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MANAGEMENT FEATURE: Chief Internal Support Officer (CISO) Cath Ayacaide

A Student, A Management leader, and an Inspiration

Catherine Ayacaide is currently a 3rd-year college student at the University of Cebu taking a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration, majoring in Financial Management. She is a full-time student and a virtual assistant. With nothing but excellence and passion, this lady exceeds all expectations, and is a true inspiration to all working students.

Cath is a true testament to exceptional talent and hard work. All the sleepless hours she had to endure to finish her work and assignments is now paying off. She's a multi-decorated VA as she has been a consistent VA of the week.

Despite her first year on Ripple, Cath has already achieved multiple recognitions and awards from the management team. She's arguably one of the trusted VA in Ripple. With her excellent work ethic and performance, she became one of the youngest members of Ripple Overall Management. When Cath was promoted as Chief Internal Support Officer, she said," I had mixed emotions at that time. I was shocked, really, but more than that, I am very much thankful, excited, and looking forward to adding more value to the team in my new position. Receiving an email about the promotion makes me feel that I am appreciated, and all of my efforts were not in vain".

As the newly promoted Chief Internal Support Officer, Cath's primary responsibility is to ensure that reliable and efficient support is delivered to the whole company with the help of our Internal Support Team. In her department, they assist and support VAs and Clients by helping them match their dedicated VAs according to their demands. In addition, they make sure that VAs will undergo a trial period with the client, and once done, Internal Support will reach out to the client about their feedback. Once the client moves forward with the trial VA, Internal Support will prepare docs and invoices. Internal support will also handle issues/concerns of the client, may it be regarding the VA assigned or any tasks they need help with. Not just handle but resolve the issue and give the client a satisfactory resolution." To summarize this, I would describe Internal Support as the backbone of the company", she noted.

As a team leader, Cath always reminds her team that their efforts are critical because they are the company's backbone. This shows how vital our role is and why we should always give our best. Aside from that, we practice giving credit to whom it is due by saying appreciative words or even saying thank you for doing great. It is having a significant impact on them already.

To ensure quality internal support, Cath makes sure that they have their weekly meeting with her team members to do something important related to the issues/concerns about VAs & Clients. This way, she and her team can discuss how to deal with the problems/issues presented to them.

There are only 24-hours in a day, and Cath uses each hour wisely. She does time blocking and separating her time between work and academics. She has set a time for work only and time for academics. "My working hours start at 6 pm until 2 am – then I would set a time that on or before 3 am, I'm already asleep for my 9 am class. For academics, I work on the activities during an Asynchronous schedule and finish it as soon as possible", she noted.

There are only a few people in this world who would take the challenge to be a leader and a student, and Cath is one of those. The journey is definitely going to be tough, but Cath is not alone in her path. She has her family, friends, and team to lift her up to success.


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