Monthly Archives: August 2014

Last thoughts: Intern Experience

Shriaji Kinjir photo

Hello, my name is Shriraj Kunjir and I’m working towards my master’s degree in Electrical Engineering at Santa Clara University with a focus on VLSI Design and looking to graduate in March 2015. This summer of 2014 I worked with the Hardware Engineering team as an ASIC Design Intern.

I got to work on an important part of a new generation ASIC device which will go into all of Infinera’s products. My responsibility was to perform proof of concept of a design by mapping it onto a new FPGA device along with a new POC board and run Quartus flow with timing analysis and also perform verification tests on it with lab validation. Through these tasks, I got an opportunity to learn new skills like the Quartus FPGA Synthesis tool, System Verilog and shell scripting along with their use in the design and verification environment; some of those things I would’ve never learned in the classroom. I couldn’t have asked for a better team of engineers to work with, who were willing to teach and guide me throughout the project. 

Working at Infinera is so far the best job I have had, one in which my work helps me acquire knowledge of new things outside of academia and also hone my professional skills. Infinera has created a friendly and productive environment that is conducive to learning and allows for exponential personal as well as professional growth. My mentor and my manager were very supportive and understanding and never made me feel pressurized. I enjoyed having short conversations with my manager over coffee where I still remember his words on the very first day “don’t feel scared to make mistakes, you only learn from your mistakes and not from your successes”. I joined the Toastmaster’s club and found their meetings to be very meaningful wherein I got to learn about public speaking, how to overcome stage fear and how to effectively communicate with your peers and superiors which in turn fosters self-confidence and personal growth.

So far I have met a lot of great people and everyone has been very kind and cooperative. The skills that I have learned here at Infinera have all provided me with the tools to help become successful in my future endeavors both inside and outside of the office.


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The Grand Finale: Last Week of Summer Work Program


My name is Erin McGeoy and this was my first and last year as a part of the Summer Work Program here at Infinera. I will be going into my second year at Mission College in Santa Clara and then transferring somewhere at the beginning of next year to pursue a degree in Human Development.

I spent most of this summer working in the HR department, but was a part of several other small projects, including some work in ICF. At the beginning of the program I told myself that I was going to help out wherever I could and get as much experience as possible.

My main project consisted of using Camtasia software to create tutorial videos on how to navigate Infinera’s WorkDay Program as well as various functions of excel. The videos I created included how to request PTO as well as how to terminate or transfer current employees. The hope was that the results of my project could be used as a tool for the company as a whole and also that the excel videos would be helpful for both current and future SWP students. Not only did this project give me the skills to edit and produce videos using Camtasia, which is something a had never even heard of prior to this program, but it taught me the importance of time management and being persistent in order to complete a task at hand. A lot of the success of my project was dependent upon communication with the right people in order to obtain the materials I needed. Sometimes the equipment would not be available when I needed it and I would have to change my schedule around accordingly. The key to success was flexibility.

I have met so many wonderful people this summer and this internship was so much more than I could have ever imagined. I feel like I have learned so many important skills, not just for surviving in a work environment, but life in general. This opportunity reiterated the importance of communication and just being open to new people and ideas. One thing I loved so much about working here at Infinera was the atmosphere and how I always felt welcome wherever I was, no matter who I was working with. Infinera reminded me that if you are passionate about what you’re doing, it’s not really work. I was given so many wonderful opportunities that I could not have received anywhere else. I now wish that I had participated in this program last summer when I had the chance. I am definitely going to miss not coming back next summer. I would recommend this to any students who have the opportunity to participate in the Summer Work Program. You do not want to miss it!

Anulekha Chillal photo

Hi! My name is Anulekha Chillal and this is my first year in the SWP. I work in the Sales Department. As far as the technical aspect, I work with Excel every single day, every minute, either creating spreadsheets, updating others, making graphs and presentations from the data that I analyze. Excel’s capabilities are so vast that I have come to know that many seasoned adults don’t know the whole tool inside and out. On Excel, I make sales forecasts for every week and help with predicting visibility at each stage of the quarter. I analyze this information in various ways, mostly by PON or category.

