Category Archives: Work-Life Balance

First Day of Summer 2014!

Who can believe tomorrow is the first day of summer already? Well, those of you who live in California don’t see much of a difference in temperature, but where I’m from, we got 132 inches of snow this year. Yikes!

Southern California is a great place to be during the summer months. From beautiful beach days to music festivals and other great events, there is plenty to do to maintain that work-life balance.

If you’re in Redlands, make sure to check out:

The Redlands Bowl: Every Tuesday and Friday evening during the summer, the Redlands Bowl Summer Music Festival draws thousands to its world-class performances (free of charge!). Since its inception in 1923, an estimated eight million people have attended an evening of entertainment under the stars at the Redlands Bowl.

Picnic in the Park: Looking to get the kids out to run around? Pack a picnic or grab food from a local restaurant and head out to one of many beautiful parks in Redlands. People rave about Caroline Park and Prospect Park!

Market Night: Although it takes place year-round, summer is an especially good time to take in Market Night. Visitors are welcomed into an inviting atmosphere complete with historic buildings, brick sidewalks, and charming shops and eclectic restaurants. Crowds are pleasantly surrounded by over 150 food, produce, and merchandise booths every Thursday night.

4th of July Celebration: Once again, the University of Redlands will host one of the largest Independence Day celebrations in the state of California. There will be music and entertainment and a spectacular fireworks show!

There are also some beautiful walking tours of historic houses and gardens, bike trails, parks, and plenty of dining options to satisfy any craving.

But that’s not all! Southern California is full of summer surprises. You can climb the mountains in San Bernardino or head down to the San Diego Zoo. And the best part? You can get around SoCal in just a few hours, so you can plan a full day no matter where you’re heading off to!

Think you’ve seen/done it all? No way! Check out this story map of Southern California favorites: my SoCal

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Happy Friday!

TGIF, am I right? From everyone in Esri offices near and far, we hope you have a great, relaxing weekend!

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A New Face on the Marketing Team

One of the most common misconceptions about marketing, in my opinion, is it only encompasses one job function. Through my studies as a marketing major at Syracuse University, I have come to realize a marketing position is not just one singular role, and that’s what has attracted me to the field. What interests me about Esri is GIS is something relatively new in my life, and new is exciting. From what I do understand, I see the incredible power this technology has to map disease, help underprivileged communities, work on disaster relief efforts, and so much more. I am also beginning to see my role will encompass many areas of marketing, especially working on ways to attract students and new grads to the company, something I am excited to do!  

This summer I am an intern for the Strategic Marketing department, one of the many marketing groups at Esri. I will be working closely with our social media platforms including Facebook and Twitter, as well as writing blog posts about current happenings at Esri, intern events, and other big news. I will be learning about Esri technology (of which I don’t know a lot…yet) so I can utilize the software to create story maps for new programs and work on some that need updating. I will also be participating in some new project ideas that will hopefully take off in the near future. Additionally, I will get the chance to spend time at the Esri International User Conference in July where I will see a year’s culmination of work in one place!

Outside of work, I plan to get as much out of California as I possibly can. Coming from Connecticut and going to school in Central New York, much of my year is spent living under cloudy, dull skies. I am looking forward to spending some time at the beach, trying some local California brews, and seeing those well-known spots that all the tourists have to visit (like the Hollywood sign!?). I am looking forward to a great summer here in Redlands before I head back to Syracuse for my senior year.

Stay tuned to the careers blog to learn more about our interns, get some great career advice, and much, much more. I’m here until August!

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Business Analysts at Esri: Influencing Decisions, Sharing Knowledge, Always Evolving

I recently had the opportunity to get to know two members of our IST Division, Diana and Dimitri. We talked about what it’s like being a business analyst at Esri, what motivates them, and what skills are most valued in new recruits.

How long have you been with Esri?
Diana: I’ve been here over 14 years; the last 8 have been in IST. Before that, I was in the US Air Force.
Dimitri: I started January 2012, and prior to that I was an SAP consultant for 16 years.

Do you each have a specialty within the business analyst role?
Diana: It’s expected that we have the general skills of a business analyst—requirements gathering, processes, communications—that type of collaboration is needed. But we each also have specialized skills where we understand a particular product—in my case, Salesforce—and can take those requirements and figure out how to build them into the system.
Dimitri: When I got hired, I had the HR background from both the business and the SAP side, so it was easy for me to transition into my role here. Additionally, my prior consulting experience gave me the skills I needed to be a successful business analyst at Esri.

