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Bank of the Philippine Islands

  • #2 in Banking & financial services
  • 1,000 - 50,000 employees

Joseph L. Lucero

Education is your key to a good career and a better life. It prepares one to face the realities of the corporate world.

What does your employer do and what are your areas of responsibility? 

I am employed with Bank of the Philippine Islands. Founded in 1851, the first bank in the Philippines and in Southeast Asian Region. BPI is a universal bank and together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, it offers a wide range of financial products and solutions that serve both retail and corporate clients.

I currently handle 21 BPI branches strategically located in Baguio, La Union and Pangasinan area with the manpower of 268 employees.  

What does your role involve? 

My work includes: overseeing branch operations, strategizing and thinking of marketing initiatives, projects and monitoring its implementation to address the financial needs of clients, thereby helping all branches in meeting and exceeding their deposit and revenue targets and attaining common business goals of the Bank. 

I am responsible for the career development of employees, continuously inspiring and challenging them to get promoted and eventually become officers of the bank. I conduct monthly branch visitations to branches, preside over monthly meetings of the branches as well, regularly coach officers on how to effectively handle their people and inspire/challenge them to always give their best foot forward. I attend monthly meetings in H.O. with other Area Business Directors and Product Groups of the bank. I look for prospective sites for the establishment of new branches and regularly meet with top and highly valued clients of the bank, with the Branch Managers, to further understand other banking needs.

On a regular banking day in the Area Office, I attend to emails coming from branch officers regarding their concerns and issues of their people, clients and operations related issues that I need to immediately address. Requests for endorsements and approvals of various transactions sent through emails that need to be immediately addressed as well. In case I am out of the office for branch visitations, meetings in head office/branches and client calls, all emails are sent, viewed and replied through my mobile phone for easy accessibility. My mobile phone is open 24/7 to immediately address incoming emails. 

What's your background? 

I was born in Tagudin, Ilocos Sur. My Parents moved to Baguio City when I was 4 years old. I practically spent my childhood and adulthood in Baguio City.

I am a LOUISIAN since kindergarten up to my college. I graduated in March 1985 as Cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree in BS Commerce major in Marketing and Management. I supported my college education by qualifying under the Special Scholarship Program of the school which was offered only to poor but deserving students. Proud to be a LOYALIST and an ALUMNI. 

Right after graduation from college, I was immediately employed with Far East Bank and Trust-Baguio City Branch as a distributing clerk, teller, new accounts clerk, loans clerk and general bookkeeper.  I performed these functions in a span of five years. I was promoted as assistant cashier in the sixth year. 

I was assigned to the following branches of Far East Bank as an officer in 1990 until 2001 in Tarlac, LaTrinidad, SF La Union, Vigan, Laoag, Rosales Pangasinan, Urdaneta and Dagupan. When Far East Bank was acquired by BPI in 2001, I functioned as Branch Manager in Dagupan, Pangasinan. 

I was promoted to Asst. Vice President/Area Business Director of Central Luzon Area in 2009, managing 14 branches located in Dagupan, Tarlac and Nueva Ecija. I was promoted to Vice President/Area Business Director of Baguio La Union Pangasinan Area in January 2017. 

How did you get to your current position? 

I started my banking career with Far East Bank and Trust Co. as a staff/clerk in 1985 until it was acquired by BPI in November 2001. I rose from the ranks. I always have the inner passion to do my job well, I have the self-initiative, drive and eagerness to learn the different operations of the bank, connect and engage with clients to ensure that I always give the best service to them, read and understand the different policies and procedures of the bank, continuous learning of the various products and services, accept challenges and additional work assigned to me by my immediate supervisor without any complaints. Learned the different systems and technologies of the bank to keep me updated. 

Could someone with a different background do your job? 

Yes, provided they possess the right attitude, work hard and know how to lead and motivate their people to achieve goals.  

An employee aspiring for this job should possess the following skills and characteristics:

  1. Self-driven and highly motivated to lead the team to achieve common goals.
  2. Good leadership qualities should be a role model to all employees, good communication skills and able to clearly cascade the goals of the company.
  3. Positive attitude.
  4. Love of work, care and concern for the company, employees and clients.
  5. Trustworthy and always transparent in dealing with employees and clients.
  6. Loyal to the company and dedication to the job.
  7. Willing to learn new things to adapt to ever-changing technology.
  8. Willing to travel and be a holder of a valid drivers’ licence.
  9. Proactive and a team player.
  10. Goal-oriented and hard worker.
  11. Passion to do things to achieve excellence.
  12. Open-minded and willing to accept mistakes to make oneself better.
  13. Fast thinker, good decision maker and acts with urgency to resolve concerns and issues.
  14. Knows how to manage stress and is flexible.
  15. Respect for others.
  16. Humility.
  17. Knows basic computer skills.

What are the coolest things about your job? 

  • Making a difference in the life of employees by promoting deserving employees to give them a better career opportunity.
  • Able to travel to different places.
  • Meeting big-time clients and getting connected with them.
  • Socializing with other senior officers in the head office during gatherings.
  • Good pay, perks and benefits.
  • Promising retirement pay.
  • Awards and recognitions for a job well done.

Pride to be part and working with the oldest bank in the Philippines.

Do you bear a lot of responsibility? 

Yes, I have a lot of responsibilities being an Area Business Director of 21 BPI branches with 268 employees. 

Do you have to work on weekends? 

No, except if there are Area meetings with officers scheduled on a weekend

Is your job physically demanding?

Yes, in terms of travelling to visit branches and conduct meetings, attend monthly meetings in H.O., managing people, looking after their career development, coaching officers, inspire and challenging them to excel further in their productions, attend and address client’s complaints, check and address issues and concerns of branch employees and logistics of the branch and come up with marketing strategies and action plans to assist branches to achieve common goals.

Give 3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student… 

  • Education is your key to a good career and a better life. Education molds and transforms a student inside and out by changing their mind and personality as well as improving self-confidence, knowledge, way of living, social and economic status in life. It prepares one to face the realities of the corporate world.
  • Poverty is not a hindrance to one’s success. It should challenge you to become a better person, not live the same life again and to give our parents a good life once you get a job. Find other ways to help your parents support you in college by studying hard to earn high grades in order to qualify for a scholarship program. Look for part-time jobs during the semestral break to earn your allowance.
  • Have a focus and set a goal in life that you want to achieve. Study hard to get high grades and aim to be part of the Dean’s Lists, join worthwhile school organizations and volunteer to become an officer. These initiatives and achievements will help you get a job. The employer will always look for this info during your job interview.