We dreamt it, bid for it and won!
Expo 2020 was awarded to Dubai on 27 November 2013. From that day onwards, both locals and expats in Dubai were looking forward to another milestone Dubai will be marking in history.
Dubai is a home for diverse nationalities with many opportunities for everyone. People across the globe come to this Emirate for some fun filled vacation experiences or for better job opportunities. Jhessa Lyne Nituda is one of the blessed individuals landing an important role for EXPO 2020 Dubai. She is the Deputy Manager of the Transport Operations Department, training the core people for this event.
Let us know more about Jhessa…
Jhessa Lyne, also known as Yumi Nituda is a 31-year-old Filipina came to Dubai from the Philippines in 2015. That year EXPO 2020 was already making enticing news. Everyone is talking and excited about it. From that day on, she knew that EXPO would happen in this country so she envisioned herself working in this prestigious international event. She was in doubt at first on how it would happen since she is a full-time corporate employee. However, in heart, she knew that all things are possible.
From 2015-2018, Jhessa enjoyed her job as an HR Office Manager with Devon&Devon, an interior design company in Media City, Dubai. In 2018, she successfully received her USA License as a Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP). She felt that all her faith goals were in the right place until the unexpected thing happened… She lost her job and stayed jobless for 2 years. There were challenges and struggles along the way but she kept a positive attitude and connected herself with people who were able to uplift her and supported her in ways she needed the most. During the 2 years of not getting hired, she studied Graphic Designing and worked freelance in Filipino Institute as a Vice Dean in Al Garhoud Campus to get scholarship for short courses, got a home school part time job to feed herself and received a free shelter from her church leaders (Jason Sarmiento’s Family). She also managed to develop herself by engaging in public speaking and hosting just to survive. She also took these years to give back to the Filipino community. She then got an offer to work in Saudi for events management with a thought in her mind of the possibility of planting seeds in the desert. She left a very good impression in the Saudi events industry. After finishing her contract, she decided to go back home to spend some time with her son. Little did she know that this job and all the experiences she had, equipped her in doing more… got better connections … and was indeed a preparation for her dream to be a part of EXPO 2020 Dubai. She firmly believes that it’s part of God’s plan to orchestrate and align it all. During our conversation, she clearly highlighted her late Boss Motus One, CEO of Dana Buchaweicki as God’s instrument for her to have this once in a lifetime opportunity. She says that the trust given to her is her unlimited fuel to keep her car moving towards her journey in the Events Industry. She never stopped believing the moment she had that faith that she would be part of Expo. In February 2021, she finally got her job in Expo 2020 as Deputy Manager through Motus One.
Jhessa is a living testimony that believes it, and it will happen. Indeed, as they say dreams do come true and here are some words from her.
What is your role in EXPO 2020 Dubai?
Currently, I am managing the Transport Operations Department as a Deputy Manager. I conduct training and co-labouring with other HR Learning & Development team to equip, educate and encourage people in our team performing core roles like drivers, traffic marshals, coordinators, supervisors, loadzone attendants and of course, National Service Volunteers. We conduct our training at Dubai Police Academy, Etisalat Academy and inside Expo itself. My core responsibility is getting this people’s accreditation and credentials, uploading in the system, rostering and scheduling. Our department is essential for the pre-event planning and preparation, making sure every area is taken care of, foreseeing the needs of whatever our guests might have when they visit EXPO. The role was physically tiring but very self-fulfilling knowing I am able to encourage and motivate the core people behind EXPO, assuring them that they are important in the company and they have a major purpose in this huge event in Dubai. I always tell our drivers in EXPO that they are the captains, performing an essential role… holding the wheel and leading guests to their destinations and safely enjoying the beauty of EXPO. I tell National Services Volunteers that they don’t only direct guests to proper directions but they are the flower in our pot as they are the 1st faces guests will see and that’s being a frontliner in this event. A part of my role is to keep the people working inside EXPO highly motivated and focused on the roles entrusted to each of them. 2 weeks prior to the event, we were working more on rostering and scheduling. Event time, I am managing the Transport Coordination Centre, working closely with Dubai Police and Road and Transport Authority (RTA). We are managing and monitoring the command centre. During the event, an additional task for me and my manager is procurements and contract aside from continuous rostering and scheduling.
