We had the good fortune of connecting with El Mendoza and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi El, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
GIVING BACK – I believe giving back to the people who need my help, to the people who were there during my struggle, and to the people who have always believed in me have always been one of the important factors in my success. To me, when I see the people I helped out achieve their dreams, I feel like it is my achievement as well. Every time I hear from them that I inspire them to be successful in life despite all the circumstances along the way, it gives me more drive to work hard and persevere.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am proud of my humble beginnings and the person I have become throughout my personal and professional journey. I always try to improve myself and never settle for less. I always get out of my shell whenever I feel comfortable in it as I know it’s time for growth.
I grew up in a small community of a province in the Philippines where resources on electricity, water, opportunities, and education are very limited. I had to leave my hometown and my family to look for opportunities in Manila, away from my family at the age of 16. That time, I worked as a nanny, house helper and full time baby sitter. That phase in my life motivated me to do everything I can to go to college and finish a four-year degree course because in the Philippines, it is mostly impossible to land a career when you don’t have a degree. After all the hard work and perseverance and through the help of my eldest sister, I was able to finish my college degree in time. I am the first ever to get a college degree in my family. During and after college I worked as a Drug Testing Representative who assists clients during their drug test (I was basically a urine collector). It didn’t bother me even if I know I have a bachelor’s degree. It was still a job but I did not stop looking for better opportunities. Thankfully, I got hired as a Legal Secretary in the largest law firm in the Philippines. After 2 years, I moved to being a Paralegal in a Power Generation company. Three years later, I moved to a Water Utility company and got promoted to Office Supervisor. In 2019, I had to jump in a life changing journey and moved to the US. I was unemployed during my first 9 months and it was the longest time that I stopped working. Thankfully, I landed a job as a temp in a Renewable Energy company in San Diego. They converted me to full time after three months and got promoted twice in two years of employment with them. I feel so honored to have a career in the US and I know my family, friends, and community are also proud of where I am right now.
It was never an easy journey to get where I am as I had to live on my own away from my family, my hometown and face all the battles in silence. People see me as a strong independent woman who never gives up no matter what because they always see me become successful in every field I choose – but in every success I make, there are always the hardships and trials that I always try to get through by myself. I always want to bring positive energy to the people around me so I try to avoid sharing details about the battles I am facing. And that’s the hardest part – I don’t know how and when to ask for help. I am learning now though. I am learning to be more self-aware that sometimes I just can’t handle everything on my own.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I’ll bring them to National Parks in the US.
Grand Canyon NP + Antelope Canyon
Long drive for sure and check out all the locals’ food and shops in every place we go to to visit those National Parks.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
To my family for being my inspiration to work hard as I only want the best for them. My eldest sister, Lory Beth who helped me in my college studies. And loved ones.
My mentors and managers from my previous jobs up to my current job for believing in my capabilities, for seeing the potential in me, for guiding and supporting me in all of my endeavors professionally and personally. Especially to Atty. Yvette Yaneza, Atty. Enrique Manuel, Atty. Irvin Fabella, Eric Austin, Marty Crotty, Scott Henderson, Atty. Laurence Rogero, Laida Lui, Erie Calubaquib, Mikkel Gutierrez, Ayk Moya and Allison Ramirez.
My best friend, trusted friends and my prayer warriors, for always cheering me on when times are rough.