confident woman mentoring male colleagueWhen it comes to the data center industry, Melissa Chambal‘s is one of the world’s leading female technical education Instructors.

We spoke to Melissa about her passion for mentoring, how she got into the digital infrastructure industry, which comprises the data center and network infrastructure sectors, and how she is hoping to encourage more females into the data center industry.

How did you get into mentoring?

I always wanted to do things to give back to my local community and the industry I love. I have spent time volunteering with local school children, mentoring them on the benefits of STEM subjects as well as basic life skills. I love being able to mentor bright young women in this incredibly fast-paced digital infrastructure industry we find ourselves in. The digital age and technological revolution allow for ideas and innovations to flourish, and women are going to be a pivotal element to the management of the quintillion bytes of data that is generated every year.

The benefits of mentoring?

One of the things I love about mentoring is how it allows experiences of life, industry and knowledge to be passed onto the next generation of professional adults. A mentor can guide a protégé through treacherous times and/or crossroads that can provide additional information and perspective that can benefit the protégé to make the most informed decision about their future career.

Why did you want to become a mentor?

I have had the great fortune to work with some of the world-leading technology influencers who, through sharing their experience and mentoring me, allowed me to flourish. I consider myself fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with the amazing people, so I want to give back to other women who are coming up the ranks in any way I can. As a woman in an industry that has been predominately male-oriented, (especially construction), I looked up to the women I came across in my projects throughout the country, and I hope I can work to inspire others the way I have been inspired.

How did you get into the digital infrastructure industry?

Interesting enough, I came into the tech industry by accident. When I initially moved to New York City I had every intention of working in the finance industry. However, the planets aligned differently, and I found myself working for AT&T with very little technical knowledge. This was at a time of tremendous transition after the divestiture of AT&T and opportunities came in all different aspects of technology. My transition into technology also had me in the construction industry as a project manager in an electrical union, in New York City. I was involved in numerous technology rooms/spaces/floors and buildings supporting the financial, media, publishing and pharmaceutical industries. It has been an incredible journey so far, and I look forward to what is to come going forward!

Why should other women consider a career in the digital infrastructure industry?

Technology is ever-changing, requiring flexible and multi-tasking skills that women really do excel at. The management, protection and storage of data needs experienced teams to manage the digital infrastructure. A mentor can provide a “lessons learned” approach to help prevent the same mistakes from happening to their protégé. There is so much opportunity for women where their talents can be recognised and personal growth is inevitable with a little help of mentoring in any way possible. I’m so lucky to work alongside fantastic women in the industry who are helping to accelerate the data centre sector rapidly. These women have incredible and diverse backgrounds that have brought them into an industry that is changing at an astonishing pace. It’s encouraging to see more and more women on CNet’s technical education programs who are working to develop professionally and grow in an industry with unlimited potential.

I look forward to meeting more women on future CNet programs and following their successes as well as helping inspire and educate the next generation in my role as a mentor.

Benefits of Learning and Education?

I am an avid believer in the importance of continued education, qualifications and certifications, the digital infrastructure industry is such a fast-paced industry, it’s critical organisations, and learners, keep up to date to stay ahead of the game. I love working for CNet, they are continuously raising the bar across the industry and setting the standards. Being an Instructor and mentor is a fantastic job that is always challenging and changing. I’m lucky to be allowed time to work on my mentoring project alongside my day job as well as undertaking my own continued education and professional development. Last year I completed, alongside all CNet Instructors, my Certificate in Education and Training (Level 4), again supporting CNet’s on-going commitment to quality and education, not just to our learners but to all staff across the world too.

About CNet Training

International award-winning technical education company, CNet Training has been designing and delivering professional network infrastructure education and training programs since 1996. Today CNet is the global leader in technical education for the digital infrastructure industry, comprising the data Centre and network infrastructure sectors, and is the only industry dedicated education provider in the world to award both internationally recognised qualifications and professional certifications. These qualifications start at level 3 and culminate in the world’s only level 7 Masters Degree program in Data Centre Leadership and Management. A significant part of CNet’s history is the development of the highly acclaimed Global Digital Infrastructure Education Framework, which offers industry professionals an opportunity to plan technical education, qualifications, and certifications to meet on-going individual and business needs. CNet deliver technical education programs led by expert Instructors, in locations across the world via remote attendance and classroom-based learning, allowing ease of access to all industry professionals wherever they are in the world. In addition, they also deliver distance learning programs. CNet is also trusted by many of the world’s leading manufacturers of data Centre and network infrastructure solutions to design and deliver their specific training and education programs.

Melissa ChambalAbout the author

Melissa Chambal works for CNet Training as US LATAM Canada Technical Manager and is a 7×24 Exchange International Career Development Mentor. Melissa joined CNet Training in 2013 with over 20 year’s data center and network infrastructure experience, plus five years teaching Data Center Design and Network Design programs. She has taught at the Top Gun Marine base in California and performed a Data Center Audit on Department of Defense facilities. Melissa delivers CNet Training’s Global Data Centre education programs, including Data Center Management, Design and Audit.


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