Prior to starting this program, I had thought that this program would be very rigid and there were going to be set-in-stone tasks and responsibilities for us. It is refreshing (and a relief) to find that Infinera does have set boundaries however the variation of what can be done each day is flexible.

This program serves as an essential stepping stone into heading into real life job opportunities and I think it tries to bridge that gap quite nicely. There is a lot of difference between learning material in theory and then actually executing out the concepts in the responsibilities that one takes on. I am grateful for the experience that will help me have a better idea of what to strive for in the early stages of my career as well as a better idea as to how to meet expectations. This experience at Infinera has taught me the importance of noting company culture to have a better idea of which company fits you.


Phong Tuan Joseph Nguyen's Picture

Hello everyone! My name is Phong Tuan Joseph Nguyen, but I usually go by Joseph. To start of I would like to tell a little about myself. I have just graduated from Dr. T.J. Owens Gilroy Early College and in turn completed up to 60 college units upon graduating.  I will be attending UC Davis in the fall and plan to major in Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavioral sciences (NPB). I hope to someday be a sports physical therapist and I hope that my high school experience and more importantly, my first year here at Infinera help me on my journey. It’s kind of funny because my view of the SWP here at Infinera has gone through several turning points. These turning points have got me to where I am today.

Starting from the beginning was initial contact with the program. I had already known about the program years before because my older sister was in the program two years before me and of course my dad works here too. I honestly didn’t really think that wasting a summer was worth it, but eventually I came around. That was my first turning point. I filled out the paperwork and was accepted into the program. The first day of work was different from my expectations. Initially coming into the program, I had a different idea was what my summer would consist of. However on the first week I began to completely understand what it would be, and that was the second turning point.

On the first week, they had already scheduled sessions to teach the SWP interns many skills we didn’t know before such as using Outlook, Lync, and other things necessary for working here. They also went further and taught us SharePoint and even Excel. I soon learned SharePoint and Excel wouldn’t really be used much by my position in Finance this summer but I didn’t really care because I knew that someday those skills in Excel will be very useful.

Anyways besides the skills they taught us as a group, I learned a lot in the Finance department of payable receivables where I was placed to work this summer. Right on the first day I was thrown into some simple tasks of filing completed paperwork in drawers. It was easy, yet it felt good to do something simple but still helped the team. It didn’t just stop there, after that I gained access to the program SAP which allowed me to access the invoices and data in the system. I began to be instructed to do tasks on the SAP such as unblocking payments who have now received approvals or entering incoming invoices for companies so they can be processed in the system. I have never done anything like this before and it caught me by surprise what I was learning about finance. I am glad that the work that my team gives me this opportunity it is not too hard but stills keeps me on my feet.

One might ask why I am in a finance department when I’m majoring in NPB. My answer for that is one word: experience. The main reason I decided to participate in this SWP at Infinera was to gain experience. Need it be the experience of understanding the levels of a business company, from learning how to interpersonally communicate with adults in a professional environment, these are all things that I am gaining and growing in this summer.

Being in this professional and new environment also calls for many difficult situations. There are times when the concept of finance is a lot to take in and it’s hard for me to completely understand all the work that I am helping in. Another challenge that I know each SWP intern runs into, is what to do exactly in your free time. We cannot be busy all the time and when you’re sitting at your desk what should you do? I try my best to overcome these obstacles by actually reading up on what I don’t understand in finance in my free time. In my free time I strive to optimize my learning and not waste my time here this summer. I am here to grow and develop before I enter the real world. I want to mature and enter into college this fall with a sense of confidence in what I know.

