Vinesh talks about his role in Human Resources and offers insight into the process for employees who join Esri from other countries.
I’ve been here about three years. I actually started as a temp in a recruiting assistant role, working with two of our recruiters and the university relations coordinator. After about four months, I transitioned into my current role as Global Mobility Coordinator.
Explain the term global mobility for people who may not be familiar with it.
Global mobility includes everything about making sure people can live and work successfully in a different country, including analysis and support of relocation and compensation. Generally speaking, I make sure Esri’s domestic and international employees are working with legal status and they have no issues working or staying in the US. That is the simple way I describe it to my friends because you’re right: global mobility is confusing. I usually say “global mobility coordinator” or “I’m the immigration guy.” It’s about making sure that people can focus on their work and not have to worry about items related to the government and their stay here.
How did you end up at Esri?
It was by chance. I graduated in 2009 from the University of California Riverside (UCR), after which I took a little break and did some traveling. A friend called me one day and told me there was a career fair at UCR. It was late in the day, with only about 15 minutes left in the event, but I thought, “If I don’t try, opportunities will not come.” I had an informal chat with an Esri recruiter, who mentioned they were looking for a temp. It turned out to be a great fit, thankfully, and here I am. So everything was by chance, but hey, that 15 minutes changed my career because global mobility wasn’t something I ever imagined myself doing, or even knew the importance of at a company like this.
What was your original career goal?
My undergrad is in psychology and my master’s is a general MBA, but I focused on marketing and HR. Once I started here, it really wasn’t recruiting I was drawn to, but the interaction [with candidates]. Then I started working in global mobility, which is very specialized work. I enjoy talking with foreign nationals—I like to experience the various cultures we have here. And obviously, the environment at Esri is just very welcoming and kind of fun.
What other things about the job do you find rewarding?
Global mobility is such a niche field to be in, and prior to coming to Esri I didn’t really ever think about it. I knew people came from abroad to work here, but just assumed that they took care of it [authorization] themselves. What I like about my role is I’m the go-to person here, and there’s a big responsibility on my shoulders not only from an employment standpoint, but I essentially have a big effect on these individuals’ professional lives. It’s a big responsibility that I don’t take lightly. I also enjoy being the person who can help ease concerns or frustrations by being able to explain a process or immigration strategy. What we’ve found is people go online to various discussion lists and websites, and the information there is very unpredictable and often inaccurate. I’m here to reassure people and let them know things are going as planned. Also, knowing that I had a part in someone’s ultimate dream of becoming a US citizen or them and their family being able to stay in the US is very rewarding, especially considering my family did the same thing.
The other thing I like is my work is never the same. There will always be that one-off case where you’re thinking, “How are we going to figure this out?” We work with attorneys, we work with the government, and we come up with a plan and get it resolved. I keep those experiences in mind so the next time it happens, I can be the person who explains it, who reassures that employee, “Don’t worry; this has happened before. We took care of it.”
Do you think you’ll stay in this aspect of HR for a while, even though it isn’t necessarily what you planned on doing?
I think so. I want to further build my global knowledge. Esri is a perfect place to do that. We’re growing internationally, so my aim is to get that knowledge and build with them. I would consider myself a subject expert on the domestic side, at least when it comes to employment-based immigration, and now part of my focus needs to shift to the international side, where there are so many different things to learn because every country’s different.
Anything else you’d like to share?
I think it’s important for people to remember that to get a good job takes more than having an education; it’s also about your character. What are you willing to do to get where you need to be? You have to be prepared to start at the bottom and work your way up by showing what you can do. In my particular story, all I needed was 15 minutes (at the UCR career fair), and three years later, here I am.
Get to know other Esri employees at http://www.esri.com/careers/working-at-esri/profiles.