Managing a collection of shopping villages and destinations across Europe is an ultimate dream job for this Filipina achiever who is addicted to everything fashion-related and considers retail therapy as a form of exercise.
Francesca Marie Monfero is an Account Manager for Marketing and Public Relations of Gulf Reps, a Dubai-based boutique PR and Marketing agency which represents travel, tourism and hospitality related clients and promotes them across the GCC region. The company was established in 2006 by managing partners, Leo Fewtrell and Naz Musa, two of the region’s respected industry veterans.
Monfero, 27, feels that there are quite a lot of perks being in the travel industry. “My job has given me the opportunity to travel to a lot of places in Europe, Asia and around Middle East and North Africa.”
“Not only do I get the opportunity to promote such notable European and global fashion brands, I also get to actually travel to Europe (London, Paris, Milan, Barcelona, among others) on educational trips and get access to some of the best fashion deals. I don’t think anything could ever top that…for now!”
Francesca lives in a very colorful, challenging yet laidback world. “I am very happy for I look forward to each day with eagerness as a regular day is an adventure.”
She looks after a few accounts and manage them as per the principals’ requirements. It can be just marketing or plainly PR or both.
“I ensure that the activities or initiatives presented in the marketing and communications plan are implemented and completed within a certain timeframe. My tasks entail a host of responsibilities including budget management, partnerships, events, media relations, advertising, family trips. I have a team working with me and I work closely with the Managing Partners of Gulf Reps and supported by the business development team.”
Sense of Creativity
She used to work at one of the largest theme parks in the world, an indoor theme park in Abu Dhabi. “Being a member of the pre-opening marketing team, I got the chance to see and meet some famous faces in the likes of Kanye West, Megan Fox, Prince Albert of Monaco, Fernando Alonso (F1 driver) and actually got to tour some of them around the park.”
“I feel that while this profession is not the most technical of all professions, one has got to have a natural sense of creativity in a way that it can translate into the promotions/campaigns that you’d need to plan for and execute.”
“It’s not enough that you just want to become a “marketing practitioner” per se, one’s got to have a complete understanding of the requirements of the job and how it relates to public relations/communications, events, sales, among others.”
She believes that to consider a job in marketing and public relations, it is inherent that a person naturally loves to meet and interact with people and more importantly, to have an open-mind and a go-getter attitude is a big plus.
Being brought up as 100% Filipino, she doesn’t see herself being anything or anyone else. “I take pride in how Filipinos are looked at in the international arena, especially in this region where it can be said that we have a good track record and reputation in the workplace.”
She first set foot on Dubai land in 1994. “I was 7 back then so I had a very innocent perception of Dubai. All I knew was that it was hot, there weren’t a lot of skyscrapers along Sheikh Zayed Road and not much can be done. So I guess you can say that my impression of Dubai has definitely changes so many years and buildings after.”
She studied at the United International Private School in Dubai for her elementary grades then, finished her high school at the Holy Trinity Academy in Manila in 2002. In 2006, she earned her AB Communications Arts degree at the University of Sto. Tomas in Manila.
“I’ve been in the industry for more than five years now. I started my career in 2006 but entered the travel and tourism industry in 2007 when I moved back to Dubai from the Philippines.”
She was born in 1986 in Quezon City to spouses Francisco and Ellen Monfero who are both registered accountants. She has two siblings, Elaine Monfero who is married to Paul Gan; and, Marco Monfero.
Her first job was as a marketing assistant for an interior design firm in Dubai Media City. It was a short stint. Her marketing and public relations job allows her to be creative and meet a lot of interesting people from different walks of life both here in the UAE and in the places that she gets to travel to.
“I’ve always known, from the very beginning that if I don’t end up becoming a broadcast journalist back, I will most probably be doing something related to “public speaking” while doing a bit of traveling. So, years after graduating from college, here I am doing what I love the most.”
Despite the laurels, she doesn’t considers herself as someone who’s made it. “I just see myself as someone who challenges and competes with herself every time. I see to it that if I’ve achieved or attained something now, that I do better the next time. I don’t try to impress anyone; more importantly, I aim to impress myself to ensure that I set my own expectations and that I meet my own expectations regardless of the challenges I face.”
She takes responsibility for all tasks placed in front of her. Leo Fewtrell, Secretary General at Gulf Travel and Tourism Association Committee (GTTAC), had this to say: “At times she was thrown in the deep end and managed amazingly well on every occasion. She took on tasks where she had little previous knowledge and/or experience and with minimal supervision, owned the events.”
“Francesca achieved a great deal in her time with us and i would not hesitate to recommend her to future employees or employ her again should the opportunity arise. She’s a smart and very personable young lady.”
Building the Future
For her, Dubai provides people with promising careers and opportunities that help build our future with our families here and back home.
“Regardless of one’s achievements, it is important to never forget where you came from. Live life with humility and pay it forward when you get the chance to.”
“I could say that I am in my happy place trying to work my way up while keeping my feet on the ground.”
“With my job, I am normally given the chance to travel to a number of interesting destinations. One of my dreams is to actually take my family and boyfriend with me to these places and actually show them how beautiful these places are and not just tell them by means of my photos and stories.”
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THE BLOGGER. Ulysses Espartero is a journalist, historian and book author who traces his roots from two Philippine jewels – Laguna and Antique. While in Dubai, he enjoyed his expat life documenting the struggles and victories of migrant workers in the Gulf Cooperation Council states. In 2014, he released Precious Gems in a Desert of Gold, the first and only coffee table book about Filipino achievers in the United Arab Emirates. Connect with him on facebook.