Overall, I believe this program is a great opportunity for all of us SWP interns and we shouldn’t take it lightly because not many companies give this chance to freshly graduated high school teenagers and we should appreciate the experience we gain and the people we meet here. I have made good relations with my manager and senior employees and am thankful that they are very supportive towards me and keep me busy throughout the days. Also not to mention, I have befriended some fellow colleagues and it has definitely made the time here at Infinera a better experience.  

In the end, this summer will be one of growth where all of the interns and SWP kids can grow and develop in preparation for the real world no matter where it may be.


Kim-Mai Hoang photo

Hello! My name is Kim-Mai Hoang! This fall, I will be a freshman at UC Riverside, as of right now, I have not declared a major. However, I am considering pursuing a career in speech therapy. I hope college will present multiple opportunities for me to find a career I can be passionate about. Infinera’s Summer Work Program has already given me so many opportunities to venture through different types of careers. I am an intern for Infinera’s Corporate Marketing Team, mainly I have been updating Excel spreadsheets and attending meetings. The team I have been working with is very friendly and helpful, so I am grateful to have been placed in a group of such great people. I have not really found any of my projects to be extremely difficult. If I ever feel stuck, my manager was always willing to help me find a way out and around.


During the first week, we all received training for many applications like Sharepoint, Excel, etc. The trainings were super helpful, especially the Excel training because my projects mostly involved Excel spreadsheets. Before the program started, I was worried that it was going to be incredibly demanding and tedious. However, once it started, all of those thoughts disappeared because I was actually enjoying work. I met a lot of people, and I have one cool cube-mate! My workload isn’t too heavy, but it’s enough for me to always have something to do during the day.


 I really like that most of the interns are put in an area close together because l feel a lot less lonely knowing that there are people my age nearby. Also, decorating my cube was a lot of fun. My cube-mate and I brought in a bunch of pictures to make our cube livelier. Whenever I need a short break, I would just sit back and look at the pictures around me. All the Infinera employees are really welcoming, so I feel pretty comfortable asking for assistance if I need it. Everyone’s really fun to talk to as well. We all have our times which are dedicated to work and a handful of other times saved up for breaks and conversations.  Hopefully the rest of the program will be just as wonderful!


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Hello! My name is Casey Truong and this is my first year at Infinera’s Summer Work Program. I am an incoming freshman at San Jose State University studying in Business Management with hopes of becoming a Business Analyst or Human Resource Generalist.

   Throughout my five weeks here so far, I have learned so much with the help of my supportive team. My role for this summer is to assist the recruiters of the human resources department schedule interviews and tech talks for potential candidates, also known as a staffing coordinator.  At first, I didn’t think I would be able to handle scheduling, fearing I would make mistakes that would cause more harm than good. With several hours of training and simply watching the techniques of multiple coordinators, I finally caught on without any trouble. During the first week of training, I have learned the fundamental basics of Excel, SharePoint, and Outlook. On a day to day basis, my essentials for daily interview scheduling have been Outlook and Jobvite. I haven’t had many obstacles that I wasn’t able to overcome yet, but I can definitely say it’s a bit frustrating when Jobvite crashes while scheduling a large interview. Not only have I been coordinating exceedingly packed schedules for interviews, but I have also been assisting in smaller projects such as ordering lunch for interviewers and their candidates, auditing beneficiary forms, and creating a FAQ PowerPoint for future SWP students and their parents. Lastly, aside from those tasks, I have also been assembling offer packages that need to be shipped to future employees of Infinera.

     What I absolutely love about this program is that I learn something new every day whether they are tips that would prepare me for future interviews or even proper work etiquette. In the short amount of time that I have been here, I have made so many connections that have done nothing but help me learn things that no one ever teaches in a classroom. I cannot emphasize enough how much my entire team has helped me throughout this entire transition of coming out of high school and straight into the work world. My overall experience with Infinera’s Summer Work Program has been completely wonderful because every day I feel as if I am learning, not working.



