Forced to stop her schooling so that her three other siblings could finish their studies, Rose Ann Carmona never lost her determination to pursue a quality education. Despite being dissuaded by her father, a farmer, and her mother, a factory worker, she took a job as a helper while she was still in high school to earn her diploma and pursued a college education through financial assistance from her brother, who shared part of a scholarship stipend he received.
When she was selected for the GBF-JG Petrochem STEM Scholarship for Excellence, which covered her tuition expenses in her last two undergraduate years and offered her employment after graduation, doors that she thought were closed suddenly swung open.
“This opportunity inspired me to grow. It helped me achieve my career goals by reducing my stress over the lack of money so I could focus on a well-rounded college experience,” says Carmona, a consistent honor student. She graduated among the top 20% of her batch with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the Batangas State University in 2014.
Now a licensed chemical engineer assigned to JG Petrochem’s Process Automation Department-Information System Section, Carmona’s determination is paying off. At JG Petrochem, she is putting her skills to good use.
“I handle the Plant Information Management System, providing technical services in areas such as daily routine maintenance, engineering tasks, user training, as well as participating in safety programs and inter-departmental activities like incident investigations and audits.” Ever the achiever, she acknowledges that she has a lot more to learn. She appreciates how JG Petrochemicals actively supports its employees’ career development through training, tools, and resources, encouraging them to increase their knowledge become better at their jobs.
More than the stable income, which has allowed her to help pay for her family’s household expenses and buy a family home, being an engineer has given her a sense of fulfillment and purpose. “I am a stronger person and my job gives me greater passion for what I am trying to achieve,” she says. “I’ve acquired valuable knowledge and technical support skills, as well as key competencies and associated behaviors required to deliver execution excellence.”
Her job, she says, has expanded her horizons and encouraged her to develop her leadership skills. She considers it a privilege to work alongside peers and supervisors who continually guide her toward being a more competent, passionate, and strategic team player.
Carmona continues to work toward becoming a better version of herself. “We should never cease learning,” she says, urging young people to welcome “new ideas, facts, and experiences that become our tools in dealing with challenges in life.”
The pursuit of excellence may not always be easy, but hardships have not stopped Carmona from going after her goals: “I realized that I cannot have others set my goals and dreams for me; I need to achieve these things…to be able to live up to the expectations I have for myself.”
She hopes her story will inspire others to pursue their educational and career aspirations, in spite of perceived economic barriers. There will always be students like her who, she says, “are constantly fighting for the right to receive an education,” but there are also organizations like GBF that care and give generously to help overcome those barriers.