Paulo Martinez: A Journey of an Alumnus

Paolo-Martinez"Work on your craft Everyday, Study and Master it... Be Passionate and Consistent! Be humble, be hungry and always be the hardworking person in the room."

On my way
My name is Paulo Martinez from Sto. Tomas, Batangas, my father was a driver and a farmer while my mother is a beautician. We are six in our family, I am second to the eldest. At a young age I was helping my father do the farming and doing part time jobs during weekends. In spite of difficulties in life, my  parents still sent us to school and pushed us to study hard. I never saw my parents stopping or getting tired doing multiple jobs just to have extra income. Since we're a big family everything was still not enough.

Also my brothers and sisters were very sickly. Our family situation motivated me to work harder on my studies and help my family. At the age 10, I worked as gardener, baby sitter, while selling artworks and personalized drawings on the side. In high school I worked as Student Assistant and helper in our Parish and Convent. Since I have some skills in Arts I was able to work in a printing shop doing silk screen printing, diploma lamination, styro design and cutting. Yet life was tough and I almost stopped schooling. My teacher and the nuns helped me find some sponsor for me to finish high school.

I always dreamed of becoming an Architect or Engineer. Before graduating I was able to pass a scholarship offered by the Ayala Foundation and passed the entrance exam at Mapua Institute of Technology. Ayala Foundation required me at least to have a drafting course so I could work part time in their company to help cover my expenses.

I had some difficulty in finding a Drafting Course and was getting frustrated. I didn’t know if I would be able to sustain my education and funds were running out. I decided to go to Don Bosco, Canlubang to inquire about the drafting course. On the way, while resting at the Canlubang Terminal, I thought this will be the end of the road in fulfilling my dream to be an Architect. In front of me, were a group of young guys talking about Dualtech. The boys will be taking an entrance exam for a two-year scholarship course. I walked over to them and asked if I can join them. I passed the initial screening and the entrance exam. The next thing I knew, I was already enjoying the set of courses and how the school program works.

Each one of us are here not by chance it may be by fate or by the grace of God. Life is tough, life is difficult and sometimes life is unfair. Dualtech is a channel of blessing for each and everyone of us, to change our life and our future. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.

Dualtech Days.
Some of my best memories in Dualtech was having breakfast in a small store. We lined up for hot beef noodles with "calamansi” and “monay" It brought a special bond among us batchmates, sharing and eating. Another recollection is walking the long rough road going to Canlubang terminal. There were lots of shared memories happy and sad. Walking too was a time for self assessment. My martial arts class for PE -my obsession as I grew up watching Jacky Chan and Bruce Lee- helped me boost my morale and self-discipline. Lastly that of hiding from the mentors to avoid the one-on-one conversation. I always had some excuse but, the mentors patiently waited for me. I kept all these experience in Dualtech from my hometown folks and my high school batch mates. All they knew was I was enrolled at Mapua.

“Walking alone so many times I was able to let go and accept the reality and convince myself that God has prepared a unique path for everyone to meet or have their success. Then things become lighter easy and enjoyable.”

Start of a Career
I had my In-plant Training in the Engineering group at Toto Mariwasa, Sto. Tomas Batangas. I did electrical installation, repairs, PM, metal fabrication, etc. Before graduation, the company wanted to absorb me as an employee. I refused, wanting to seek other opportunities. My first job was in Canlubang Spinning Mills as Aircon-Electrical technician.  However, the textile environment affected my health and I become sickly. I went back to Dualtech and asked for any job opportunities. Atmel needed new technicians. I had no background in the semiconductor industry so I was not expecting to be chosen. The Engineering Manager asked me what I have to offer to his team. I told him I am very passionate in what I do and I may not be the best but I am very hardworking. Two weeks later, Atmel HR called and requested that I report for work. Due to my limitations, I only had two tasks for my first month.  I mastered the art of making half threaded screw and improved the output until we had overstocks. I improved the mixture of epoxy for the contact finger to make it perfectly set inside the oven. I lengthened the life of springs thus, minimizing returns due to poor workmanship. From then on,  the senior technician trained me well on my first machine. So well even in my dreams I am still working on the machine. I always make sure that everyday I learn something, I ask something and practice it to perfection. Because my motivation is if something happens and the company needs to layoff workers, one of the 1st candidates would be me.

I met my wife in the same company. We started a family and continued my career. From a simple technician, zero, level up to senior then junior supervisor.

Thru exposure and training I was able to move up and was even sent to Germany for two months training and production benchmarking. I always train and share knowledge to my team first to make my life easier. Second to learn more from teaching and project deliberation. I was promoted to Project Engineer of New Product Industrialization. This involves Feasibility Study up to Production Qualification. It was my biggest break.

My advice: Do not stop learning, upgrade yourself and acquire more skills and knowledge. God maybe up to something bigger for you. Take some trade test, practice your skills in basic household needs or schools needs, study if you have the opportunity. Do this while you have the time. If you're not on the in-plant training, or you don't have any family yet to support, take the EETEAP, or licensure exams or skills upgrade.

Everybody is asking when would be my big break but the big question is are you ready for it, are you doing something to attain it? How are you going to sustain if the big opportunity comes?

Career Risk
After 11 years in Atmel I took the biggest risk and challenge of my life. I got out of my comfort zone. I was able to join an expanding business in Singapore. Thru dedication, acquired knowledge and passion I became successful in breaking the 5-year highest sales for three consecutive years. I was able to travel to Asia several times. After getting the trust and confidence of our Singapore Headquarters we expanded in the Philippines.

Dualtech does not teach us all, only bits and pieces of knowledge and skills that we could use to find our own success. They teach us, more importantly, to become a better person, a better youth, a better Filipino. We were trained to survive no matter the circumstances. We were motivated to pickup ourselves and start over again in times of failure. We were inspired to excel and perform with passion and love. But most of all we were blessed that we have God to carry us when all else failed, to guide us and pick us up along the way.

We can.
If the others have done it and made their lives better we can also do it and even do it better. I don’t call myself successful “already” because I still need to work hard everyday. I have new sets of goals to fulfill and accomplish for my family. When I look back I've gotten so far than I ever imagined. I never thought of traveling overseas in an airplane and even driving my own car. Even being entrusted to setup a manufacturing facility and organize an elite group of Technicians and Engineers for the semiconductor industry.

It is our duty and moral obligation to return this favour to the society and continue the cycle to the next generation. Not all stories are the same. Not everyone becomes victorious. But with God's grace we would be able to have fulfillment, joy and successes. Thank you Dualtech for the untiring effort, love, support, passion of all staff and members. Thank you my Alma Mater for continuously nourishing us with overwhelming support and inspiration. 

Paulo Martinez is the  Product and Engineering Manager for Philippine operations of Transcendt. His company is located at LTI PEZA. His department has hired several Dualtech alumni and have scholars as trainees.