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The remarkable career of Catherine Atienza – from Store Manager to Sales Operations Controller for over 1,000 outlets across the Philippines, Catherine is a great example of how Watsons can be a force for good.

A passion for a better healthcare

"I knew when I qualified as a pharmacist twenty years ago, I always wanted to use my skills to help as many people as possible. I firmly believe that life is all about finding something that you love and purpose in your everyday. And if you can achieve this through your work, alongside good people who want to help others, then that is the foundation of harmony in work, life and overall happiness. I’m incredibly fortunate to have found that at such a young age with Watsons."

My first Store Management role

"I can hardly believe it’s been 21 years since I took my first role as a store manager. That’s nearly half my life! When I look back, I know that this was the right path for me as a pharmacist as being at the heart of the community gave me the opportunity to reach more customers. The skills I learned by establishing real human connections were as invaluable to me back then on a one-to-one basis with patients as they are now when I’m devising strategies on how my teams can better connect with people in my current role."

Rising to the challenge

"Starting as a store manager at the age of twenty-three gave me the opportunity to immerse myself in all aspects of store operations which was a great foundation to start from. I then went for another role as Area Operations Manager and before I knew it, I was promoted to Regional Operations Manager, and currently, Sales Operations Controller looking after 9,000 people across the Philippines. Twenty-one years is a long time, but the years have flown by for me, simply because I love and believe in what I do. I always feel it’s a privilege to be able to help people and I’m driven by the need to connect with and help more of our customers and communities, I never feel like my work is a chore."

Leading by example

"Of course, sales operations can present many challenges, however, each one presents an opportunity to learn, grow and improve. You’re dealing with all different kinds of people from all walks of life so, it’s vital to build your interpersonal and leadership skills, learning how to empathise with your team and balancing this with the needs of the business. It’s so important to keep honing those skills and I’ve had the opportunity to take some fantastic leadership courses during my time here. Now, I’m part of the Watsons’ leadership team setting the strategic direction for the whole of the Philippines, which is a huge responsibility and an incredible privilege."

In the community and for the community

"In my new role, I’m looking after the store management of 400 out of 1000 stores, while also setting the strategic direction for Continuing Professional Development of Watsons  Next Gen Pharmacists to enable us to reach and help improve the health of more people in all 1,000 stores. It’s a fantastic opportunity for every Pharmacist  to obtain greater community reach and get closer to our customers."

The next generation

"I’ve had many proud moments throughout my career, and one of my highlights was being recognised for an alumni award for excellence in pharmacy, it’s a prestigious award recognising alumni from the past one hundred years and it was a great honour. However, my greatest pride comes from watching my nineteen-year-old daughter embark on her own journey into healthcare. She’s currently in her third year, studying to become one of the next generation of women pharmacists."

Find your purpose

"My passion is more of helping customers, developing new leaders, being part in achieving corporate vision & mission. If you do that and surround yourself with passionate, like-minded people who support you, you’ll achieve great things and you’ll find pure meaning and happiness. I’ve certainly found that with Watsons and I’d urge anyone with a passion for healthcare to join us, you’ll be in great company and you’ll achieve more than you could ever imagine."