What is EdgeConneX Salutes 2022?
As part of our continuing mission of honoring and recognizing our amazing veteran employees, EdgeConneX, in partnership with Salute Mission Critical, launched EdgeConneX Salutes 2022. As a longtime partner of EdgeConneX, Salute uniquely addresses our critical infrastructure facility management needs. Salute’s skilled veteran labor force works alongside our EdgeConneX teams, which include dedicated and hard-working veterans like Kellie Dinkelman. We are proud to share Kellie’s experience with you. Please read her Q&A below to learn more.
Kellie Dinkelman, Director of Solutions Architecture at EdgeConneX and an Army veteran, was interviewed to learn more about her background and experience in transitioning into a civilian role within the data center industry. Kellie also shared what inspires her the most.
What are your job responsibilities now?
I am a Solutions Architect at EdgeConneX. I am on a team with five people and work with sales representatives as they build data center solutions for our customers. I take care of coordinating solutions and building the technical aspects of a deal.
What geo are you in now?
Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas
Tell me about your background/why did you enter the military?
Representatives from the military visited my high school. The team handed out tests to help students decide what field may be a good fit. I decided to take the test, and engineering was one of the fields that was a great match for me.
The next logical step for me after high school was to go to college, but my parents would only pay for it if I was going to be a doctor, lawyer, etc. I decided to go into the military instead and enlisted in the Army.
I didn’t realize this at the time, but there’s so much out there you don’t know, so it’s hard to truly understand what you might want to do in your high school years. Data centers as we know them today didn’t exist when I was in school.
What was your role/responsibility in the military?
The military wanted me to be a police officer, but I declined that position. I wanted to go into military intelligence. I ended up becoming an Imagery Analyst and was able to perform the job I was trained for. I was stationed in Germany at Hahn Air Force base and was in the Army for four years.
Tell us a story from your military service. What did you learn from that experience?
Toward the end of my tour, I got sent to Saudi Arabia – Desert Shield/Desert Storm. That experience taught me how to be strong in the face of just about anything and the importance of making quick decisions that must be correct or at least what you strongly believe is correct.
How did the military prepare you for the job/role/career you are in now?
I went from high school to being in a very male-dominated career. It helped to thicken my skin, and I think that it gave me much more strength and a lot of tolerance.
How was your experience transitioning from the military to the civilian workplace?
I moved to Nebraska after getting out of the Army and wasn’t sure what to do. I was starting to question my skills. I ended up getting a clerical position at a marketing research firm and as a secretary for the marketing department of a hardware/software resale company. I also worked for a bank at the help desk. The sister company to the bank started a “multi-tenant data center” business, which at the time was just called “hosting business.” I was taking help desk calls for the hosting company, which grew into me building the IT help desk for them. I moved up and began running the server environment and providing managed services to the hosting customers.
Explain the transition from the military to working at EdgeConneX.
I have been in a sales engineering role for over 15 years. I was only 26 when I started in IT, and things just kept going from there. Therefore, transitioning from the military to working at EdgeConneX took time, but all my past experiences helped guide me on the path to where I am today. What could have made it easier for me was to have resources available back then when trying to translate military skills to what I could do in civilian life. I did not have those resources.
What inspires you the most?
Something that pushes me is my need to always be good at what I’m doing. I push myself the hardest and have a strong work ethic. I don’t want anyone to think I’m not working hard enough. A team environment also inspires and motivates me to continue working hard and doing the best I can. My family also inspires me. I love spending time with my four dogs and my husband.
What does EdgeConneX culture of Customers, People, Planet mean to you?
A customer is not just an external company, they’re the people I work with at EdgeConneX. I believe in always treating them with respect and honesty. As a huge customer service believer – I put myself in their shoes and treat everyone the best. Planet already has a definition, but I do my best to try to make my footprint better than when I found it.
What are your hobbies/interests?
We have a fifth wheel and love to go camping/glamping. We take the dogs with us, and they love it too. I also love to ride motorcycles and just spend time with friends and family.
How can our readers follow you online?
Readers can follow me on LinkedIn.
Keep an eye on EdgeConneX career openings HERE.
If you are a veteran or military spouse looking for an exciting career in a growing industry, please contact Salute Mission Critical. The team can help train and put you on the path to success.