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The End is Closer than it Seems…: Last Two Weeks of SWP


I graduated from Ann Sobrato High School this year, unsure of the future, and unsure of what to expect in life. I have picked a major at West Valley Community College that I feel is broad enough for me to expand and explore what I want to do in the future. Which brings me to this very important question:  Is there a future for me in the high tech world? I am Devon MacDonald and I am not quite sure.

Walking through the doors of Infinera for the first time was one of the coolest and scariest experiences of my life. My first observation as I made my way to orientation was how quiet it seemed. I thought that it would always be like that as I was working, but I quickly realized that was not the case.

I work in the Human Resource department as an administrator. This pretty much means that I am doing a little bit of everything. My main responsibility is to maintain the student blog; which has been rewarding but also frustrating. It can be a struggle to get people interested in being a part of the blogging community.  When my initial request for student submissions failed, I tried another approach.  Reaching out to students to interview them proved to be the successful route.  Sure this way was harder and created additional work for me, however it gave a learning opportunity, that there are more ways than one to get something done. Although the writing can be a bit tedious, interviewing other students helps me build bonds with them.

Other projects that I am responsible for are scanning documents such as Non Disclosures and background forms to be stored as soft copies in the system. This skill is not only useful for me to know, but helps the department to be more organized.

I have been able to use my creative side, which has been recognized by many of my coworkers, to work on projects such as creating a video for the Toastmaster group, redesigning internal portal pages and creating a bay area guide for new hires that arrive from out of the area.   So far I am enjoying my time here at Infinera.   I feel as though I have learned things about me that I can use to steer me in the right direction as far as my future career. With that said; is there a future for me in the high tech world? Answer: We’ll see.

Jennifer Picture

My name is Jennifer Prachick and this is my first year in the Summer Work Program. I am an indecisive person, and even though this is my second year as a college student, I am still having trouble figuring out what I want to do with the rest of my life. I first started at Ohlone College, trying to do something in cosmetology. Now I am at De Anza College where I will hopefully find a major that fits my interests.

I work for the Customer Service: Operations Group here at Infinera. My current project is part of an end of life cleanup for products. I am in charge of logging and tracking details when a specific task has been completed. A challenge that I have come across is that my manager is often very busy so it is hard to ask them questions. I have relied heavily on self-learning when I have a problem. This has made me become more self-sufficient.

Not only have I learned how a high tech company functions, I have expressed my competitiveness by participating in ping pong. I enjoy taking breaks and playing ping pong, it allows me to form relationships with other SWP students and Interns.

Even though this is my first, and last year at Infinera, I have taken some positive experiences that will hopefully help me in the future. 

Justin Lu

Hi, I’m Justin Lu, and I’m an incoming freshman at Carnegie Mellon, intending to major in Finance. Funny thing is I did not work in the Finance Group at Infinera. Instead, I work with the Software department where I learned some valuable skills.

I have always have been curious about programing, therefore I was excited that my mentor was able to devote time to helping me learn such a critical skill. This summer my project was to create a program that matches the correct capital with each US state. I am proud of what I have accomplished this summer. In addition to learning something useful, I made incredible friendships along the way. Whether it was our lunchtime adventures or just being a little too loud in the cubicles, I had a fun time with them. As I leave for college soon, I’m sad to leave, but hopefully,we get the opportunity to work together again next summer!



Hey guys! My name is Jeffrey Prachick, this is my second year in the Summer Work Program. In the fall I will be attending Foothill College for my sophomore year, where I will be studying Bio Chemistry.

This summer, working in the Operations group has been both challenging and rewarding for me. One of my assignments is to update a database where the software was from 2005.  I updated to it the 2008 version where they can take advantage of the new features 2008 has to offer.  The first couple of week entailed installing the appropriate programs which would allow updates to view the new features and appearance of the web reports.  During this process I learned to overcome certain obstacles such as how to obtain access to things I didn’t have access to in order to complete my project assignment

My experience at Infinera has been a very positive one. I have established relationships both professionally and personally during my time at Infinera. Leaving Infinera is not going to be easy, however I will be taking away a positive experience with me.


