invaluable tools and learning opportunities, which have not only helped me upgrade my knowledge of the systems we use but also allowed me to learn from my mentors. Their guidance has been instrumental in my personal and professional growth.
Q: Can you share a bit about your background (hometown, education, previous work experiences)?
A: I was born and raised in a small town in the mountainous province of Nueva Vizcaya. My educational journey led me to earn a Bachelor's degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management. During my studies, I had the opportunity to intern at Hotel Galvez, a historic hotel in Galveston, Texas.
After completing my degree, I briefly taught at my alma mater while still seeking job opportunities abroad. Eventually, I secured a position as a Front Office Representative at Grosvenor House, a prestigious Luxury Collection hotel in Dubai. The hotel was renowned for its exceptional service, and I was promoted to reception supervisor after a year.
When I decided to settle down and start a family, I returned to the Philippines and helped in the family business. However, I missed the corporate world's energy and excitement, prompting me to search for online job opportunities. I began my remote journey as an ESL teacher for a few months and later worked as a Reservations Agent for two years. And now, I am delighted to be a proud member of the HEA fam!
Q: What is something unique or surprising about you that your colleagues might not know?
A: One of my greatest passions is food! I enjoy experimenting with new cuisines, cooking at home, and dining out.
Q: What is the best piece of advice you've ever received, and how has it influenced your life or career?
A: Strive to be present in every moment, not only when it's expected of you but also when you aren't. Leave a lasting impact during these times, so that your absence would be deeply felt.
Q: How do you describe your home and its aesthetic? (We are a home textiles company, after all)
A: Our home is cozy and contemporary. When it was just my husband and me, we had plenty of space. However, now that we have a toddler and another one on the way, we are making an effort to maximize every corner of our house to accommodate our growing family.
Q: How do you like to spend your time outside of work? Do you have any hobbies or interests you're passionate about?
A: I take care of a small garden that brings me joy, and I have two beloved dogs whom I am incredibly fond of. Before having a baby, they were like my own children, and even now, they hold a special place in my heart.
Q: Do you have a favorite book, movie, or TV show that has inspired you or that you simply enjoy?
A: I have not read a book in a long time. But I used to lurk in the library during my school days and in bookstores when I was working overseas. I'm a huge movie fan, particularly enjoying the experience of watching films on the big screen. But since Covid, my husband and I shifted to binge-watching at home. We also like anime and Marvel/DC movies. We're true geeks when it comes to these genres.
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
A: Switzerland! There’s so much to explore and visit. From its beautiful cities to the scenic landscapes of its countryside. I would love a river cruise or a train ride to get around and appreciate the beauty of its towns.
Q: Do you have a ritual or routine that helps you get in the zone for work?
A: Ensuring I get enough rest is a top priority for me, especially since I work during night time, which can keep me up for the entire shift. And of course food! There should always be food beside me.
Q: How do you decompress or handle stress after a challenging day at work?
A: I often indulge in long walks. It gives a wonderful opportunity to clear my mind and release any physical tension.
Q: Finally, is there anything else you'd like to share with your colleagues or advice you'd like to give to those who are new to the company?
A: I understand that adjusting to new situations can be tough and sometimes challenging. Please remember that you can always reach out to any one of us, and we will do our best to help you in any way we can.
Q: How do you set goals for yourself and ensure you meet them?
A: While my goals are often ambitious, I know that success does not come without hard work. That's why I embrace taking baby steps and prioritize learning as much as I can throughout the journey.
Q: If you could go back in time, what career advice would you give your younger self?
A: Pursue the things that ignite your passion.
Q: What's the most valuable lesson you've learned during your time at HiEnd Accents?
A: Effective communication is crucial for maintaining a smooth and healthy workflow, particularly in a remote work setting.