CyrusOne News and Blog

AFCOM intern Banita Rajbhandari gains confidence in CyrusOne program

August 9, 2022

AFCOM Intern Banita RajbhandariBanita Rajbhandari seems as mysterious as her famous hometown of Kathmandu, Nepal. But don’t let her quiet nature fool you. The 26-year-old IT major at Northern Virginia Community College (NoVa) traveled nearly 8,000 miles to the other side of the globe to pursue her dreams and has just finished an internship at CyrusOne that has her briming with confidence – and ready to talk a bit about it.

Rajbhandari came to the United States in 2017 and started NoVa as a nursing major. After a friend recommended Professor Thomas “TJ” Ciccone’s data center operations class, she signed up, discovered a new passion and switched her major to IT.

“I want to work in the data center industry because it is becoming an essential part of life in this digital world,” Rajbhandari said. “This industry is undergoing a massive technological revolution and has become an exciting and rewarding place to start a career. Also, it is one of the most demanding sectors, with generous salaries, opportunities to expand and high job satisfaction.”

Notably, NoVa recently expanded its data center operations degree and certificate program after a $5.1 million injection of federal funding.

Ciccone recommended Rajbhandari investigate a summer internship program through the Association for Computer Operations Management (AFCOM). The data center industry now faces a labor crunch and skills gap that require rethinking how the sector recruits and attracts fresh talent. AFCOM aims to help bridge that gap, advancing data center and IT infrastructure professionals through delivering comprehensive and vendor-neutral education and peer-to-peer networking to its members around the world.

CyrusOne is proud to partner with AFCOM’s Potomac Chapter and offer paid internships to train and inspire the next generation of data center professionals. We believe internships are a vital part of any company’s talent pipeline and often the launching point of a great career, providing insights and experiences academia rarely offers while earning a degree. Our interns get one-on-one assignments, career mentoring, weekly check-ins, progress reports and long-term mentorship.

When Rajbhandari heard about the internship program, she knew it was the right opportunity.

“It would help me grow my knowledge, experience and skills,” she said. “My main focus is data center operations, which refers to the processes and workflows used to operate the data center industry, including construction, maintenance, security, management and procurement of data center infrastructure.”

During her two weeks with CyrusOne in summer 2022, she got to shadow staff and see several parts of our operations. But meeting with CyrusOne customers was what really challenged and excited her.

“To be in meetings, it’s so important to know everything because they ask so many random questions,” Rajbhandari said. “The challenge is to serve their needs and provide great customer service.”

Though she’s been in the United States for five years, she said the past three months in the AFCOM internship program has been the best part of her life here.

“I gained knowledge and experience,” she said. “I had the chance to interact with a lot of people and learn a lot. I interned at four different companies this summer, but CyrusOne was the only one where I could really interact, be on the business side of things and learn more.”

Rajbhandari’s personal motto is to “Do what makes you happy.” During her internship, she discovered what makes her happy is the design and engineering areas of the data center world. After graduating in 2024, she plans to remain in the United States and work in the data center industry on the engineering side.

She will be better prepared, thanks to her time at CyrusOne.

“Before the internship, I was very introverted,” Rajbhandari said. “I didn’t interact with people, and I’d get nervous. But during this internship, it helped me a lot to talk with people and share my opinions and my knowledge. Then, I was no longer scared. Now, I’m confident.”