Alvaro Mendoza is an associate telecommunications engineer who works within the telecommunications group for the local electric utility company Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD). “Our group provides the communications medium for remote sites to communicate back to our operations center. A better way to describe the function of our group is to use the tin cups and string communications analogy. Our group provides the string to allow the tin cups to work.”

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The necessary degree for Mendoza’s position is in electrical engineering or an equivalent field such as computer engineering or computer science. Mendoza’s formal degree is a B.S. in electrical engineering – with an emphasis on power engineering from CSU Sacramento.

“We work with various technologies that continue to evolve and change. The benefit that school taught me is the ability to learn. In school we all have the classes that we know we will not use for our careers. The actual benefit for those classes is to gain the ability to learn new material no matter the subject.”

What inspired you to enter into the field of telecommunications?

“My inspiration for engineering came from a math professor in high school. He noticed that I enjoyed his math class so he gave me a brochure for a summer engineering program. I filled out the brochure and was selected to go to a one week all expenses paid engineering camp at UC Davis. After that week I knew that I wanted to be an electrical engineer.”

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What are your thoughts on what it takes to be successful in this field?

“To be successful in electrical engineering you need to really enjoy what you do. The same can be said for any field of work. I love what I do so it is never a hassle to keep up with my field of study. To this day I still take classes for fun.”

What advice can you offer others entering the field of IT clean-tech-related services?

“The only advice I have for others is to get through school and to see the big picture in the path you take.”

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Karen Hansen M.S. Earth Sciences, has been an educator and consultant who is currently an analyst regarding land and other public information records. She lives and works in Sacramento, CA. She has been writing about earth and the environmental sciences for Examiner.com since May of 2010. Find her work in several sections of the publication. You can find her work at SF Solar Energy Examiner, SF Environmental News Examiner and Environmental News Examiner