MS CRISELDA Hilvano, 29, works with governments and businesses around the world to upgrade and streamline their information technology (IT) infrastructure.

Says the infrastructure analyst: “We are working for an account that is very new right now, so we are all busy setting up the IT infrastructure for our client.

I manage the production and lab environments. I travel to different locations to offer infrastructure support and assistance. I also write up work processes and technical documentation. That’s when you’ll find me tied down at my desk.”

Ms Hilvano works for EDS, a Hewlett-Packard (HP) company headquartered in Plano, Texas, in the United States. It is a pioneer in technology outsourcing, a service which the company started 50 years ago. Acquired by HP last year, it is now part of HP’s Technology Services Group.

Infrastructure analysts such as Ms Hilvano work in teams distinguished by the accounts they take care of. Their clients come from a wide range of sectors, including manufacturing, financial services, health care, energy, retail and governments.

What’s “cool” about her account, she says, is the “happy hour” session which is organised every last Friday of the month, and when people get a chance to talk and relax with food and drinks.

“The key to being a good engineer is having lots of patience, being a good team player, and staying on top of new technology,” she says. “And when life hands you lemons, bring out the tequila and salt!”

Living the future

Ms Hilvano’s field is always evolving and new career opportunities are created every day.

“I’m in a position now where I use the latest virtual technology to develop new processes and build software distribution solutions.

“My biggest challenge is coming up with an end-to-end process for software distribution from scratch.

“Even with the guidance of my lead engineer and the rest of the team, it takes several weeks to put all the pieces together in order and come up with a solution, which then has to be followed through by administering the backend infrastructure,” she says.

Despite the challenges, she loves her job because she feels appreciated and recognised for the hard work that she puts in.

“I love the fact that the team I’m with is supportive and we work together to get the job done,” says Ms Hilvano, who loves adventure.

“It’s very specialised knowledge but very advanced in technology that can be adapted to different customers’ needs for different uses, which makes it exciting,” she says.

Being a woman in a field dominated by men, she admits having to “step up even more to prove that I am good at what I do” — an effort that has evolved into a source of motivation for her.

Ms Hilvano is also optimistic about the prospects of the sector.

“There are plenty of opportunities for career growth,” she says.

“I see to it that I attend training courses by both EDS and HP, and their partners such as Microsoft, which has online courses or onsite workshops for new products.”

Hailing from the Philippines, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Information and Computer Science from St Paul University, Manila, in 2000, Ms Hilvano enjoys working in Singapore.

“I started out in Singapore in desktop support and was promoted to system engineer. I find that I’m learning a lot here and having fun at the same time. I’ve travelled throughout Asia, and I plan to visit the US later this year,” she says.

To those who are seeking a career in engineering, she advises: “Don’t be intimidated by the technology and people around you. As long as you know where you stand and what you can do, you will succeed.”