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Enjoying New Experiences: SWP Students Tell Their Story

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Greetings! I am Shayaan Karimi and this is my first year as a Summer Work Program Student. I graduated from Irvington High School and I will be attending Ohlone Collage in the fall.  My current plan for college is to major in political science. Whether that changes in the future because of the experiences I have had at Infinera or for another reason, it is hard to say.

When I first started the program here at Infinera, I was in the Legal Department. Due to internal changes in legal, I was re-assigned to Tier Four in the Customer Service Department. The projects that I get to do in Tier Four have everything to do with data base maintenance. For example, field service bulletins that costumer service cannot figure out are sent to Tier Four to be worked out. My job is to maintain and update the system when an issue has been changed to resolved or is pending resolution.

I have enjoyed my time working for this company, however, it was not what I expected to be like. When I first started here, I did not know what to expect. At first, I was surprised by how generous my manager was with giving me a cushy time line for completing my projects. But now, I understand why I am given so much time to complete the task: I am expected to be thorough.



Hey y’all! I am Brent Jarvis and this is my first year in the Summer Work Program. In the fall I will be starting my second year at CALPOLY San Louis Obispo. I am a business major with an emphasis on agriculture.

This summer I am working in Customer Service: Trials and Demo’s department. I am so far enjoyed working here at Infinera and my manager always keeps me busy with interesting projects. For example, I am putting together a video together for customers describing the trail and demo’s system and how it work. I am also redoing the customer service page on the Infinera hub and well has updating the marketing slides.

I have had a blast working at Infinera so far! I really like that I have made a working relationship with my boss and find her easy to approach when I have problems. I also like that I have become close to some of the other interns and summer work program students.

When I first came to Infinera I thought that I would be working with nerdy, serious people. This has not, however, been the case. The people that work here are easy to talk to, fun to hang out with, and are just generally good people.

I have learned plenty from my experiences here and I am sad that this will be my first and final year at Infinera. Hopefully in the near future I will be able to acquire an internship here.

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“Who are you calling a pin head?”

pinhead larry

Infinera Interns and Summer Work Program Students Go Bowling

Story by: Devon MacDonald

Illustrations by: Casey Truong


On the morning of July 16th, 32 wide eyed interns and summer work students voyaged to Bowlmor in Cupertino from Infinera. Excitement filled the air as the young people took in the scenery, entering the building:



Overwhelmed with the sight of the lanes, the smell of the shoes, and the sound of the pins crashing, the youngsters formed teams:


The environment was very lively with music videos playing in the background:


Taking up their competitive nature, these kids put up quite the fight:


Banter and cheering boomed through the building as the interns and SWP students began to bond. Each strike, each spare, and each turn, only bringing them closer:


Playing to their strength’s two SWP student’s thought pool was the way to keep their cool:


The young interns and student’s journey came to an end. Exhausted, but happy, another bowling trip came to a close:


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Infinera, A Contender for the World Cup?

Is Infinera’s soccer team ready to compete in the World Cup, probably not but we sure have a ton of fun relieving stress during our afternoon lunch time soccer matches.  You have to have been under a rock for the past year if you are not familiar with soccer.  Soccer has become the most popular sport globally. This year’s world cup had the most viewers of any sporting event, ever. Soccer is fast becoming America’s sport is might just surpass Football or Baseball someday, imagine that.

Soccer is a sport where both boys and girls men and women can play equally.  Almost everyone either plays or knows someone who plays soccer.  Soccer mom has become somewhat of a household word. Mini vans with the stick soccer family decals have become cool. All these reason is probably why soccer is so popular with Infinera employees. If you happen to be one of those who love soccer we encourage you to come out and give it a try.



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