Truly, Filipinos are not only making a remarkable presence on a global scale–they are also taking the world stage when it comes to talent and skills. Qatar-based senior technical engineer Sheila Liansing Medel is one of them. A graduate of BS in Civil Engineering from West Negros University in Bacolod City, Medel is also a licensed and an ASEAN engineer.
The Filipina, who has been staying in the Gulf country for about 12 years now, is in charge of the tender preparations in the commercial department of Living in Interiors-Qatar. Her responsibilities include evaluation of the technical specifications to be priced, making sure that procurement and costing are covered. She also coordinates with a lot of clients for the approval of their technical submittals. Through the company, she was given a break to manage the tasks of her team working on big projects like the biggest medical centre in Qatar and other government facilities.
“I can say that the management trusted me to perform my duties and responsibilities without any hesitations is the greatest breakthrough of my career,” she said.
“Learning should never be stopped. This is what I like about my job. Learning new things every step of the way, meeting new clients, means adding up to my network. How satisfying it is to feel upon entering an establishment knowing how the interior fit-out was put up together for the people to admire and to give them a cozy feel of the environment,” she added.
A former data encoder, Medel said, just like many overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), she, too, wanted to help her parents fulfill their dreams to send all their siblings to school. After getting her college degree, she worked as a data encoder in Manila for three years where she was eventually promoted as a supervisor.
When she arrived in Qatar in 2008, she heard about the Special Licensure Examination (SLE) for under board Civil Engineering graduates. “I was ecstatic and feeling hopeful so I become a member of the Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers (PICE) Qatar Chapter who facilitated the first SLE abroad,” she said noting that after passing the examination, she became a full-fledged civil engineer the following year and an active member of the organization. She also became a member of the board of directors who led the chapter for eight years holding various positions.
Last year, Medel was elected as the president of the organization and is being recognized by the PICE National as the most outstanding chapter president for the international category. “Leading one of the most active organizations in Qatar is an honor, fulfilling the chapter’s vision and mission to elevate its members’ professional growth and even extending it to the community through an outreach program, assisting to the Philippine Labor’s Office in its mission to reach out to the community especially during my term was at the peak of the pandemic,” she added.
For her, 2020 may difficult but despite the hurdles, she is still grateful for the support of the board and the members.
“As the immediate past president, I will still continue to serve my fellow professionals,” Medel said.
Prior to getting elected as PICE-Qatar chapter president, she was also a member of the Toastmaster Club and eventually became the president. Similarly, it is a non-profit organization that aims to provide its members speaking and leadership skills. “This club turned me into a confident speaker at the area level,” she said.
Currently, Medel is taking her Master’s Degree in Professional Science Master in Construction Management at the Technological Institute of the Philippines via blended learning. In the same school, she was appointed to become a member of the advisory of the Civil Engineering Program.
Medel said in the world that she’s currently living in, being put down as a woman is not a new case as she has also struggled to prove herself and her work capacity. “Working in an environment with fewer women and not speaking their language was a challenge at first. It took a lot of patience, perseverance, and hard work to get where I am right now,” she said.
This story has been featured on the 9th issue of The Global Filipino Magazine. To get a copy, you may contact Mr Orli Gayeta at +971503196856. If you have an inspiring story or know someone with one, please send an email at email@example.com.