What is EdgeConneX Salutes 2022?
EdgeConneX, in partnership with Salute Mission Critical, helps veterans obtain the skills needed to be placed in key roles within the data center industry. Salute’s veterans deliver the same discipline and integrity to serving data center customers as they once brought to serving our country. EdgeConneX is proud to work with Salute and has partnered closely with Salute to hire from their skilled veteran workforce. As part of continuing our mission of recognizing veterans, EdgeConneX is proud to share EdgeConneX Salutes 2022, where we will highlight several members of EdgeConneX who are also veterans. We look forward to you getting to know our veterans.
Martin Gydam, Director of Data Center Physical Security at EdgeConneX and an Army veteran, was interviewed to learn more about his military background and his experience in transitioning into a civilian role within the data center industry. Martin also shared what inspires him the most.
What are your job responsibilities now?
My job responsibilities include anything that has to do with security and security systems such as data center builds in EMEA, APAC, and globally. One of my main roles is developing standards for compliance and security. I cover security systems – cameras, access control, alarm system, and specific security systems – the whole EdgeConneX footprint.
What geo are you in now?
I represent the great area of Amsterdam.
What was your role/responsibility in the military?
I am Danish, so I spent over six years in the Danish Army as an NCO. When I left the Army in 2003, I was what is equivalent to a Sergeant First Class. While in the Army, I was involved in combat infantry and reconnaissance. We performed force protection – which was on-the-ground protection of people and assets in conflict zones and other circumstances.
What would you like to tell others thinking about a career in the data center industry?
One point I always like to make is it is important to network and find support with someone who has been through the process already of the military to civilian life (in particular, the data center industry). There are many opportunities in the data center industry. The key is to recognize those skills that are transferable. A good mentor can also guide you and show you the ropes of how to apply your skills.
In addition to finding and learning from a mentor, there are three characteristics I would recommend those wanting a career in the data center industry to have:
- Be Flexible
- Be Adaptable
- Be Communicative
It’s important to focus on communicating well – not just the way you say things but also the way you write and how you approach a person or project is something to be mindful. If I could go back and do anything slightly different, I would potentially have taken a communication course after leaving the Army so that I could better understand how to communicate in the business world.
How was your experience transitioning from the military to the civilian workplace?
It was really an organic shift for me into the private sector – the things I did in the Army were very much transferrable. Upon leaving the military, I was contacted by private companies to manage their security. The first company I worked for after leaving the Army was based in Denmark. My role with them took me all over the world on their behalf. I lived and worked in Asia and multiple countries in the EU. It was exciting and I knew I wanted to continue a career in security, particularly technology security.
The military and helping veterans have always been a passion for me. I used to do summer workshops for veterans in Denmark who had PTSD. I coached them mentally and it was my mission to help them find a new normal within the civilian workplace. This also helped me with mentoring and leading. A lot of the work I conducted with veterans was done in 1-on-1 sessions – also did a weekly group session and set up meetings to discuss issues informally. I encouraged meditation/breath/bodywork to assist veterans to work from a different angle and there were some great results.
Moving from the military to a civilian role can be a difficult transition for some. One thing you learn very quickly is your life in the Army is regulated and life outside is less so. I encourage veterans to be aware of the change and be willing to change and be adaptable.
Tell me a story from your military service. What did you learn from that experience?
My unit was assigned to work with the United Nations Police Force on a number of missions in the former Yugoslavia – the force included officers from a multitude of backgrounds and locations including India, Spain, Africa, UK, and Canada. Achieving goals was truly a team effort, which taught me a lot about how important communication is.
This experience and many others, instilled in me that to reach the same goal you must communicate and work together to get the project done. For example, in the business world, when working with multiple stakeholders they may each have their own thoughts on how to execute a project. You must be able to communicate the end goal with each of the stakeholders to formalize a plan for reaching the ultimate goal.
What inspires you the most?
People inspire me. It’s that simple to me!
What does EdgeConneX culture of Customers, People, Planet mean to you?
Customers are the first thing I think of when it comes to EdgeConneX. EdgeConneX is a very customer-centric company; in all its processes and projects and in everything they do. At EdgeConneX we start with the customer and work our way back from there. The customer is always first in mind. It’s a real thing and an honor to be a part of an organization like this.
Top Tips for others making the same type of transition? I wish I had known…
One tip I would share with veterans is to be open to different industries and realize that their skills can be transferable. In that process again reach out to someone that have been through the process already, it is not always easy to recognize those transferable skills yourself. Also, don’t feel like you have to be tied down to borders or geo-restrictions. There are many opportunities globally. Choose what is going to give you the best chance to be, succeed and grow.
What are your hobbies/interests?
I am a Chinese martial arts, medicine, and meditation practitioner. I started training in martial arts when I was only 10 years old. I actually began with Japanese martial arts/karate and eventually transitioned over to Chinese martial arts. I love putting my focus into this because it reminds you that everything is connected – the body, breathing, your mindset – everything. All of it works together to support a healthy lifestyle and mindset that allows you to retain a centered flow state. I also used this when I would help veterans who had PTSD.
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!