On the Pursuit of Excellence with Quality Assurance Specialist Jean Besa

Cris Antonio |

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Behind every product is a person who ensures customers get the best results. Competition is fierce in the business world today; so a faulty commodity is no excuse. Brands that fail to deliver on their promises can expect refund or replacement requests. But in worse cases, you might see your defective item making rounds on social media.

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To avoid such a costly mistake, businesses need to ensure all their products meet the excellent standards they uphold themselves to.

And that’s where quality assurance specialists, like Jean Besa, come in.

With a degree in Information Technology from Northern Iloilo Polytechnic State College (NIPSC) in Estancia, Iloilo, Jean tried her luck in the urban jungle following her graduation. The journey wasn’t without hiccups. After a few rejections and almost a month of unemployment, she finally got an offer. Surprisingly, she said no at first. 

“Someone referred me to apply for a Quality Assurance position. But as I have no idea about the job, I rejected it. It was only a few days later when I realized I might have missed my big break. I traveled back for the interview. This time, I didn’t hesitate.”

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Jean suddenly found herself thrust into the bustling city life on top of expectations from her new job. She admits it took a while, but she’s now able to handle things well.

“I’m used to living with my parents, so it was a challenge to live alone, be independent, and budget my expenses…it’s my first time to try alcoholic drinks and have a sleepover at a colleague’s house!”

Getting It Right as a Quality Assurance Specialist

What helped her adjust quickly was doing the easiest tasks first. She begins her mornings like any modern girl – by checking emails and messages. Cliché, but it’s how she manages everything on top of writing reports, making product improvements, and attending meetings. She doesn’t sweat the small stuff. For unfinished tasks, she simply transfers them to tomorrow’s to-do list.

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“One of the biggest misconceptions about QA is that it’s easy. Most people think that if the product or website works, that the job is done. But it isn’t. We still need to test.” 

She’s proud of her main account, GooZam, a rapid first response and non-emergency resource platform that aims to bring together communities and volunteers. 

“We make sure the app and the system are user-friendly and responsive. With GooZam, I can worry less about not being with my family all the time. I believe this is a huge help for people.” 

When you’re testing for usability and measuring performance, days can be long. Job descriptions for quality assurance professionals often need them to sit or be on their feet for long periods. They must also be meticulous, customer-oriented, and an excellent team player.

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Jean shares that the main challenges for her were communication and the actual product testing. After a year of diligence, sweat, trial and error, she feels more confident and focused. When asked what she likes and dislikes about her job, she kept it brief: 

“What I like most about QA work is that we are the ones who secure the quality and effectiveness of the products. I’m not too happy when I feel like I’ve missed something during testing. That means the product isn’t ready.” 

Her advice for aspiring QAs? 

“Take the opportunities that come to you and always believe in yourself. You are extraordinary. Learn to be patient, work hard, and be positive.”

From Country Girl To City Slicker

“If I hadn’t been hired as a QA, maybe my first job would have been at the bank."

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One wouldn’t think that behind that shy smile and those quiet eyes hide stories of grit and perseverance. She recalled the sacrifices of her parents and sister. 

“We used to sell bread and soft drinks in the paddy fields to survive. I also experienced peddling snacks every afternoon to help our mother. We didn’t have a lot of money…so we would stay up late to sell food in the plaza during town fiestas…” 

I was curious if she had dreams of working abroad. Her answer caught me a bit off guard. 

“I never dreamed of living abroad because I don’t want to be away from my family. I always think about their safety. They are my priority above all.” 

Her reply made me think about my own goals and ambitions. You could say that it’s rare for someone nowadays to choose their loved ones over a huge career potential. I’ve seen people break hearts over international scholarships or a chance at fame. But Jean is different. Simple, selfless, and kind, she’s firm in her values regarding work and life.

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“…The job is different from what I’m used to, but I always put my best foot forward. And if there are things that I’m not familiar with, I try to learn more. I’m satisfied with what I’ve done so far…” 

Check out Jean behind the scenes through her Facebook page @jean.besa.30.

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Author Portrait

Cris Antonio

Cris Antonio is a freelance Copywriter, Editor, and Speaker. If she’s not writing or editing, she helps business owners and young adults build their presence on the Web.