At The Workplace: JO-ANNE S. QUIZAN
Gensler, Abu Dhabi UAE
I am an Associate in Gensler – a US-based architectural firm. I am a registered architect in the Philippines and currently a registered RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects). My professional experience expands over 20 years, 13 of which were spent between Dubai, Abu Dhabi and other GCC countries. My job as an Architect entails various and interesting facets in order to fulfil project and client requirements. Currently, my work requires me to obtain authority approvals and team coordination for a theme-park project in Dubai. Previously, my remit was to provide technical coordination and advice for a multi-storey project in Abu Dhabi. Generally, I would oversee a project’s delivery from Concept to Tendering and some until Construction Administration.
Just this April, I attended Gensler’s Design Synergy Meeting in Las Vegas along with various office leaders from across the globe. Being appointed as one of the key thought leaders for the Middle East region, my remit was to secure and promulgate innovative thought process to this region’s projects.
At The Workplace: Jo-ann S. Quizan
In 2013, I went back to academe and completed my first master’s course in Construction Management from Polytechnic University of the Philippines – Open University in 2015. Since then, I have provided open lectures beginning with UAP (United Architects of the Philippines) – Abu Dhabi. By mid-2015, I was granted a scholarship from Instituto de Empresa, Madrid Spain. I am currently enrolled for a second master’s course in Architectural Management and Design.
My work week.
My typical work week is like describing a movie with an intro, climax and an end. Sundays are more on preparation for the week’s priorities, like knowing deadlines and team or client meetings. Mondays would be the actual rolled-sleeves do-the-task day where the bulk of the works are initiated. Tuesdays are the highlight of the week as these are when I attend meetings in the project site and gather information required for project work. Wednesdays are a continuation of the Mondays where works are completed or closed-out. Unless there are priority deadlines, Thursdays are toned down days and usually closing out project dues and preparation for next week’s task. Sometimes the work load would overflow to the weekends especially during heavy work load periods. Unfortunately for me, my weekends are also spent on school work and team assignments for my second masters. But no matter busy my days are, I never let a day end without spending quality time with my family, friends, and colleagues. As Maya Angelou said: “People will forget what you said, they will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
“Don’t just be good; be better!” We Filipinos are a talented, resilient, and hardworking bunch. We should be proud of that and we should be proud of our heritage. Gone are the days when we are under-recognized. Now we stand amongst all nations as equals.