By Dr Renée Ralph, Co-Founder, The Brilliant Foundation
AUSTRALIA - Seventeen years ago, Alba Gomez made the decision to move to Perth, not speaking a word of English. Alba was an Engineer for fourteen years, before she decided to transform herself to a Presence and Personal Coach, First Expressions Expert, Body Language Specialist, Media Commentator and Keynote Speaker. It has been an exciting and challenging journey, embracing the Australian culture, her new home and learning the English language. In her younger years, Alba is a geek at heart, loving books and keeping to herself.
Alba shared she wanted to work with people, be engaged and help people to find a positive change within themselves. Hence, she left her engineering career to pursue her next passion in life.
Success for Alba is not defined as a monetary goal, rather, her satisfaction in seeing her clients believe in themselves and to articulate and communicate in their professional work environment confidently. In the work that she does, Alba seeks to find a comfortable space for her clients to push their boundaries to reach their potential.
Three and a half years ago, Alba appeared on the first time on Live TV. Since then, she is a regular contributor on Channel 9. It symbolises a significant milestone in her life and career where she pushed herself out of her comfort zone to grow and flourish. Alba has conquered her fears and feels comfortable presenting on Live TV. In her journey of self-discovery, she realises that she can help others to find their confident self and to pursue their dreams and achieve their goals.
Alba is now happily married with an Australian husband for four years and both, made the decision not to have children. She misses her home where she cannot return because of COVID-19 restrictions.
Alba’s dream is to help build a school in Colombia for the children. She says the education is the key to elevate one’s life out of poverty. Instead, Alba’s aspiration is on the children of Colombia back home, where poverty and homelessness is wide-spread. With education, children are able to expand their minds and develop a skill that is essential for life.
How was your teenage years?
Alba shares:“I wore thick glasses and braces and had messy hair as a teenager. I felt geeky and inadequate and that I didn’t fit in. I was bullied at school the entire primary school and less in secondary school years.”
How did that impact you?
“Massively. I had a challenging relationship with my mum and that make me feel even more inadequate with my life. I kept thinking that it was really something wrong with me,” says Alba.
How did you overcome that?
“It is a whole life journey that cannot be explained in one sentence. With the work that I do, I help people understand people where they come from. Working with diverse cultures, opening up to a spiritual approach to life, to able to heal all of those hurts and experiences,” shares Alba.
Alba stated that she is fortunate and blessed to have a group of girlfriends from school in Colombia and a close group of friends in Australia that are Colombian too. Connecting with her Colombian culture and embracing Australian culture give Alba a rich and diverse life experience.
Where did you learn English from?
Alba learned the basics of English Colombia of English. She said: “The Australian accent was so different from the American one that I was used to and that was the biggest shock. On a conversational level, it was really difficult to understand and speak the Aussie English.”
How did you overcome the conversational level for the English language?
Alba went to Cambridge English School in the city for nine months. She said:“I was 26 years old surrounded by 15-16 years old learning English.” It was rather a surreal experience.
The Switch from Engineer to Image and Presence Coach Consultant – Why?
From there, Alba went through a laborious and intense process to be recognised as an Engineer in Australia. She had to write three small thesis, provided her academic results and proof of her credentials. It was a time consuming process and was given a certificate as an Engineer and a diploma at the end of the program. Alba worked for five years in Perth for Sumitomo, a Japanese multinational company.
Scary and Brave
Ten years ago, Alba changed career. Alba realised that she had a great career and opportunities and great salary, however that wasn’t enough for her. She felt that her calling was to transform people and impact people’s lives. Alba wasn’t passionate with what she was doing with her engineering career. She admitted it was really, really scary and yet she took a great leap of faith and jump. It was the most courageous and bravest thing that she ever did in her life.
How did it come about? Her life change?
Alba kind of knew that she had do. Alba said: “I have been passionate with a person’s image on the side as an image consultant, working with elements of personal branding. Dealing with image is like a band aid. I had to delve deeper – it was like an evolution and it took five years, for me to establish a more holistic approach to personal branding and presence.”
What does that entail? What are the elements of personal branding?
Alba said: “Who you are and how you show up in the world. And then, when you are able to bring your best version out there, you will get your opportunities and potential when you allow people see the value, skills in body language. In communications, how you carry yourself, how you speak in public, how you run a meeting with confidence – it all boils down to how you become masterful in managing relationships with business and in life. In life everything is about relationships.”
How big is your current business and a team?
“I am the front line with my business, working with a team of 3-4 in the background, helping me with marketing, social media and administrative duties,” shares Alba.
With your calling – how do you describe it now?
Alba exclaims: “Exciting and challenging journey. Running your own business it is challenging and it has been the best ever. I do what I want, how I want it and it was the best decision and the biggest learning curve.”
Can you describe in statistical terms how many people you can help?
Alba shares for one-to-one consultation, it would be hundreds of individuals that I have helped and coached. With group presentations, that will be in the thousands. “So there is growth in what I am doing,” says Alba.
What do you do to relax?
“In summer, I love going to the beach, love catching up with friends. More eating – not cooking haha Colombian dishes, dancing and watching movies. I am an avid reader for work,” shares Alba.
What type of books do you read?
Alba states: “Personal and Business Development books. I am always wanting to learn. When you coach people, you have to consistently learning new things and upgrading, and keep developing myself.”
How did you get into that role for presenter with Channel 9?
I was seeking publicity for my business and reached out to my media sources. Channel 9 gave me a spot at 5pm news and I have been contributing regularly over 2 years now.
As one of the Founding Members, why are you supporting The Brilliant Foundation?
I wish I had known so many things when I was younger. To have had the guidance of people who overcame the difficulties I had, both in my personal and professional life.
I feel honoured to had been asked to support The Brilliant Foundation and to be able to share some lessons with the younger generation. I have been challenged in many ways during my life and I love being able to help others by sharing what I have experienced and learned.
Your Brilliant Feedback
1. If you would like to change your career, what will you do next?
2. Are you able to pick up a second language and embrace a new culture other than your own?
3. How do you see yourself in 3-5 years time? What will you be doing with your life?
Scroll at the end of this article and leave your comments in the box below.
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