#FIStaff: Gem Reyes, Dean Bahrain Campus
Filipino Institute of Bahrain’s Academic Director and Dean Gimmarie Bassig-Reyes has been living in the Kingdom for about two years now. Aside from being the dean of the institution, she also teaches human resource and admin classes and does supervisory management.
Prior to working as an educator in Bahrain, she spent about nine years in the United Arab Emirates from 2008 to 2017, wherein her first work was a procurement officer at the Arabtec Construction LLC. Reyes was then transferred to Tyco Fire and Security in the capital as a procurement supervisor.
Before finally moving to Bahrain, she resigned from the procurement supervisor post and was hired to another company, Al Jabal Group, as personal assistant to the group chief executive officer for almost five years.
Reyes chose the Filipino Institute in Bahrain as the school focuses on empowering Filipino workers abroad by educating and exposing them to opportunities overseas. The school has established branches in Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and UAE.
“It’s obvious that many new overseas workers find it hard to adapt and begin to make ends meet. Mostly, they need guidance from more experienced people who have been in place much longer,” she said.
“As an academic director and dean of the Filipino Institute Bahrain, I spend most of the time looking at things on the big picture, institute perspective is a big challenge of grappling with complex problems of the broad scope and significant impact–and that leverage the active trainers participation or students,” Reyes added.
One of the reasons why she left the Philippines is due to its wobbling economic condition and political situation.
She recalled that during her stay in the United Arab Emirates, she loved the culture and ambiance as a whole.
“I consider overseas Filipino workers as the modern day heroes. As one, he should be brave even if the working conditions are harsh, long hours or low wages. Just be positive and always save for the future,” she said when asked about her advice to the growing OFWs in the Middle East.