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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