“My name is Merly Marilyn, I have a master’s degree in Telecommunications Engineering, and I started working at ALTEN in April 2019. Initially, I contributed to the success of a project for an important telecommunications company and then, I started another project, for which I take care of the implementation of new cells and the modernization of the mobile network.”
Question: What is the project you are working on and what role do you play in it?
Answer: Currently, I’m processing data that will be configured on New Mobile Stations. I also monitor and analyse New Mobile Stations for different technologies, such as 2G, 3G and 4G.
Q: How is the team you work with and what do you like best about the activity you do?
A: In the team, we are 20 engineers and the aspect I appreciate most of my current work is being able to work in the mobile network branch. My goal is to become a specialist in mobile network optimization.
Q: How did your interest in Engineering start? Was it a vocation?
A: I was born into a poor family, with few economic resources. I lived on a small hill on the outskirts of Lima, Peru. Since an early age, I decided that I would study a lot and become an Engineer, to improve my social condition and have a better life. I was lucky enough to realize, along the path of my studies, that Engineering was not only a chance for redemption but also my passion!
Q: How do you remember your college years?
A: My university period in Peru was very intense. I studied at Universidad Nacional de Ingeniería. Moreover, I have been very lucky to attend a free national engineering university that has a large number of candidates and few places available. I had to study a lot, but during my university career, I could meet some very good friends, with whom I had the chance to share my passion for technology, specifically for telecommunications.
The second university period, the master, was very different. It was intense, but for different reasons. Between one university period and another, there was a gap of almost 5 years: I spent the first two years in Peru, working and saving money to study and to help my family. Then I moved to Australia, where I learned the English language, necessary to enrol and attend the master I had chosen. After this, I moved to Barcelona, where I enrolled and was able to finish my master’s degree. I did my thesis remotely, from Italy, while I was working for ALTEN. Living away from home, studying a complex subject, not in my native language and doing the thesis while working (being able to talk to my supervisor only via Skype), was hard, but I’m proud to have succeeded!
Q: Do you think that the Engineer is still a degree/job mainly associated with men, or have you noticed a change in this trend?
A: When I started working in Peru, I was the only woman in the office: although now there are more and more women working as engineers, most of the workforce in this field is still male. But surely there is a change taking place and the number of women is progressively increasing.
Q: Have you encountered any difficulties or obstacles because of being a Female Engineer?
A: Although the situation is improving, I believe that, unfortunately, there are still small differences within the work teams. Sometimes, the tasks assigned are different depending on whether we are men women. Regardless of this, I have always tried my best to improve professionally and to do everything I am entrusted with: I want to be a good Engineer, not a good female Engineer!
In general, I can say that we are moving towards equality: the old prejudices are difficult to be completely eradicated, but the future of women in this profession is certainly positive.
Q: What do you think is the value that ALTEN brings to your project?
A: I believe that ALTEN is a company that guarantees its customers professional and competent figures able to increase the chances of a project’s success and also contribute to quality.
Q: Why would a woman choose to work at ALTEN?
A: Because I firmly believe that ALTEN does not distinguish between women and men in the selection of its staff. Since I joined the company, no one has ever made me feel discriminated for being a female engineer!