[I’m INFECTED: Life As A Virus, Inc. Intern] Family Bonding, Virus Style

3/4!  Unless I actually have one due this week.  Do I have one due this week?

First off, hello to Miss Ting and Sir Zeta, my mentor and my BAP supervisor!  They’re the ones who have been checking on these long-overdue reports.  I promise I’ve been behaving!  See, look, here’s a photo of me taking an important call:

Photo on 1-23-14 at 8.12 PM

Serious intern at work.  Note the face of total seriousness.

(Okay, to be honest, that was a selfie I took at EOD, and my mother just happened to call.  But STILL.)

Photo on 1-14-14 at 4.18 PM #2

Me and Mark Cham, head of Kitchen (Creatives).

Today, Arra Abella‘s employee assessment came in, and she was regularized.  We rang the Virus bell, as per tradition (I probably should get a photo of that bell.), and took a five-minute work break to celebrate.  Said ten-minute break consisted of everyone reenacting a party game from Gerlie Mendoza’s (now Reyes) bridal shower, which was held at the office and which I didn’t attend because I had to go to Investment Management class.  As I was the only one who didn’t attend, I was the lone victim–*ehem*–player, and I was promptly blindfolded and asked to guess who was standing in front of me based on their knees and/or noses.

Apparently, I know Arra’s and Helen’s noses anywhere, but I cannot tell an elbow from a knee.

Photo on 1-13-14 at 10.01 AM #2

Me with Arra, Nike, and Jovel’s “French Pooh,” complete with “Raw and Wild” Honey.

In the last two updates I’ve done on my Virus life (check them out here, and here) I talked a lot about the important things I’ve been learning on the job: things like corporate etiquette, digital strategy, presentation skills, and client interfacing.  These are important skills, but they aren’t the only things I’ve learned during my stint so far as Virus’ all-around Intern 2  One of the other things I’ve learned, actually, is the value of work-life balance or, rather, how to infuse life into work.

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Virus’ Community Managers–Helen (Adarna), Arra(bells), and Nike (“Therese”)–probably some of the hardest-working Team Virus members, but also some of the most hyperactive, crazy-happy people I know.

The reality of digital means that multitasking, tight deadlines, incident management, and rapid-fire ideas are often par for the course when working here.  There is always something new to check out, to troubleshoot, to revise, to re-do when it comes to the internet, because in this field, more than any other, relevance is paramount.  I would be lying if I said that it wasn’t stressful at HQ from time to time.  And yet the atmosphere here, while sometimes manic, is always unflaggingly positive–by virtue of Virus being Virus, what might have otherwise been a pressure-cooker of a job manages to instead be an adrenaline rush of one.

The reason?  Because at Virus, we are family, and families have fun.

Take today for example.  All of us in Social Media are running on strict to-do lists–there’s a lot to accomplish for this week because we’re losing one work-day to Chinese New Year.  But, because, aside from Arra getting regularized, it is also Community Manager Appreciation Day (yes, that is a thing), there’s been a general sense of levity, despite all the serious work that has to be done.  Everyone is bent over their work, but there are little things that keep up morale: 90s pop or EDM blaring from someone’s laptop (pop = Arra or Rashmi; EDM = Mike), random 10-second dance breaks from me and Nike, a paper-bag mask Mark’s doodled for Helen, food spread out for sharing on the central table me and Nike share as a “desk.”  When Gerlie walks in, we greet her as “Mrs. Reyes” and offer her Oreos, then force Duqs to share the story of how, en route to her wedding, he walked into the wrong ceremony right at the moment of “If anyone objects, speak now or forever hold your peace.”  (He stayed for twenty minutes.)

(Just this second, Nike’s pelted a piece of tissue at me.  Nice on, Nike.  Real mature.)

Before you get the wrong impression, we do take our work very seriously here–on my first day, and all credentials presentations thereafter, André stressed that we have some of the fastest execution turnover times of any digital agency, as if to further underscore the company’s culture of efficiency and excellence.  Why else would everyone be hunched over their desks and decks and why would I continue to live in the bubble of perpetual fear of screwing up that only a neurotic perfectionist can thrive in?

(Why, also, would I have run through my first work notebook in only two months?)


But I’ve learned, in my two month transition from silent, unsocial, keep-to-the-corner intern to loud and zany ‘business development manager’ (or Espurr, to the kitchen), that sometimes it’s good to have fun.  To bond with my co-workers.  If anything, it might be the reason why we all are so productive: you work harder when you know someone’s got your back.  Family always has each others’ backs.

And, well, Virus is family.

IMG_4173 - Version 2

Me and my Social Media/Strat family.  As ever, I am still a panda. :))


In case you were still wondering about the Nerf guns…


Greetings, from Mike and Jaba.


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