Nowadays, more and more people are getting into the green movement, like the zero-waste lifestyle or sustainable fashion. For some, they're even willing to dedicate their life’s work to such an advocacy. Meet Jacque Buskowitz, a 21-year-old sales executive for a solar energy provider based in the Philippines who’s hell-bent on making a difference.
Their family-founded company, Buskowitz, has a vision of a society with green energy as its primary source. Their objective is to make the whole process of acquiring solar energy accessible for businesses and homes, encouraging people that sustainable development is the optimal way to go. As its sales executive, Jacque does not only jet off to foreign countries to meet clients and close deals; she always has her eyes set on something greater—for herself, for the people around her, and for the environment. Jacque manifests an optimistic outlook on life and believes that making an impact starts with the right mindset. Looking ahead, she ultimately envisions a society wherein renewable sources will be the new norm.
In an interview with Preview below, Jacque talks to us about her environmentalist lifestyle and career fueled by her grit and vision.
Hi, Jacque! Tell us a little about your personal background. How did you get started in Buskowitz?
"The entire family is business-oriented, which is why business is the go-to topic at the dinner table. My brother, James, started the company with my dad, Jochen Buskowitz, back in 2012.
"I am the youngest in the family, and Buskowitz was one of the companies I interned at for a few months after I graduated high school. After interning at different companies and industries to figure out what I wanted to pursue in life, I went off to a university in the Netherlands, then I came back to the Philippines to officially work at Buskowitz."
So Buskowitz basically provides cost-effective solar energy to companies. What is your company’s edge in the industry here in the Philippines?
"Our biggest edge is that we never settle when it comes to quality, both in what we use and how we install. This makes us more sustainable in the long term. We also do all our installations ourselves, we never outsource EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction), so we really are an end-to-end solar services company.
"Apart from that, we are very flexible and really customize our solar services to a client’s needs, making it as easy as possible for anyone to acquire solar."
Tell us about your job as the company's Sales Executive. What’s a day in your work life like?
"When you work in sales, your days are never boring. One day I could be at the airport, waiting to take off to see a client in another part of the country while also preparing a solar proposal for another client. The next day I could be sitting at our office in Makati, brainstorming with members of the company about innovative solar educating ideas for the Philippine population. And the day after that, I could be at an event or expo for energy or speaking in front of an audience interested in renewable energy and sustainability."
Most 21-year-olds don’t even know where they’re headed yet, but here you are as an executive! Have you always known you wanted to work in the solar power industry?
"I don’t consider myself to be an executive yet. There is a lot of power behind that word. I’ve only been working full-time for 10 months and do not believe I could possibly be a good, trustworthy, organized leader yet. I am definitely working towards that. My first goal is to fully understand how to connect with and handle people outside the company. Then I can take on having my own set of individuals to manage, grow, and mentor.
"I definitely did not expect to be working in the solar industry. I planned on taking part in a company that would contribute to developing a country like the Philippines. It was clear to me I needed to find a company that does not only have a good mission and vision stated on their website, but that would help its employees grow as individuals and expand their natural skillset; a company with good morals. This turned out to be Buskowitz, my own family’s company, of which I am today very proud to be a part."
Seeing that one of your company values is “green commitment,” would you call yourself an environmentalist?
"I consider myself very lucky to have been educated about what and how our planet is doing versus how our planet could look and how it could do if we were all cleaner, more energy efficient, and if we treated our planet well. Knowing these things, I can’t help but be an environmentalist. I absolutely believe that we should do our best to heal the damages we have done to our planet, not just for our future but for our children and the generations to come.
"While I am happy that my job helps the environment, I believe there are people out there taking action by going green as a way of life. It is definitely one of my goals to become more like them!"
You sound like a busy bee! What do you do in your free time?
"At Buskowitz, whether you are an executive or not, everyone is a busy bee because the company and the industry are growing tremendously!
"As much as possible, I try to spend my free time outside the house, in the nature. I grew up in spacious outskirts, beside a little forest in Germany. Being in the city sometimes stresses one out more than it should due to the traffic and the dense population. If I don’t get the chance to get out of the city, I spend my free time with loved ones doing sports, or listening to educational TED talks, YouTube videos, or podcasts to expand my knowledge."
How do you think you’re leaving your mark in your industry in your own little way?
"A lot of people might think that leaving a mark means closing big projects. I think leaving a mark means trying to be positive and always finding the good in situations, things and people. This makes me a happy person, and I think it makes the people around me happy as well."
How do you see the future of renewable sources here in the Philippines?
"Renewable energy is growing exponentially worldwide, especially solar! Here in the Philippines, the majority of the population is still in the process of being convinced that solar is not only a better option than coal but also a cheaperâ€‹ option. The Philippines has one of the highest electricity rates in the world! In a recent Climate Change forum, I learned that the average Filipino pays 20% of their monthly income to electricity. That’s oppressive.
"That’s why I think that within five years at least half of large international business and a lot of residential homes will already be powered by solar energy. Within that time, I also think that battery storage for solar energy will be at its peak. To me, it is extremely exciting to take part in this booming industry!"