Anna Pearson is a 22-year old beauty from Ukraine. Her natural good looks and perfectly toned body would make you think that a person like her belongs in the spotlight, but this go-getter prefers to run things from behind the scenes.
“I thought of becoming a translator or linguist after school because I learned five different languages but I found that work boring so my friend asked me to try out aviation. Her parents were air traffic controllers and they toured me around their station and showed me how everything worked. I loved every single second of it and that’s when I decided that that’s what I wanted to be.”
Anna has been working as a flight dispatch officer for the past two years but is now training to become an air traffic controller. “My experience as a flight dispatch officer really helped me obtain a deeper understanding of how everything should work. The flight dispatch officer usually handles the logistics of the flight and coordinates with the pilot and air traffic controller the information they need to know; an air traffic controller handles everything that goes through his or her area of responsibility.”
While most of us find the stress in school or work to be overwhelming, Anna thrives when there is a lot of pressure put on her. “I tend not to let problems from home or my personal life affect how I work. There’s already so much to think of like how much fuel the plane has, is this the most economically viable flight path, or is the pilot in top shape to, and so many other factors that could affect the flight negatively that there is literally no room for you to think of anything else but doing your job. It’s not easy to forget something bothering you but you just have to. There is no other way around it.”
Being able to step up and take charge isn’t something that Anna finds unfamiliar because when she’s not giving out quotable quotes that sound like something Shia Labeouf would say, she takes care of her 15-year old brother at home. “When my family decided to move here from Ukraine, we initially made our home in El Nido, Palawan but I felt like my brother and I would have an easier time finding good education in jobs here in the Manila. So even though I love El Nido, my brother and I decided to live out here in the city.”
While missing her friends from Ukraine and the ones she made in El Nido, she doesn’t regret following her dream to become an air traffic controller. “Taking on responsibilities and making calculated decisions activates my mind. I am responsible for the hundreds of lives so I have to step up—someone has to do it, and so I ask ‘why not me?’ Taking on these tasks makes me feel like I’m making a difference in the world with each plane I’ll help land safely.”
To know more about Anna, you can read her slumbook entry below.
You can see more of her photos in the gallery below.
Produced by Mary Rose A. Hogaza Photography Andrea Beldua Styling Debra Bernales Makeup Janina Dizon Hair Iwa Ajinomoto