When you ask young children what they want to be when they grow up, you often receive a lot of the same answers: firefighter, nurse, police officer, teacher, veterinarian, etc. Not many kids say their dream is to work in the data center industry, even though it’s an important part of the business world, especially as technology continues to advance at a staggering pace.

I certainly didn’t know at the age of eight or even 15 what type of career I wanted, but my experiences and interests eventually led me to the technology sector. After earning my bachelor’s degree in computer information systems with a minor in business from Regis University in Colorado, I joined CenturyLink (formerly Qwest) as an operations manager and worked my way up to my current position. I was involved in a year-long V.P. management training, Leader Excellence: Accelerating your Potential (LEAP), and proudly received the CenturyLink Circle of Excellence in 2013 for the integration of Savvis and Qwest data centers.

A large part of my role as senior director of global operations and engineering for CenturyLink involves managing an experienced team of mechanical and electrical engineers that supports six global regions comprised of 50+ worldwide data centers totaling 1.6 million square feet of data center space and nearly 200 megawatts of power. This team received the Uptime Brill Award for Efficient IT in 2014 and continues to make noticeable strides in the data center industry.

I recently had the opportunity to participate at the 7×24 Exchange 2016 Fall Conference in a panel discussion on “Data Center Delivery & Operations.” Organized by the 7×24 Exchange Women in Mission Critical Operations Committee (WiMCO) and moderated by Heather Dooley of Google Data Centers, this discussion focused on how each panelist was introduced to the data center industry and how we’ve advanced throughout our careers. We also examined issues surrounding data centers including green energy, construction and operations, the gender and generation gap in staffing and cloud computing as it relates to scale.

If you’d like information on one of the most prominent data center topics, please read our white paper titled, “Hybrid IT The Best of All Worlds.” Or, view “Six Important Considerations When Choosing a Colocation Provider” for insight on how to ensure you’re putting your mission-critical data in the hands of a proven and reliable provider.  Please share any comments or questions you may have on advancing your career to the comments section or look me up on Linkedin.com

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