Alumni Profile: Hanu Mehrotra

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How did you get your job at Facebook?

I was looking to move to Silicon Valley from Seattle and was looking at high growth tech companies such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. I used Facebook’s graph search extensively to find ‘friends of friends’ who worked at these companies. I believed that Facebook connections were stronger than LinkedIn’s and were more likely to result in introductions and potential professional relationships. Once I had narrowed down my search to Facebook, I was able to get introduced to some ‘friends of friends’ at Facebook. These introductions provided a great opportunity to learn more about Facebook’s culture, fit with the roles, and eventually led to an interview opportunity through a referral.

A rendering of Facebook's data center in Altoona, Iowa.

A rendering of Facebook’s data center in Altoona, Iowa.

What does your position entail?  What kind of work do you do on a daily basis?

I am in the Infrastructure Finance team and our team’s key role is to build financial plans for Data Center, Network and Server hardware, analyze capital investments, and manage budgets to ensure Facebook’s site and apps have the performance and availability to serve its current and future users.

I am the finance lead for data center and my role is to manage global data center construction projects, analyze and plan data center expenditures and find efficiencies to control costs and maintain operational quality.

Can you tell me about your involvement with the data center Facebook is constructing in Altoona, Iowa?

Facebook is building its new state of the art data center in Altoona, Iowa. When this data center starts serving traffic in early 2015, we expect it to be supplied by 100% renewable energy, as tracked by renewable energy certificates, from a new wind project in nearby Wellsburg, Iowa. This is really exciting and inspiring as continued evolution of technology and ‘internet of things’ is hinged upon a sustainable infrastructure.

As a finance lead for this project, I visit the site to understand the project milestones, potential operational or schedule risks and work with our construction team to build accurate forecasts for expenditures. Also, understanding the nuances of data center construction help me build accurate models for analyzing rapidly evolving infrastructure technology and quantify pros and cons of different strategies.

How has your Tippie education helped you thus far in your career?

The connections I made with Tippie alumni allowed me to land jobs with AEGON and Microsoft, and I still use the skills and functional tools I learned on a daily basis.

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