Mika Yllana joined The Ortus Club with a thirst for knowledge and a passion for all things social media. As an influencer herself, she finds fulfilment in engaging with executives and professionals in various industries. It’s no wonder she values the company’s culture of collaboration.
Tell us something about yourself and how you got started with The Ortus Club.
Even before joining The Ortus Club, I had always taken a passionate interest in social media. I started a small business where I thoroughly broadened my experience through learning how to create better content, manage various platforms, and develop more effective sales leads. Even though I had genuinely enjoyed embarking on this passion project, I felt I could do so much more with the skills and knowledge I had gained from it.
I was introduced to The Ortus Club by a friend who was already working with the company at the time. Initially, I wanted to come on board as a project coordinator, but they suggested that I try out as a marketing coordinator, a role I wasn’t aware was open then. Without hesitation, I filled this newfound vacancy, knowing my educational background in marketing aligns better with the role.
Tell us about your role. What’s your strategy to get things done?
As a marketing coordinator, I essentially function as The Ortus Club’s social media manager, guiding the company’s social media presence and content creation. One thing that has helped me immensely in this role is getting to know everyone from different departments in the company, which enables me to plan my content months ahead.
Understanding people better and seeing how they engage with my posts gives me fulfilment. Through them, I continue to gain a deeper understanding of the entire process: from guesting, registration, venue planning — even securing the appropriate photographers for each event. Interacting with my co-workers helps me get a better grasp of what The Ortus Club is all about.
When it comes to collaborating with professionals outside of the company, one of the challenges I face is hiring photographers for our events outside of the Philippines. Being in different time zones will always be a concern, but you get over that hump after working through it a few times. What I usually do is seek out the best photographers in any given area and find out if their expertise meets the criteria for a certain event. I then interview select candidates and, if they do meet the criteria, I brief them on their tasks for the event. Working with professionals from different regions and cultures is an exciting experience and an excellent way to cultivate my communication, negotiation, and partnership skills.
When it comes to working in general, I ensure I’m always organised with my key tasks. I’m always consistent in planning out both my workday and workweek, especially when I need to secure photographers for our events. Efficient organisation and communication help me manage my agenda and, in turn, provides my team with a clearer view of what to expect in the coming months.
“Understanding people better and seeing how they engage with my posts gives me fulfilment. Through them, I continue to gain a deeper understanding of the entire process. Interacting with my co-workers helps me get a better grasp of what The Ortus Club is all about.”
Can you name anyone who has had a lasting, positive impact on your career? What did they do for you?
Growing up, my dad always encouraged me to pursue my passion. I had always felt that I never needed to limit myself in chasing my dreams, and he helped me hone an evergreen mindset of achieving anything I want if I put my mind to it. As long as I can make time for it, I can strive for anything.
On the other hand, my mother taught me how to appreciate the work-hard-play-hard mindset. At this point, I’ve realised how vital it is to have a work-life balance, especially since I constantly push my boundaries to hurdle any obstacles in my professional life. I’m also grateful that I have a supportive community at work that helps motivate me.
Outside of work, I wouldn’t have gotten this far without my best friend. She’s currently facing the same situation as I face, and having someone accompanying me on the same journey and growing with me is comforting. It also helps to gain insight from friends who understand what you’re going through. We also both relish the challenge of pushing ourselves to do more than we initially imagined whilst still having fun and partying hard.
How’s your experience of The Ortus Club changed since joining the company?
I started in the company in April 2021, and, at the time, there were only four of us in the team. We all switched across various marketing roles, and I’m grateful to have experienced working in different aspects of the company. I’m still involved in everything related to social media and digital marketing, but, occasionally, I come across the opportunity to secure photographers and source suppliers for specific events. I’ve also worked with venues, created merchandise with human resources for employee experience, and so much more.
Gaining experience in those areas has provided me — and continues to provide me — a clearer picture of the whole Ortus experience. It’s given me a better perspective on the services we offer and how much work gets put into our events to deliver the quality we uphold. All of this helps me appreciate who we are and what we do at The Ortus Club.
What keeps you here?
Honestly, it’s the team. Working with other young dynamic professionals makes me feel I belong. I also feel secure in the company, which I’ve always seen as a safe space that fosters everyone’s growth. Learning from mistakes as you go along your Ortus journey is something I value greatly, with the learning experience in this company being incredibly rich and endless.
Why should others follow suit? What do you think they would gain from joining The Ortus Club?
Whether you’re a fresh graduate or have prior professional experience, The Ortus Club doesn’t discriminate. You’ll feel comfortable working with everyone regardless of your background. It’s a beautiful place where you can learn more about and be exposed to a different side of the business you could never see in most companies. Being able to interact with C-level executives is rare for a lot of young employees, and you get immersed in an environment where you gain a deeper understanding of business concepts, partnerships, coordination, and communication.
What is your proudest moment thus far?
I love it when I see our team, clients, and guests react to our posts. It’s always so fulfilling to see how happy they are post-event. Being able to grow our community online, I find immense satisfaction in interacting with the wide audience in our community. It’s always fun working and achieving these results because The Ortus Club is just in the palm of my hand.
What is your leadership style, and what was it like starting at The Ortus Club?
As a leader, I don’t like being set apart from my team as if there’s a hierarchy. I prefer being a peer first before a leader, and having a casual leadership style helps me understand my colleagues better and interact with them on a deeper level. We get to speak up freely with one another and suggest openly in a safe space free from any pressure. I act as their guide, but I will never be one to call myself the boss.
What is a piece of knowledge you consider invaluable and hope to share with as many people as possible? What is something you have not yet learned but are eager to?
Mistakes are inevitable, but they’re never the end of the world. I learned this from our Chief Editor, and, because of his advice, I can now accept things easier, especially when they don’t go my way. I concentrate on the things I can control and improve on instead of stressing over them and the things that are out of my hand.
I now know that every issue has a workaround and that it’s only a matter of learning from your mistakes to prevent them from happening again. These mistakes help me grow because they’re the mistakes that you experience only when you’re put in those situations.
I also want to figure out new ways to improve my leadership skills because not everyone works with the same leadership style. I know that, with my current leadership style, I might not be able to collaborate effectively with some people, which is why I must expose myself to different situations so that I can handle more people better.
What’s your favourite thing to do after work?
I love to hang out with the team. After office hours, we grab any opportunity to know each other better, not just as workmates but as actual people. We’ve created this bond that reflects our dynamic as a family and not just as colleagues. We love visiting arcades, going to the cinema, and taking trips out of town. These activities, among others, forge the unfaltering bond we share with one another and remind us that no matter how hard we work, it’s essential to step away from work from time to time and breathe.