Pre-med student finds niche in information systems career
A compassionate Shellin Hasanali always had a desire to help others and felt she could really make a difference and impact with a career in the medical field. After completing some college science courses, however, the pre-med student’s career path changed course.
Women’s History Month, commemorated each March, celebrates the contributions, influences and achievements of women, whether on a global, national or smaller scale.
At CPS Energy, we have nearly 800 women in our 3,200 strong workforce who contribute each day to the success of the company, working on the frontlines as Engineers and Energy Advisors, behind the scene as Financial Services and Regulatory Compliance analysts, in leadership positions, and in so many other roles. In early March, we kicked off a series of blogs honoring a handful of them as we celebrate Women’s History Month. Today, we continue that series, spotlighting Shellin.
Since becoming a full-time employee in December 2005, and even before that when she served as an intern from 2003 – 2005, Shellin’s career with CPS Energy has been closely tied to its SAP system (an information system platform that allows business applications to interact, communicate and share data in real-time). As an intern, Shellin served as a project administrator on the SAP Human Resources/Payroll implementation project.
“When I first started working at CPS Energy as an intern, I didn’t know anything about the energy industry,” said Shellin. “Luckily, I had a good mentor, Philip Hons, who was patient enough to teach me. I’ve been fortunate to work with very supportive colleagues at the company.”
In her current role as an SAP Functional Analyst in the Enterprise Applications area, Shellin works closely with the company’s Customer Strategy team, helping implement new technologies and improve existing processes. This work ensures the Customer Strategy team has the tools they need to deliver exceptional customer service to CPS Energy’s 907,526 electric and 373,998 natural gas customers.
Keep reading to learn more about Shellin and her personal and career experiences.
Q. You moved to the United States when you were 4 years old. Where did you and your family live before moving here and do you recall what it was like living in another country?
Shellin: My family came from Pakistan to provide me and my sister a better education. I don’t recall too much from the early years since I was so young, but I remember the long hours my parents worked. We lived in a multigenerational home, so I was always surrounded by people. My parents have told me many stories about their years and experiences in Pakistan. To this day, we still celebrate Eid, which are Islamic feasts or festivals that occur twice a year, one of which follows Ramadan.
Q. You mentioned coming here for a better education. Can you tell us about your educational experience?
Shellin: I actually started off as a pre-med student at the University of Texas at Austin but decided not to pursue that route after taking multiple science courses. Since UT has such a great business program, I decided to give it a try. I loved the program and graduated with a Bachelor’s in management information systems. I later earned my Master’s in healthcare administration from the University of Texas at San Antonio.
Q: Did you have any role models or mentors in your life who helped shape you or your career?
Shellin: My parents have always been my inspiration and motivation. They came to this country with two young kids, no knowledge of the culture, and very little familiarity with the language. They worked hard every single day until they retired to provide me and my sister with opportunities they never had growing up. They always taught us to work hard and that has been my guiding principle throughout my life.
Q: What is your greatest accomplishment at CPS Energy?
Shellin: My biggest accomplishment has been to be a functional lead on the multi-year Grid Optimization program. The program had multiple project implementations, which covered all aspects of smart metering, from meter installation to billing. I helped with designing, testing and implementing the integrations between SAP and EnergyIP, which is our Meter Data Management system. The integrations allow us to “talk” and issue over-the-air commands to our smart meters from SAP.
I would not trade my experience on that project for anything. There were a lot of long nights and weekends, but I learned a lot and worked with some amazing people.
Q: In 3 words or less, how would you describe yourself?
Shellin: Dependable, trustworthy, compassionate