A Window into the Future—the Equinix Internship Program

Justin Kline
A Window into the Future—the Equinix Internship Program

For college and graduate students, a summer internship is a great way to get a glimpse of the future. By working full time at a company for a few months, interns can test their skills and knowledge beyond the classroom, try their hand at projects with real-world outcomes, make connections with colleagues and have fun. For companies like Equinix, internships provide a window into how young adults find the information and services they need, and what tomorrow’s professionals will seek in the workplace.

Our University Relations team and managers seek motivated students from all backgrounds and regions to join the Equinix internship program. Interns work in all areas of the company, including strategy, development, finance, operations, product engineering, marketing and sales.

But Equinix summer 2020 interns faced a particular challenge as COVID-19 spread from city to city, region to region.

Like many organizations worldwide, Equinix shifted almost entirely to remote work this year. Company leadership encouraged employees to put health and safety first for themselves and their families. We packed up our laptops, closed up our offices and began working remotely as much as possible.

And that’s where more than a hundred interns worldwide joined us—in the cloud.

Solve Real-World Business Challenges

Interns are an important part of our global team. Whether you work in a support or technical role, take part in important decisions that make a lasting impact and shape the future of the world’s most interconnected data centers.

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Communication and Collaboration

To get started and help interns feel welcomed into the Equinix family, our University Relations team shipped each intern a laptop, IT equipment and a few gifts, including an Equinix T-shirt and some swag. We sent interns tips about how to prepare their workspace at home, acknowledging what our thousands of employees working from home had discovered—that working at the kitchen table or in a bedroom with family members or friends nearby can be tricky.

In addition, interns received information about best practices for using the company’s preferred collaboration services—Zoom for video conferencing and Microsoft Office tools, including Teams—and a collection of LinkedIn Learning resources curated especially for them.

Clear, regular communication has long been an important part of the Equinix internship program, but it has become even more important for our virtual program. Here are a few methods we used to help our newest group of interns thrive:

  • Each intern met in a video conference daily with their manager for at least the first two weeks to discuss questions and receive work guidance.
  • Each intern also worked with a mentor who provided guidance, support, answers and introductions to other employees.
  • Interns and managers used InsideSherpa, a project management tool that set out meaningful projects with specific goals, including a clear framework and tools that interns would need to be successful.

Many of our typical internship activities—such as lunch-and-learn sessions with executives, tech talks, professional development sessions and even data center tours—took place online this year, giving interns a window into the Equinix business and culture. Interns also took part in fun activities such as coffee breaks, trivia nights, happy hours (age-appropriate, of course) and other gatherings.

The Equinix internship program culminates in the Intern Showcase and Shark Tank competition, enabling participants to present the work they completed during their internship, receive audience feedback and earn prizes. In some cases, at the end of the program, Equinix may extend an internship on a part-time basis or offer the intern a new-to-career position upon graduation.

The goal of every Equinix internship is to make an impact—and our internship projects have real-world outcomes. For example, 2018 marketing interns Kaiser Chan and Raj Singh prepared an information-packed primer on open banking regulations worldwide that became the foundation of a 2019 Equinix publication titled Open Banking and Digital Transformation. And 2017 product engineering intern Stan Chernavsky wrote code for an operational intelligence dashboard that senior leadership at Equinix actively use to track the performance of several engineering and operations teams.

As Ryan Khalessi, 2014 intern and now Chief of Staff, Office of the CEO, has said, “Equinix is the type of place that if you do not hesitate to ask questions, everyone is willing to give you opportunities that will navigate you to your long-term goals.”

A Culture of Inclusivity, Innovation and Ambition

Equinix is at the cutting edge of colocation and data center services, connecting enterprises and government agencies worldwide with industry-leading clouds, services and networks. Though our company is fast-paced, we pride ourselves on being supportive, and we are actively building what we call the Magic of Equinix.

As CEO Charles Meyers has said, “Our culture has always been one of inclusivity, innovation and ambition. We believe in fostering an atmosphere where everyone enjoys coming to work and can confidently say, ‘I’m safe, I belong and I matter.’ At the end of each day, the Magic of Equinix, and the people who bring it to life are what I love most about working at this company. Our culture is integral to our competitive advantage and is the foundation for our journey to becoming the trusted center of the cloud-first world.”

For 24 hours in June 2020, Equinix leadership hosted WeConnect: 24 Hours Uniting in Change, a live broadcast of one-hour panel discussions, workshops and other activities, many led by employees from across the global company. More than 1,800 of us tuned in to the WeConnect Zoom meeting at any hour to listen, learn, share experiences and reflect on others’ lives. By building a safe and affirming atmosphere for everyone, we help one another—and our company—succeed.

Military veterans, women, people of color, LGBTQ+ individuals and others among our company of more than 8,500 employees are invited to bring their whole selves to their work. This inclusivity extends to our interns. Our University Relations team actively searches for diverse candidates who can bring unique perspectives to their work at Equinix. Once here, interns are welcome to join Equinix BlackConnect, GenteConnect, PrideConnect and other employee connection networks to affirm their own identities, meet colleagues across functions, learn about others’ experiences and work to become allies.

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Internships provide our company a window into a pipeline of talented early-career candidates. As Nick Hernandez of our Talent Acquisition team said, “At Equinix, we cherish our people-centric culture and understand we are only as good as our people. Our new-to-career team members play an integral part in Equinix’s exciting future. That’s why we want diverse, future thinkers who will bring innovation, ‘we before me’ mindsets, and challenge the status quo to take Equinix to the next level.”

To learn about our future internship possibilities, visit sites such as Handshake, LinkedIn and Jumpstart, or take a look at the Equinix Careers page.

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Justin Kline Director, Talent Acquisition, University & Diversity Partnerships
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