How would you describe your job in a minute?

My role is to help clients get the most out of the products and services we offer. I’ve been with Atmos for over eight years now and started as an intern, I’ve learned a great deal about the industry. Oil and gas are crucial, some people may disagree but’s a day-to-day part of our lives and helping pipeline operators identify leaks quickly is something very essential.

No day is the same. One day I may be talking to a client about regulation compliance in the State of California and then next it could be supporting the sales team for a client meeting or proposal. One of the key functions of our team here is to continue to build relationships within the industry.

I think it’s amazing how we are set up and have the freedom to talk to anyone in our company. I hadn’t worked in an international company before, but I worked in retail and I had no idea who the CEO was. Being able to talk to Jun at any time, I think that's awesome and there’s so much to learn from other colleagues too.

What is your biggest achievement to date – personal or professional?

On a personal level, I think it was achieving my degree. Being a Latina can often mean limited access to further education. Sometimes I take it for granted but I am so proud of being one of the 11% of females that have a degree. I’m hoping to do an MBA one day as well.

As for professional, I think given the opportunity as an intern to plan and deliver a successful user Conference. Adrian Kane provided trust and confidence, as well as support, to achieve it. I think that’s what convinced Adrian (Kane) to hire me full time. He saw that I was very passionate about planning and the process of it all. In addition to that, it's seeing the maintenance department grow. When I first started, we only had one maintenance engineer. Now we are doing a lot more maintenance service and it’s helping us to develop a team that focuses on client satisfaction and day-to-day support.

Do you have a typical day?

Because I like to sleep or go to bed by 9 pm, I’m typically up to around five in the morning. I like to meditate, do my journal and workout. Having a morning routine prepare me for a successful day. I feel energized and focused and intentional. Since I was a kid I was always a morning person. Once the sun is out, it's like okay, I'm ready to go. I like how in the UK, because it’s further north, it’s a lot lighter in the evenings.

Workwise, I have more energy in the morning, so I try to use that time to speak to clients especially as due to the time difference, they’re getting done by early afternoon Pacific Time. In the afternoon, I’ll use the time difference to catch up with clients elsewhere in the USA. Between three and five, I normally work on proposals or answer emails.

What three words would you use to describe your role?

  • Customer-focused? I’m combining two words here but very important to me.
  • Communicator, as I talk regularly to colleagues and clients
  • Planner – with having a variety of tasks in a day. I need to plan wisely.

If you could switch jobs with someone who would it be?

This is a tough one! I love my job and at first, I didn’t think I could swap with anyone. Mainly because I love the fact I can talk to clients every day. If you pushed me, then I would say moving into a management role, despite the loss of client time.

Ultimately, I would say Jun. What she has done is amazing and I have always been passionate about international business. I am fascinated by the way businesses work and so I think doing a role like Jun’s would be good. The thing I admire is how she hasn’t lost the personal touch. She knows everyone’s name and about their lives. That is something special.

What do the next five years look like for you?

In terms of personal development, I’d like to concentrate on getting further qualifications to boost my knowledge. Career-wise, I want to build more relationships in business here in California. Operating in oil and gas within the State is often challenging, so both helping customers and championing our solutions would be great to do. I also want to continue to support the growth of our maintenance department and look at new services we could offer alongside our current product portfolio. I see myself here at Atmos for the long-term.

You’ve been quite active in terms of lobbying. Tell us more.

I think there’s an opportunity for us millennials to have a voice – even more so women working within this sector. We have a great role model with Jun, of course! It’s been interesting to share my story within the industry. For myself as a Latina to get this role was something major for me and my family. We need to ensure there is good representation from all groups, all walks of life. The baby boomers are now approaching retirement age and we have a role to play.

What are your biggest professional challenges?

Continuing to master the engineering side of the business. I don't have an engineering background so there’s a continuous need to understand and therefore being more technical. I think some of the challenges that occur in California are hard, but I’ll keep working on that. It's been quite hard, but hopefully, in the future, I'll be able to find a solution for that.

I think I'm very lucky to have Adrian who has an engineering background and has worked in most of the Atmos offices including China. I trust his opinion and he has been quite a mentor for me.

You mentioned Adrian as a mentor. Is there anybody else that you consider choosing as a mentor?

Honestly? I’d like to talk to Bill Gates. After decades of being an entrepreneur, he’s now a philanthropist. I would love to be in the position to give back financially as much as he has.

If you could go back and speak with the 16-year-old self, what would you say?

I would say continue doing what you're doing. And not to worry. My parents were strict in some ways, but they fully supported me in getting an education. When I started kindergarten, I didn’t speak any English, so I had to learn fast and adapt quickly. I’ve also learned to challenge perceptions and prejudices too. With Mexican roots, you can encounter some negative views. Getting my degree changed that. I’m the first generation here and had to assimilate while still respecting my heritage.

What do you most like about your job?

As I say, I enjoy talking to clients. I like that we have a family as well here, it makes a difference when knowing everyone has your back and collaborate on providing the best solution for our clients.

What advice would you give to new entrants to Atmos?

I’d advise you to ask questions. Lots of them. The family environment means people are very supportive of one another, especially those just joining us. Don’t be afraid to question something or ask for help.

What is your motto or mantra?

My motto is centered around my Mexican roots and I’ve followed since being a child, it’s a term known as “Guelaguetza” My parents are from Oaxaca state in Mexico and they always told me to be helpful. The term Guelaguetza means the reciprocal of gifts and services. In a direct sense, it was ‘to be in service at all times’ – even when people don’t ask. In some way, I’ve received good karma from it. I think this has served me well as a personal motto.

Do you have a favorite blog or website?

Well, I love our ‘A conversation with’ blogs. It’s interesting to learn about different colleagues, especially those who I haven’t met. I tend to listen to podcasts more, though. I’m a big fan of LinkedIn as it has everything under one roof – such as blogs or industry news. My podcast choices are quite broad too. I like learning how to meditate or how to achieve a new skill.

What’s your favorite country to visit?

Oh, tough. I would say Mexico just because I have family there. Mexico has several aspects to it. The traditional elements where my roots are but then there’s the more tourism side which is affordable and fun. I like both, although it’s great to spend time with my grandparents and appreciate my origin culture.


By: Will Stone
Date: 16 October 2020