For the first time in The Back Room’s history, we have chosen two of our most notable staff as our Newbie and Employee of the Year for 2018, awarded last 19 December 2018 as part of our Year End Party.
After an intensive series of deliberations with a long list of potential awardees, backed up with a perfect balance of performance, client satisfaction, attendance records and an exhausting exchange of opinions of various people in TBR, two names have surfaced on solid ground.
Newbie of the year
Joy Ann Romero, CPA, who has been with us since February 2018, is an exceptional example of how TBR envisions growth for a fresh graduate. Her diligence and determination to learn and develop her skills and knowledge have brought her an amazing transformation, becoming an expert in her field, thus our Newbie of the Year. She has had one of the toughest experiences in dealing with hard-core and challenging tasks but was able to handle it with grace which had her clients throwing applause in admiration.
Employee of the year
Meanwhile, Hannah Nika Antonio, CPA, who was one of our very first staff at TBR and also the very first fresh grad to join our team, has shown an exemplary performance with a top caliber client since August 2017. She is the best example of what a TBR employee can become as a result of their own hard work and dedication, thus our Employee of the Year.
A darling of the crowd and an epitome of “beauty and brains” in one complete package, “Hannah” has always been the name for newly hired members of TBR because of what she has achieved with us so far.
The Back Room interviewed both Joy and Hannah on their experience so far and how they think this recognition could inspire them and others in their careers.
How would you describe your client?
JOY: My client has been operating as Chartered Accountants in Whangarei and Northland since 1968 so they have clients in various industries. Work is complex and challenging, we know that there is still a lot of things we need to learn, but they are very supportive and really patient on how they teach us New Zealand accounting and different processes. Their appreciation and ceaseless effort in helping us in our growth as individuals and professionals. We greatly appreciate you!
HANNAH: My client is a group of individuals with high professional standards that offers a comprehensive range of practical accounting services and business advice. The managers exert the right amount of pressure to bring out the best in each of us and so, at the end of the day, there will be a sense of accomplishment as they give out compliments to a job well done. Working with them has so far made me feel that I've grown a lot in my career.
How would you describe The Back Room?
JOY: The Back Room values work-life balance. Because of this, we get to enjoy a great amount of time with our loved ones after work and also get to achieve other goals. As a newbie, I aim for challenge and growth. I am grateful that TBR provides enough training and help in various work concerns. Also, everyone is friendly and approachable especially my teammates – it makes going to work every day feel exciting.
HANNAH: The Back Room is a proactive organization that caters sufficient training, facilitates various employee-educational activities, forum and tax and accounting updates while keeping a fun and pleasant environment.
Describe your experience as a Junior Accountant so far
JOY: When I started, I had no idea what work would I do aside from accounting. I was a fresh graduate and would be working for an New Zealand accounting firm which is a bit different from what I have studied. On my first month, I was given a very challenging job. Fortunately, with the support of our senior accountants I was able to complete the job. There’s a saying that strength does not come from winning; our struggles develop our strengths.
Truly, I started to get comfortable and have learned so much through the process. All the frustrations are worth it in the end as I have gained so much knowledge and learned a new set of skills. It’s not always easy, but I appreciate every entity I work on for they help me understand New Zealand accounting deeper.
Thanks to Tony (my director) and all their staff for all the guidance! You guys are fantastic. Also, thank you to our wonderful team here in the Philippines for the non-stop teasing and help!
HANNAH: Being a junior accountant is a whole new experience for me. I get to adapt to the work environment and organisational culture. Although a tad bit challenging at times, the experience has equipped me with the crucial skills and knowledge. Fortunately, the seniors are very happy to impart their knowledge and tips in dealing with clients.
Describe your experience of being part of TBR team
JOY: The Back Room values work-life balance and continuous growth but I especially love how kind everyone is in the company, going to work knowing that everyone’s willing to help you with your queries. It’s wonderful to work with people who treat everyone like a family, such fun and loving individuals. It’s been a great year, thank you TBR!
HANNAH: My experience as part of TBR team is nothing short of fun. There is lots of spewing out of ideas - both work-related and recreational. Also, the amount of support that everyone shows is very heart warming.
My favorite part though is the team's enthusiasm for celebrations and food. Good things are celebrated with a feast of equally good stuff like ice cream, coffee and soft, fluffy pan de sal (Filipino bread rolls)!
Who is a newbie/employee of the year for you?
JOY: A newbie on her first few tasks would definitely feel pressured and nervous, but by embracing all challenges and frustrations a newbie like me will be able to continuously grow as a professional and as an individual with the guidance from God and the people around her.
HANNAH: An employee of the year is someone who is in the forefront of delivering outcomes. He/she holds the values of integrity, respect, commitment and is willing to take part in additional responsibilities.
How can you use being the employee/newbie of the year to influence staff at The Back Room?
JOY: By being dedicated, focused and always doing my best in everything hopefully I can help or influence others with the knowledge and skills I’ve learned throughout the year and of course from various entities I’ve encountered.
HANNAH: I hope I will be able to make an impact on both the existing and the new staff to boost their confidence within themselves to perform well. I also hope that this recognition will inspire many of us to continue and level up the hard work and positive energy.
JOY: If you are struggling and pressured, keep in mind that you will eventually get through it. This too shall pass. Know that you are guided by God and everyone around you. It’ll be hard but embrace all of it, you’ll come out with so much valuable experience. God bless you!
HANNAH: I am filled with gratitude to receive such recognition. I wouldn't have got this far if it hadn't been for those people who helped and supported me. Thank you Mama for always having my back and sparking up my fighting spirit. Thank you to my seniors – Ms Sharon, Ms Juvy and Ms Jerylou – for welcoming me to the TBR team and for unselfishly sharing their knowledge. Thank you Sir Migs for making my on-boarding training so much fun. I have learned a lot from all of you! I also want to thank my teammates – Rose, Pearl, Ivy, Ayesha and Rietz – for being so supportive and understanding. I am glad we were able to establish harmony in our team. We all deserve some brownie points. To my officemates - I can't wait to create more precious moments with all of you!
Cheers to a wonderful year ahead!