Can a High School Graduate Succeed in Freelancing? – Interview with Nerissa Avila

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You may know a lot of people who have started doing the “adulting thing” way too early.

There may be several reasons why they started it early, but usually, the main factor is the lack of finances.

Then they have to resort to working at an early age to help provide for their necessities.

Just like Nerissa, but thanks to the VA Bootcamp, she found a career that didn't look down on her just because she was only a High School Graduate.

In this interview you’ll learn the following:

✅How Her Struggles Lead Her to Freelancing

✅How She Found Her Niche in Social Media and E-Commerce

✅How She Hustled To Get Her Clients

And a whole lot more…

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Learn Nerissa’s strategies on how social media and E-commerce become her niche.

Notable Quotes:

  • Siguro dun po sa mga kagaya ko na highschool grad or hindi nakagraduate ng college, hindi naman talaga sya kailangan kasi hindi naman tinatanong ng client kung ano natapos mo, kung anong degree ang meron ka. Ang importante yang skills na magagamit mo para matulungan yung business nila magsucceed. Although maganda rin naman talaga na meron kang natapos or degree, kasi nakakaproud sa parents yun eh. Pero yun nga kung meron iba na hindi talaga pinalad hindi naman sya struggle siguro ano na lang attitude is maging ano ka maparaan kumbaga, huwag makuntento, maging maabilidad kasi ikaw din naman gumagawa ng ano mo eh ng buhay mo, kumbaga sa’yo rin nakadepende kung magsusucceed ka or hindi.
  • Tapos dun sa may internet pero wala naman laptop pwede naman manghiram, yung iba nga meron akong kakilala na wala pang laptop pero nag-aaral gamit ang phone.
  • Tapos kung sa confidence naman napag-aaralan naman din lahat kagaya ko, unti-unti lang. Kumbaga start going out of your comfort zone, makipagclose sa ibang student.  
  • Ang isa po kasi nagustuhan ko sa VA bootcamp is ang support group. Talagang solid sila nandyan kahit anytime pwede kang magtanong, pwede mong i-approach yung mga coach tsaka ano lang lagi dapat positive attitude.
  • Kailangan po strong yung profile eh para mainvite ka. Tapos maganda yung overview yung profile picture parang kailangan professional looking. Tapos yung portfolio kailangan po meron din laman tsaka take ng mag test sa Upwork na related sa skills.
  • Siguro ang unang-una i-mamaster sa E-commerce is product research kasi mostly yun po yung ano eh nakikita kong job hiring.

Nerissa’s Journey to Freelancing:

  • A high school graduate but did not pursue college due to financial issues.
  • Started working at the age of 16 as a nanny for 4 years, a cashier in a gasoline station for 1 year and a receptionist in a salon for 5 years.
  • She has 6 siblings and she is the breadwinner of the family. She helped her brother to finish his studies who graduated as IT and now working in a company.
  • She went to Dubai to work as a Domestic Helper for 1 year but she came back last June 2018 because she wanted to have her own business.
  • She started a travel agency business but it did not succeed. That's when she thought of working at home because she has the internet and laptop. His brother also encouraged her to pursue her freelancing career.
  • While researching on how to be a freelancer, the VA Bootcamp ad popped out. She was curious about the 80k salary so she researched his stories overnight. The next day, she decided to enroll in VA Bootcamp.
  • She started in VA Bootcamp last November 2018, finished the online course for 2 weeks and did the DIY hustle challenge for almost 2 and a half months.
  • It was mid of Feb 2019 when she landed her first job. She was very happy that she had 3 clients in a row in just one week. That's when her freelancing career started, now she already has 1 full-time work, earning a minimum of 30k a month per client.

Q & A Highlights:

So yung mga nakuha mong clients ginamit mo yung mga learnings mo sa VA Bootcamp?

Yes po kasi ano eh zero knowledge talaga ako kahit may idea ako since 2013, parang mas naging mas malinaw sya after VA Bootcamp.

Hindi ba naging ano sayo hindrance yung baka hindi ako matanggap dito kasi yun yung usual na mga tanong di ba ng mga newbie pag ka hindi sila graduate hindi sila confident sa skills nila hindi sila confident mag-apply kasi baka hindi nila kayanin, so ikaw ba hindi mo ba naisip na naku baka hindi ko kayanin ‘to kahit pinupush ka ni brother na magVA?

Actually struggle ko yun kasi nga kaya nga din tumagal ng almost 2 1/2 months sabi ko kailangan ko munang i-master yung mga skills, so yun yung ginawa ko after ng VA Bootcamp naghanap pa rin ako ng ibang resources kung papaano ko mamamaster yung mga skills na kailangan.

Nakatulong ba yung mga nasa modules natin sa’yo para mag-create or maging pansinin yung iyong profile?

Siguro po, kasi lahat naman ng assignment na ginawa ko sa VA Bootcamp for portfolio yun naman lahat yung nilagay ko doon. Tapos additional na lang yung mga assignment sa Dropified pero more on VA Bootcamp.

What are your challenges nung nagsisimula ka Ms. Nerissa?

Unang-una kasi nga po di ba ano ako mahiyain, takot ako sa ano kumbaga sa mga conversation lalo na kapag merong video call interview or kahit call interview nga lang eh parang ayoko, more on chat pwede. Kung yung pagiging high school graduate naman hindi naman sya naging struggle kasi ano naman ako parang techy naman ako tsaka ano po mahilig naman kasi akong mag-aral, kasi lahat naman kasi napag-aaralan eh pag hindi mo alam research ka lang andyan naman si youtube, si Google yan yung magiging best friend natin.

Sa e-commerce nagenroll ka ba sa course para matutunanan kung ano yung ginagawa ng e-commerce VA or natutunan mo lang sya instantly?

Actually aside sa VA Bootcamp meron pa akong ibang course na sinalihan, i think yung iba dyan familiar sa Dropified, 60 days challenge yon, from building your own store hanggang marketing, basta lahat ng process ng online store andoon.

So paano nag lead na ano kasi na-mention ko kanina dun sa introduction ko na social media and e-commerce yung naging niche mo na ngayon? Paano mo nadiscover na yun pala yung skill mo na pwede mo?

Actually social media talaga yung nasa isip ko nung from the start kasi nga meron akong business di ba po so parang magagamit ko rin sya. Pero ang hirap kasi ako lang mag-isa eh ako lahat gumagawa wala akong kasama sa team, kaya sabi ko parang shift muna ako ulit sa iba. E-commerce kasi unang-una lagi akong nagshoshop online eh hindi ako lumabas. Oo bili lang ng bili tsaka ano nakakatuwa kasi ang bilis lang ng process.

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Jason Dulay

Jason Dulay

Jason is the founder and CEO of Work from Home Roadmap and VA Bootcamp. Aside from teaching Filipinos how to succeed working from home, he likes traveling, playing board games, and drinking coffee.

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