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News & Press: MSS News

Spotlight: Solymar Arribas

Wednesday, March 13, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Sally Palatiello
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      When did you start surveying, and why?
I have been surveying for almost 10 years, basically right after finishing my degree at the University of Puerto Rico. When I was in high school I wanted to study engineering, thought of going for either civil or electrical. The general base classes were the same for both engineering and surveying programs, but once I started taking the concentration courses I fell in love with the profession. That’s when I decided to choose it as my career path until graduated with my Surveying and Topography degree in 2009 and a month later got my first job as an instrument person.

     Describe one of your best experiences while surveying?

I would dare to say that I have had many remarkable experiences, but I will definitely always remember working on the Dulles Metrorail Project for the Silver Line (Phase 1). It was a fulfilling and interesting learning experience where every day was different. I had the opportunity to work in a tunnel, rail tracks, and layout all the piers and stations, etc. The experiences were endless and almost every day you would do something really challenging. At the end, the best gratification was seeing it become alive.

Describe one of your worst experiences while surveying

In surveying there’s always good days and bad days, like in every other profession, but I have to admit that my worst experiences were always related to working in the field during cold weather. I’m from Puerto Rico and it was extremely hard for me getting used to the cold. 


    What type of surveying makes up most of your work? 

Currently, I’m a project manager for residential builder services and I work on construction stakeout projects as well.

   Who are some of the surveyors that influenced your knowledge in the profession (in school or on the job)?
This is a hard question because I have met amazing and inspiring people throughout the years in every step of the way. I have had amazing teachers both academically and professionally whom I am really grateful for.  If I were to mention particular people I would probably forget some names and it would not be fair to leave anyone out. All I can say is that I have been very lucky to have so many colleagues, mentors, and friends that take their time, patience, and effort to train and help me become a better person and professional.

What was special about what you learned from them? 

  •         Attention to details
  •         Do not be afraid to say something when you think there's a
  •         Ask questions
  •         Confidence in what you know
  •         Never give up

     What advice would you give to new surveyors? 

  •            Keep up with technology and try to achieve the higher level of education possible
  •            Pursue licensing, attend seminars and learn the most possible from other colleagues
  •            Do not be afraid of asking questions, we all have questions, that’s how you learn
  •            Promote the profession as much as possible
    When you are not surveying, what do you like to do? 

I love traveling, photography, visiting new places, writing, riding bicycle, hiking, relaxing and hanging out with family and friends.

   How has surveying changed you?

Surveying has not really changed me directly, but it has made me look at things in a different perspective. Since I started working as a surveyor I have realized that there are not a lot of women in the profession, and that maybe, as a group we should think of ideas how we could encourage more females to pursue surveying as their career path.

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