Allison Mendoza, Atmos International

How would you describe your work in a minute?

How would I describe my work in a minute? Well it is quite dynamic, I check my emails and customers, make sure everything is fine and if there is any alarm or issue, I’ll report it to the manager and we organize to see how it will work on that. We must prioritize the different situations and solve them according to urgency.

What’s your greatest professional or personal achievement?

I have my two greatest achievements! The first is to have won a scholarship to receive dance classes at the National Dance Workshop. The second is to have won a scholarship to study in Canada, the scholarship was granted by Global Affairs Canada. 


What did you study in Canada?

In Canada, I worked on my graduation project. It was the design and implementation of an autonomous vehicle surface vessel, a ship for depth mapping. I designed the structure of the vehicle, selected the electronics and sensors needed, for depth mapping an ultrasonic sensor was needed. Finally, an algorithm for signal processing was needed for creating the maps. The project would be used for survey ships. It was for research purposes, nothing commercial.

I spent five months in Canada and enjoyed living and studying in a different culture and environment.  I guess starting in my first role at Atmos is also a great achievement too!

What’s does a typical day look like?

Every day is different, of course. I check my emails and begin to organize my work including creating a planner within my calendar. I set a time to complete each task as I know I work better under pressure. That way I avoid missing deadlines. I use blocks of time with reminders to keep me focused. So, I’ll usually set aside 30 mins every day to plan which makes my day more productive for sure.

Some things can’t be planned but we aim to be efficient with our time and make our meetings work effectively. Before our chat now, I was working on updating settings for one of our US clients for one of the modules called ‘Draining and Filling’ – this enables us to improve detection in certain aspects of pipeline operations.

How would you describe your role in three words?

Teamwork, hard work and trust.

If you could swap jobs with anyone, what role would choose?

I would become a dance teacher. I feel that having extra activities while studying engineering helped me a lot. I feel that sometimes it becomes a closed world with numbers all day, dance brings together all kinds of people and they can express themselves freely. There are no boundaries or perceptions so it’s open to anyone – even engineers!

What would you like to achieve in the next five years?

Right now, I’m at a basic-intermediate level in jazz dance, so I would like to train more to raise my level first before I move to the harder levels. It takes a lot of training and practice to achieve these as they are very demanding. I’d also like to start learning another language such as Italian – purely for pleasure. In terms of skills and qualifications, my ambition is to achieve a master's in Control Systems by 2025.

Who would your mentor be?

It would be Sandra Cauffman, she is Costa Rican and works at NASA. Not only is she a great example to professionals but she has also encouraged many girls to get involved in the science area, she has tried to destroy the view that science is only for men.

If you could come back and say something to the 16-year-old Allison, what would you say?

I would say that congratulations on getting into the Science and Technology High School. I’d say that you will enjoy it a lot and that you promise not to stop dancing and singing. I’d add that do not believe those who say that science and art don’t go together.

What do you like most about your job?

The work environment and that every day there is something new to learn, not only from the position I am in but also from the people around me.

What advice would you give to new entrants to Atmos?

Get organized because there is always a lot to do!

What has been the best advice you have been given here?

Ask for help when you need it, I think that was the best advice.

What is your motto or personal mantra?

Knowledge and passion will take you everywhere.

Do you follow any blogs?

There is one on YouTube called ‘Minute Physics’, it explains science questions in a minute, so it is very interesting and easy to follow.

What has been your favorite country to visit?

Canada, because it has a special place in my heart. When the cold is not extreme it is very nice, when snow falls there’s always lots to do.

Which country would you like to visit?

The Netherlands for its culture and places of interest such as the museums and history.


Allison spoke to Cristian Calvo.

Edited by Will Stone

By: Will Stone
Date: 25 March 2020