When I was 12, I would work at my family’s department stores after school. Still wearing my uniform’s maroon polo shirt and a little sweaty from playing tag on the playground, I became a student of the supermarket, observing the hum of the cash register and the clanking of cans being stacked. I mimicked the employees, arranging lines of local Manila mangoes on shelves, and waited for new product shipments—always toys—by the parking lot. As I grew older, I became a student in the boardrooms of my family’s bank, watching my grandfather lead meetings on improving operational efficiency, corporate governance, and regulatory laws for securities trading. My interest in business grew over the years, taking me to Haas Business School and, most recently, to San Francisco as a transaction advisory consultant at EY. However, over weekends and holidays, I stayed involved in a portfolio of family businesses including banking, financial services, insurance, and retailing. The more I worked in business, the more I saw how it tied to law—409A stock valuation term sheets, engagement contracts, and lending terms all required a strong understanding of law. One day, I knew I would return to take my grandfather’s place at the head of the boardroom table.
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