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A drive for engineering excellence

A native of the Philippines, Denisse Gonzalez’s route to becoming an engineer at SRP was a journey that began in her home country with a father who inspired her.  

“I was fascinated by engineering work because my dad – who always wanted to be an engineer – couldn’t afford to. He was always tinkering with power and electricity in our home. He was my role model,” said Gonzalez.  

She drew inspiration from her surroundings too, which she described as a developing country.   

“We had a lack of power all of the time. We were upper-middle-class then but still exposed to those situations, so I wanted to fix the system,” she said.  

Her path to SRP 

Engineering, she decided, was a great way to help that cause. She moved with her family to the United States in 2006 at the age of nine and had to learn a whole different culture and language.  

“There were hardships, but I got through it,” said Gonzalez.  

She worked hard and was accepted into Grand Canyon University (GCU) with an intent to learn electrical engineering.  

Gonzalez was active at GCU, appearing in a commercial and helping students in high school and college with algebra, writing and more. These experiences would help her gain enough confidence to go for a prestigious internship.  

“As a tutor, I was getting comfortable socializing in different groups and settings,” she said. “Spring semester of my junior year, I applied for all sorts of internships. I applied in semiconductor roles at first. But I realized my inspiration was still power.”  

So she looked to SRP, where she landed an engineering internship with the Metering Department.  

Building connections and community  

After her internship, she joined the company full time, first as a technician and then eventually as a rotational engineer. In the time since, she has realized that opportunities to grow engineering and career skills are nearly endless at SRP, especially when you continue to expand your network.  

“I like networking. To know a lot of people, to expand my knowledge in different departments of the company,” said Gonzalez.   

This includes her participation in Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) at SRP. She’s been a member of Females in Technology (FIT) for five years and joined the Women’s Interest Network (WIN) and the Asian Interest Network (AIN) in 2019.

“Joining ERGs, such as AIN, is the best method for me to network with other SRP employees that I do not regularly collaborate on projects with. I built valuable relationships with people in Community Partnership, Water Delivery, Business Applications and a variety of other departments. It is an outstanding chance to gain exposure to all of the different groups inside SRP.”  

She also helps support her community outside of SRP. For the past three years, Gonzalez has supported the nonprofit Asian Corporate & Entrepreneur Leaders (ACEL) as a member of its leadership conference planning committee, as vice chair of ACEL’s Celebration Gala and as a coordinator for numerous networking events. She even sang the national anthem at ACEL’s key events in 2021 and 2022. SRP recognized her for this honor at its 2023 Presidents’ Volunteer Spirit Awards.  

Gonzalez said she is “grateful for the opportunity to support the Asian American and Pacific Islander community through her volunteer work bringing current and aspiring entrepreneurs and leaders together in a space where they feel safe and proud of who they are.”

Diversity, equity and inclusion at SRP 

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