The ar­chi­tect who found her­self online

The Manila Times - - COVER STORY - The ar­chi­tect in Anna Salas- Madronero found the artis­tic free­dom she had al­ways de­sired for in online free­lanc­ing

Anna Salas-Madronero, 29, is an ar­chi­tect who lives and works in Nueva Ecija with hus­band Romulo Madronero, whom she mar­ried in De­cem­ber 2014. Just like her, Mr. Madronero is an online free­lancer for graphic de­sign.

Fresh from grad­u­at­ing at the Far Eastern Univer­sity, Madronero was ini­tially hired by one of the coun­try’s big­gest de­vel­op­ers to work as a de­sign of­fi­cer for con­struc­tion for al­most three years. How­ever, as a young ar­chi­tect, she felt the need to de­sign some­thing on her own.

Not want­ing to lose her per­sonal style and skill, Madronero quit the com­pany in 2011 and tried her luck in online free­lanc­ing.

Just like any new em­ployee, she also strug­gled at the be­gin­ning in the free­lanc­ing world. “In the be­gin­ning, many clients online pre­ferred male ar­chi­tects be­cause they are more known in the field. But in the long run, for­eign clients rec­og­nized my skills as an ar­chi­tect re­gard­less of gen­der,” she re­counted, “Hap­pily, I also see women now ex­celling in the field al­ready maybe be­cause I be­lieve we are more artis­tic and ar­tic­u­late.”

More im­por­tantly, the ar­chi­tect also had the artis­tic free­dom she had al­ways de­sired in online free­lanc­ing. She shared, “Here, I get to de­sign freely. I also get to work for peo­ple, ar­chi­tects, de­vel­op­ers who are re­ally want you to de­sign. With that, I get to en­joy my pro­fes­sion more to­day.”

Even online, Madronero is ev­ery bit a pro­fes­sional ar­chi­tect via the fol­low­ing process: First, she stud­ies the site photos that show the size of the space she is hired to de­sign, the ac­tual re­quire­ments like num­bers of rooms, and the client pref­er­ences. These are all sent to her online by clients who usu­ally come from Aus­tralia, Canada and the US.

“I usu­ally de­sign homes. I also got to work with Sub­way Aus­tralia, as well as a res­tau­rant chain from the US. In gen­eral, I do residentia­l and com­mer­cial es­tab­lish­ments,” she enu­mer­ated.

Madronero also dis­closed that her online job is more “re­ward­ing” not only be­cause of her artis­tic free­dom but also be­cause she earns more this way. She said, “The pay in free­lanc­ing is higher it­self be­cause it’s in US dol­lars. It’s like you are work­ing over­seas too.”

In terms of her fam­ily life, The Sun­day Times Mag­a­zine ven­tured to ask Madronero how work­ing online has turned out for her and her hus­band. She can­didly replied, “We are al­ways so busy, so we can’t af­ford to go out. Some­times we hardly have a so­cial life any­more. But when we want to and we can, and we make it a point to go on a va­ca­tion once a month.

“But we do bring our lap­tops and check work if the ho­tel has WiFi,” the com­mit­ted online free­lancer ended with a laugh.

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