Jay Lara has a super cool job but, unfortunately, he can’t talk much about it. “The team I work with is focused on trying to make sure our secrets stay secret,” he said.
The 34-year-old is a system administrator at Apple, working at its famed headquarters in Cupertino.
Jay, who moved to California five years ago with his wife Cathy, graduated from the University of Asia and the Pacific and had a number of different jobs in Manila—he was a producer for Solar Entertainment, media director at Clickthecity.com and Rogue’s online editor.
Big moves aren’t new for Jay. He was raised in Jakarta and lived there for 18 years before moving to Manila for 11 years.
“When we moved to California, I cast my net wide looking for a job. Apple was the first one to bite,” he said.
He’s worked at Apple for close to five years now, starting at the Apple store in Palo Alto and eventually moving up to its corporate offices, where Apple devotees often come to visit.
“Our main campus on 1 Infinite Loop is our most famous. We get a lot of visitors coming over to take pictures and visit the Company Store, the only place to buy official Apple merchandise. Unfortunately, the office isn’t open to the public, but visitors of employees are allowed inside. We’re also in the process of building our new Apple Campus 2,” said Jay.
He has been an Apple fan since 2003 (“My first Apple product was the third generation iPod, then my first Mac in 2005. Since then I’ve been all Apple everything”) and he’s thrilled to have joined the company. “It’s an absolute privilege to work with some of the smartest and most passionate people… We make the greatest products in the world, but I think our greatest achievement is finding and hiring the right people to help make an amazing company. We’re one of, if not, the biggest company in the world, but we truly run and feel like a startup in many aspects. Because we’re so big, we’ve been getting a lot of flak for years, but we’ve managed to stay focused on our goal, which is to simply make the best products in the market. That’s what I love about this company.”
And what’s a typical work day like at Apple? “I can’t go into too much detail, but I help and work with a lot of people at Apple, in the US and our other offices globally,” he said.
His work at Apple isn’t the only thing keeping Jay busy in California. Now dad to a little boy named Lucas, Jay said: “I’m trying to be a good husband and father, putting in hard work and trying to lay down a good foundation for the future of our family.”
Jay, Cathy and Lucas visit Manila at least once a year, using technology to stay in touch with family and friends the rest of the time. Jay said, “I’m Filipino by blood… I grew up in Indonesia, lived in the Philippines, and now I’m raising a family in California. I consider myself a Filipino, Indonesian and American. For me, home is a state of mind.”