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Month: May 2019

Living For The Mission: Rocio Mendez, Industrial Engineer @ Tesla

In this episode, Hugo welcomes Rocio Mendez, a Mexican American industrial engineer at Tesla. Rocio was fascinated by engineering early on and earned both undergraduate and graduate degrees in Industrial Engineering from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. #GoMustangs! Rocio shares her journey from her first job at Covidien, a medical device company that was acquired by Medtronic in 2015, to her current role at Tesla as an Industrial Engineering Manager. Join in as they talk about the Tesla culture, the importance of building relationships with cross functional teams, the challenge of being a woman in manufacturing engineering and what it’s like to work with Elon.

Show notes:

  • 01:15 – Welcoming Rocio Mendez
  • 02:16 – About Rocio
  • 06:17 – What it is like working in an operations team
  • 08:06 – How Rocio got to Tesla: First time at the factory floor
  • 12:33 – What makes Tesla a great choice for an industrial or mechanical engineer
  • 15:30 – Rocio’s day to day, previous role and how she got prepared to do what she is doing now at Tesla
  • 21:32 – Strategies Rocio uses when developing her team
  • 25:30 – Meeting and working with Elon Musk
  • 27:53 – The Mission; Rocio’s favorite part of working at Tesla
  • 30:33 – Challenge of being a woman in a manufacturing environment
  • 34:13 – Rocio’s feeling about engineering mentality leading into personal life
  • 43:11 – Rocio’s parting words to latinos in STEM

Key Takeaways:

  • “Coming down to common ground with people who have different mindsets is very important in any management”
  • “Important to market yourself and tell people what you are all about”
  • “Manufacturing experience is a plus when looking for a job at Tesla”
  • “To be an engineer you have to be on the sharp floor to understand what it is all about”
  • Need to be aligned in order to go the same direction; building relationships with cross functional teams
  • “What do you need from me, and what do I need from you”
  • Be straightforward when something is not working out right to find a solution
  • “You need to be empathetic to be a leader”
  • Having a mentor during your career is important when taking on new roles

Mentioned resources:

Connect with her via linkedin:

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Who is Hugo Castellanos? Find out about him on linkedin Thanks so much for listening to the show! If you want to know more about this or comment on the show, please join us on LatinosWhoTech or go to Conexiones
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Latina at a Silicon Valley Unicorn: Frances Coronel, Software Engineer @ Slack

In this episode, Hugo welcomes Frances Coronel, a Peruvian-American software engineer for the Customer Acquisition Team at Slack, a collaboration hub that brings the right people, information, and tools together to get work done; connects teams and unifies systems to make businesses go forward. Frances was born and raised in Norfolk Virginia, and studied in New York City and California. Join in as they talk about France’s journey into computer science, her motivation to earn a master’s degree, her experience being a female Latina software engineer, and her role in Slack and the company’s growth.
Latina at a Silicon Valley Unicorn: Frances Coronel,  Software Engineer @ Slack

Show notes:

  • 00:20 – Welcoming Frances Coronel
  • 00:26 – About Frances
  • 01:36 – Using the word Latinx
  • 05:45 – France’s first interest in computer science
  • 10:02 – Discovering Meetups and other engineers
  • 11:37 – Motivation in getting a masters degree
  • 15:33 – Frances’s opinion about short, intensive and rigorous courses “Bootcamps”
  • 19:59 – What makes a successful Coding Bootcamp
  • 24:28 – Linkedin Nextplay
  • 26:22 – France’s current role in Slack
  • 27:38 – About Techqueria
  • 28:39 – How Frances got to Slack
  • 32:18 – The thing Frances likes the most about Slack
  • 35:50 – What Frances looks forward to everyday
  • 41:49 – Influencers, forums and sites frequented by Frances either for programming or because of interest
  • 50:24 – France’s parting words to audience curious about STEM and software engineering

Key Takeaways:

  • “You don’t need a computer science degree to be a successful software engineer”
  • Look for actual data on linkedin and program graduates when choosing a coding bootcamp
  • Coding bootcamps are much more accessible to break into tech industry
  • There are lots of alternative paths breaking into tech, You don’t have to be an engineer to be in the tech industry
  • “It is very important to bring your true self to work”
  • Diversity is very important when working in the tech industry

Mentioned resources:

  • Meetup NorfolkJs
  • Nextplay Events – Events where students and professionals of color connect to opportunities in tech
  • Hack Reactor – Software Engineering Program and Coding Bootcamp
  • Galvanize – Urban campuses where people can access the skills and network they need in-person or online to level up in tech
  • Techqueria – A non profit representing one of the largest communities for Latinx professionals in the tech industry
Connect with her via linkedin:Frances Coronel

Want to help us grow? You can:

Who is Hugo Castellanos? Find out about him on linkedinThanks so much for listening to the show! If you want to know more about this or comment on the show, please join us on LatinosWhoTech or go to Conexiones Leave a Comment