I’m Mitch and this is How I Made It in iComm
It has been three (3) years and five (5) months since the time I made a big decision in my career. I was handling a leadership post in a local company prior to my employment with iComm but joining iComm meant I had to start from the bottom. That decision nevertheless, was the right decision and one I never regretted taking. I am amazed at how far I’ve gone in terms of experience and learning. Here in iComm, I was presented with a lot of opportunities I know I will not be able to find elsewhere. Initially, it was tough. It was difficult to take everything all at once – studying about the types of cars, thousands of chassis prefixes, prices, market value etc. It’s true what they say that everything is difficult before they are easy. Thankfully, all my efforts paid off. I am happy with the rewards, and currently, I really love and enjoy what I do.
My Japan Experience
In May 2016,I was sent to Japan to train and learn about the auction and buying process. Immediately after arriving, I was stationed in Fukuoka for a week-long training. I attended the Hiroshima auction and was glad to witness what a real auction looked like. After work, I was able to visit Hiroshima Park, and was astonished to see the Genbaku Dome, the historical place where the first atomic bomb was dropped.
On my second week, I was assigned in Nagoya. There, I experienced driving in Japan for the first time. Since I was unfamiliar with the territory, I went in the wrong lane but was surprised by how the Japanese drivers just patiently waited for me to transfer to the correct lane without blowing their horn. Amidst work and my after work activities, I noticed the differences between Japanese and Filipino culture.
Being an auction staff in Japan is tough work – physically, mentally and emotionally. One has to be focused and quick as with just a blink of an eye, significant bids can be missed. I got to check hundreds of cars –interior and exterior, and I would need to kneel down to see the underbody condition within a limited time as I still have to go back to the auction house and get back to the bidders, customers, and account managers, to inform them about the condition of the cars they are bidding. Since the nature of work is very new to me, I made sure I had to learn fast. I usually wake up around 4:00 am to check the cars that I am handling each day. Reading Japanese auction sheets also requires more time and on top of that I had to complete other tasks such as placing bids, sending emails to customers, and selling my purchases. Time is of the essence and this is one of the most important realizations I made while there.
I did navigate between different auction houses in different areas in Japan. Sometimes after one big auction in USS Nagoya for instance, I had to travel by Bullet Train/Shinkansen to reach Osaka to attend another auction in Kobe the next day.
In Japan, reporting late for work is never okay. I have to stay up late at night and would need to wake up early to get to work as early as possible the following day. But working long hours eg 16 hours a day, is not new to me either, as I have been doing this regularly here in iCOMM. I believe it’s the reason I got ahead and accomplished more. I don’t mind exerting more than the normal effort so I could drive myself further. After a month, I was transferred to Tokyo, a city so bustling, where driving to and from the auction houses typically takes around 2 hours. USS Tokyo is the biggest auto auction in the world, with 12,000 to 15,000 cars per day being auctioned onsite. It was summer when I was there, so after checking a bunch of cars, I would normally be drenched in sweat due to the heat. It was a grueling yet fulfilling experience.
My trips to Japan became frequent after my first assignment. I was able to travel during all four seasons – autumn, winter, spring and summer. I enjoyed being there as it also made me explore Japan and learn more about the country. Also, the trips importantly enabled me to become better at my job – I was able to handle complex cases and the quantity of my transactions increased greatly. I am aware however that there are still a lot of things I need to know, thus, I can’t wait and am looking forward to my next trip!