Bridging the Gap Between Generations in the Workplace

The Equinix YoungProfessionalsConnect Network helps create a sense of belonging through networking, mentoring and career development

Tim French
Bridging the Gap Between Generations in the Workplace

Early in my career, I found it difficult to navigate my professional journey and wasn’t always sure where to turn for guidance. This is one reason I’ve found it rewarding to connect with new hires, interns and employees who are early in their career through the Equinix YoungProfessionalsConnect Network (YPC). It’s exciting to learn about each person’s interests, discover what motivates them and potentially guide them through their professional development and growth.

The YPC network launched in April 2021 and is one of the newest and fastest-growing of the nine Equinix Employee Connect Networks (EECN) with over 800 members worldwide. In this article, you’ll hear from one of the YPC founders who was trying to navigate the corporate environment as a graduate and keen to find other like-minded individuals across the organization, on a similar journey. That was the impetus for creating the YPC network at Equinix.

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Network connects experienced colleagues with young professionals

Equinix YoungProfessionalsConnect serves all employees—regardless of age. One of the biggest misconceptions about YPC is that it’s only open to those between 20 and 35 years of age. Some of our most successful events have been when our VPs and SVPs participate in our events as guest speakers. For these events, we’ve often had hundreds of people attend.

Whether someone is just starting their career and is eager to connect with others, is an experienced professional who’d like to provide guidance or is new to Equinix through an acquisition, everyone is welcome to share their experiences of how to navigate the professional journey. It’s so valuable to have these different perspectives from colleagues all over the world, and it’s amazing to see different generations of the professional workforce come together.

There are three pillars that make up the YoungProfessionalsConnect Charter:

  • Belong: Create a supportive global network where those new to career, regardless of age, feel they belong to a community.
  • Invest: Partner with allies who are passionate about investing in and using their knowledge to mentor young talent in the business.
  • Develop: Enable young professionals to build their careers at Equinix and provide a platform to voice their unique perspectives, ensuring they are heard and valued at all levels.

We use this charter for global planning to ensure we’re creating the right opportunities for our members.

Equinix YPC Network is active globally across all three regions: the Americas (AMER), Asia-Pacific (APAC) and Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). A few highlights of our events include:

  • One-Year Anniversary: During this global online event, we heard from our Equinix executive sponsors and a guest speaker, Professor Connson Locke from the London School of Economics. Professor Locke talked about the importance of influencing others, and how to do it.
  • AMER: What started as motivational reading recommendations from our execs turned into a book club where colleagues came together to talk about the books and hear about each other’s different perspectives.
  • EMEA: In this region, YPC has partnered with other EECNs, such as the Equinix Women Leaders Network. Together, the two networks hosted a Summer Series called “Accelerating Your Career.”
  • APAC: YPC held a LinkedIn workshop, where we shared tips on how members could update their profile and apply best practices for taking professional photos. We’ve also held speed networking events where members could talk about their professional goals with Equinix executives.

Another impactful initiative has been engaging with interns, so they feel part of the team and consider starting their full-time careers with Equinix. Along with two other EECNs, YPC initiated a buddy system with interns and employees that was complemented by networking and social events.

Since its launch, Equinix YoungProfessionalsConnect has been a great way for those new to career to find and engage with each other, voice their perspectives, and build their networks and career path at Equinix. YPC has done an excellent job of creating a platform for both members and allies, regardless of age, to feel included and valued. I’m inspired by what this group has accomplished in a short time, and as a father of two young women just entering the workforce, I wish for them the kind of support that YPC has offered.” - Raouf Abdel, Equinix EVP Global Operations and YPC Executive Sponsor

To give a broader perspective about the impact YPC has had on my colleagues, I reached out to YPC co-founder Fran Carasco and members Charlie MacKenzie and Dylan Teo to hear firsthand how participating in the employee-led Equinix YoungProfessionalsConnect network has helped them connect with a range of Equinix colleagues.