Being in the Transport department, please guide us to the venue.
As we are expecting many visitors on a daily basis, it will be good to know how easy it is to reach EXPO.
We all know how huge EXPO 2020 is and people from across the globe are looking forward to attending this event. What are the protocols visitors should know when they visit the EXPO?
I also want to encourage our readers who are planning to visit EXPO to observe the Dos and Don’ts when visiting EXPO.
Do you consider being a part of Expo as the peak of your career and where do you think it will lead you?
Working in EXPO 2020 is an answered prayer for me. I am honoured to be part of one of the biggest events in the world. At the moment, I want to make sure I am serving my purpose and not missing any chance I have in EXPO. It is already fulfilling working from the preparation time and will definitely be a magical feeling to also be present at the closing ceremony. I am privileged enough to work with people above me, our Higher Management values us so much and gives us importance in everything that we do. I appreciate the fact that despite their busy schedule they manage their time making sure we are in the right mental state and keeping good health.
One of the highlights I have in EXPO, despite my busy schedule at the backend, I was selected as one of the flag bearers during the opening ceremony yesterday, waving the FIJI flag. Out of the 191 countries participating, the country Fiji was chosen to stand in the middle of the revolving stage of Al Wasl Plaza. This was an added bonus I experienced working in EXPO. It was an indescribable feeling; it seems that all what I have envisioned is happening now. I am humbled enough to share this wonderful experience that I have in Expo.
On a lighter note, what do you do outside EXPO during your free time? I am sure the past few months up to this date, you have been busy.
It got very hectic especially nearing the opening but the management made sure, we leave the office on time and everyone still gets their weekend off. During my days off, I make sure I spend time with my only brother here in the UAE. With what’s happening around us, we can no longer disregard the importance of spending time with your loved one. Being away from my parents, my intention is to make sure we see each other on our days off. I also manage my online business in the Philippines. And of course, doing my consistent daily video call with my 7-year-old son who is living with his grandparents back home. I am also into watching K-dramas, The Good Doctor, TedTalks and Mr. Robot series, reading and listening to audible books and to travel with my friends and colleagues on my long holidays.
Any advice to young people out there who are aiming to land a job like this or wanting to be a part of something memorable like EXPO.
Having to say again, working in EXPO has been my heart’s desire from the day I heard about it. I honestly believe, anything we put our minds and hearts to with the utterance from our mouth through prayers will positively lead you to your dreams/goals in life. Always be intentional. Always choose to be good. And always find happiness in your life and live your life’s purpose.
Have a good character that will make you stand out from the rest. I am proud to have this integrity as a person, striving in everything to do my best even if no one is watching. This will surely lead you into a better place sooner or later. You will surely shine! Just do the work diligently, keep praying, keep pushing, do not give up and hold on to your faith for in time you will get your dream job or be in the place you desire. Enjoy every season of your life as it is part of the process to your end goal. Fuel yourself and focus on your own lane. Lift other people up. You won’t regret being kind.
To be a part of EXPO – as we say here in EXPO, EXPO is for everyone and EXPO is everyone. Do not hesitate to collaborate, to connect minds to others and create a future together. EXPO is very generous giving free tickets to students, young people (6-17 years old), senior citizens and people of determination.
Expo is specially for the young generations to encourage them to dream big about their future. Expo highly values our next generation. In Expo, they will be able to experience the new world waiting for them. Mobility is one of the districts showcasing a world of limitless connection. Never give up, allow yourself to grow, just keep dreaming, keep pushing and at the end of the tunnel, there is always a bright light welcoming you to your new world.
I strongly believe that Dubai is a land of opportunity where impossible is always possible.
Come and book your ticket to your New Home. I am Jhessa and this is my journey to EXPO!