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 Steven Hill. We are proud to share Steven’s unique experience with you. Please read his Q&A below to learn more.
Steven Hill, Senior Director of Solutions Architecture 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. Steven also shared what inspires him the most.
What are your job responsibilities now?
I am a Senior Director of Solutions Architecture with key responsibilities of representing the company and services, as well as supporting the sales team with customer-facing meetings. As a sales engineering lead for the US, I also design solutions for customers and manage a team of sales engineers.
What geo are you in now?
I represent Northern Virginia, It’s the biggest data center market in the world!
Tell me about your background/why did you enter the military?
You could say it was a family affair. My sister served in the Air Force for 20 years. I knew that not only could I earn a 4-year degree, but I could also earn 4-years of real-world and hands-on experience in the military. I saw this opportunity and took it!
I went into Army basic training as an E-4 vs. an E1, which is rare. It opened up a lot of opportunities for me. I also met my wife in the military. She was a civilian and by marrying me, she spent two years as a military spouse. That’s not an easy role and I’m so thankful for her support during that time.
What was your role/responsibility in the military?
I was a computer programmer analyst in the military, which was in line with my chosen degree. I was a non-commissioned officer (NCO) – a sergeant in the military – and became a consultant using my skills. I then became a LAN Administrator for the Army and eventually moved into a sales engineering role at EdgeConneX.
Tell us a story from your military service. What did you learn from that experience?
I spent time in Garrison helping set up and staff booths at Army conferences. This was an advantage for me in the future, since I was already used to going to conferences and communicating the brand and talking to a wide variety of people.
How did the military prepare you for the job/role/career you are in now?
The military taught me maturity and loyalty. The military teaches you to find a way and get it done. It’s a mindset.
How was your experience transitioning from the military to the civilian workplace?
Transitioning to a corporate role was fairly easy. I had already worked in an office building while in the military, which helped me later in roles as a manager. In what other line of business can a 19-year-old have responsibility for multi-million dollar equipment? The military. In the data center world, you are also responsible for millions of dollars in equipment. You learn the chain of command and have a high sense of responsibility coming out of the military.
Explain the transition from the military to working at EdgeConneX.
The military is a 24×7 job. The data center industry is also a 24×7 job. Data centers, like the military, have to run all the time. I came out of the military with four years of experience. I have been in a sales engineering-related role for over 20 years, and at EdgeConneX for nine years.
One initiative that I was able to help champion at EdgeConneX is Salute Mission Critical. This program has helped many in the military transition to civilian roles within the data center industry. I knew that veterans’ skill sets would be a great fit for EdgeConneX Operation teams and in supporting our data centers.
What inspires you the most?
Family inspires me the most. They help to keep it all together. And in my professional career, making sure my team is set up for success is what inspires me. My duty, my people.
What does EdgeConneX culture of Customers, People, Planet mean to you?
Since I am customer-facing and support the sales team, I get the opportunity to interact with customers regularly. It is always top of my mind to support our customers – our people. We are doing a lot of things at EdgeConneX to promote green energy in our data centers. Some of the things we are actively working on include zero-landfill efforts, recycling back into the system, and carbon credits to offset the impact.
What are your hobbies/interests?
I teach Taekwondo. I began martial arts with my kids and then started teaching it. I also enjoy going to the gun range.
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.