Fran Carasco: YPC Founder/Program Lead, Integrated Programs Senior Specialist (EMEA Region)

When I started working at Equinix as a new graduate in 2017, I didn’t see many others like me, who were new to their career, in the Slough or London offices. While I was fortunate to have many colleagues and managers share their experiences and coach me along the way, I craved meeting those on a similar journey to me, hearing their stories, sharing about our days with each other, and most importantly, connecting on a personal and professional level. In 2020, this desire evolved into an idea and a passion: to launch YPC with one of my colleagues.

Over two years later, I couldn’t be more thankful we came up with the idea to found YPC, a network led by employees for employees. With a strong team of 4 inspiring sponsors, 9 passionate global leaders and nearly 20 ambassadors, we’ve expanded our reach to over 800 members and stayed true to our core values throughout this time of exceptional growth. One achievement I’m particularly proud of is that our network is credited with influencing the conversion of interns to full-time employees at a rate 4 times higher than any previous year.

For me, participating in YPC has been one of the highlights of my journey at Equinix. From a personal perspective, it’s helped me grow professionally and personally through leading a global team, presenting to audiences of 450+ people, and most importantly, shaping the person I am today. I will always be grateful to Equinix and YPC for this incredible opportunity.

One achievement I’m particularly proud of is that our network is credited with influencing the conversion of interns to full-time employees at a rate 4 times higher than any previous year."

Charlie MacKenzie: Product Marketing Analyst (AMER Region)

During the summer of 2021, I worked at Equinix as a product management intern focused on edge services. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. During my internship, I received excellent support from my manager, felt that the work I was doing provided real value to the company, and enjoyed working with people across the world. Since I was also interested in learning more about product marketing, my team helped me gain experience in that area by completing a part-time product marketing internship during my final year of college. It was great to have the support needed to make that transition seamless.

I was fortunate to start with Equinix in a full-time product marketing analyst role in July 2022. It feels like not much has changed from when I was an intern: I’m still working with an excellent team, I’m challenged in a way that supports my growth, and I feel like I’m learning something new every day.

Being a member of YPC has also made this process easier. Starting your career is challenging because everything is so new; being surrounded by peers and allies who are going through or have gone through the same thing makes it feel a lot more manageable. Not only have I met new people, but the YPC employee network helps me develop my skillset and makes me feel more connected to Equinix!

Dylan Teo: Reporting and Analytics Advisor (APAC Region)

After completing two internships at Equinix, I became a full-time employee in May of 2022. Joining YPC provided me with a platform where I can network with other Equinix colleagues worldwide who are new to the company. I have learned about the Equinix culture and others’ experiences, which varies from one individual to another. Making these connections helped me realize that I am not alone in navigating through this rite of passage as I move into my first full-time role out of university.

I attended the LinkedIn workshop where I learned about the importance of building my own personal brand. Workshop presenters shared tips and tricks on how to write a good LinkedIn profile and the importance of using a professional profile photo.

During the recent “WeConnect” event where members of all nine of the Equinix Employee Connection Networks (EECN) joined together, YPC organized a “Chat & Connect” session where I had the opportunity to speak with the different EECN leads and better appreciate what each of the networks represents. I had the opportunity to ask the EECN leads any questions that I had and now I know there are other EECNs I would consider joining in the future.

How Equinix YoungProfessionalsConnect makes a difference

I am a true believer that when one of us succeeds, we all succeed. When one of us grows and strives to be better, that elevates everyone. The inclusive Equinix culture encourages this mentality to flourish both inside and outside of our company walls, within EECNs such as YoungProfessionalsConnect, and with every external customer, prospect or partner we engage with.

To learn more about how you can become part of this inclusive culture as you pursue your professional goals, I invite you to explore opportunities to join the Equinix team–worldwide.

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Equinix Employee Connection Networks

 

Starting your career is challenging because everything is so new; being surrounded by peers and allies who are going through or have gone through the same thing makes it feel a lot more manageable."
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