What’s the most rewarding part about being a business analyst at Esri?
Dimitri: For me, it’s helping our colleagues. If you think about it, I support HR and our HR team supports our employees, who build and support Esri products. We (business analysts) are indirectly helping the world, through Esri. That, to me, is the most rewarding thing—interacting with the business and sharing knowledge.
Diana: On our team, I love that they allow for creativity and they look to us for help; also seeing that we influence a user’s experience, whether it be a member of our Sales Division or our customers, because they see our product immediately. The fact that we can have that quick turnaround is awesome.

Are there things about working in IT at Esri that set us apart from other technology companies?
Dimitri: We’re not just standing back and saying, “Okay, everything’s working fine.” We’re always looking at how to improve.
Diana: I agree. We keep moving forward with processes and standards, and we keep evolving with what is new—both as a business analyst as well as with technology. We just keep improving.
Dimitri: I sit in meetings with the CIO. How often are business analysts sitting in a meeting with their organization’s CIO and he is really listening to what you’re saying? That to me is unheard of. We’re a flat organization, so you can exert a lot of influence as a business analyst, more than I think we could at most other companies our size.

What does Esri provide you to stay on top of trends and changing technology?
Diana: With Salesforce in particular, we have a user group that meets once a month here on site. We also have our own Esri-wide BA group that meets every two weeks to bring us all together to share best practices and what we are working on. Esri also offers tuition reimbursement, so you can take workshops and classes to learn on your own.

Are there other things you think potential applicants would find appealing, whether it’s about the work you do or Esri as an organization?
Dimitri: For me, zero for medical premiums, which is great. Not a lot of companies pay the full ride for medical and dental. The other thing for me is they’re big on work–life balance here at Esri; it’s flexible in terms of work hours. I don’t think I’ve been to a place that’s been as flexible.
Diana: As a Salesforce BA, I love that we’re on the cutting edge of incorporating features and abilities. We are allotted time to go to conferences, which is highly valuable because I bring the knowledge I gained back to my colleagues. It’s unheard of to be able to use all of the pieces that a company or a software tool is exposing. Our colleagues expect that we know what’s coming up and will be ready. That drives me to continue learning.
Dimitri: We don’t have that hierarchy that lots of companies have. In most places, they give you certain responsibilities and that’s it. I think here we still have that influence and when you say something, it’ll be taken into consideration.
Diana: Esri’s been awesome with allowing employees to grow and provide opportunities if you’re willing and want to excel and expand your horizons.

What do you think is the most important skill a potential candidate should have?
Diana: For me it’s a creative approach to problem solving and good communication. You also have to be flexible enough to adjust to changing priorities, from production issues to support.
Dimitri: I’d also say listening skills, because in order to gather requirements from your users you have to really listen to what they’re trying to achieve from a business perspective. I also think presentation skills are important, because we do have to present our findings and recommendations to the business. And, of course, technical skills are important because whether you’re a business analyst for Salesforce or if you’re in SAP, you need to understand the technology and how it can best be leveraged to achieve business goals.
Diana: You also need a customer service mindset. You may not talk to the customers, but because you’re influencing how they work, you need to have that insight.

Any other thoughts you’d like to share?
Diana: You definitely won’t get bored working here. Being a business analyst, you are challenged all the time. You get to know your colleagues, who can become your closest friends and like family.
Dimitri: You want to be with a company that’s growing, not a company that’s stagnating. You can see the growth at Esri—the new buildings and renovating existing ones, putting money into infrastructure, our products, hiring great people. So that actually shows that we’re getting Esri to that next level. Jack (Dangermond, Esri president) is very forward thinking in terms of where he wants to go, and I think that’s good because there’s a vision there. If you really want to have a long-term career here, you can.

Have a question for Diana or Dimitri? Email them via careersblog@esri.com. 

• See current opportunities in IT
• In SoCal? Visit the Esri booth at the Dice career fair in Anaheim June 19

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Get to Know Redlands

From its very own circus to locally brewed orange-inspired beer, from 16 parks to a high school with a working farm, discover some of the reasons why we feel Redlands is special.

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Job Hunting During the Holidays: Naughty or Nice?

Esri HR Partners Kristin, left, and Megan

For a lot of us, this time of year can be especially stressful … buying gifts, preparing special meals, and a full social calendar. But if you’re looking for a new job or considering a career change, you don’t have to put the job hunt on hold until after the New Year. Esri HR partners Kristin and Megan share some tips on how you can make the most of looking for a new opportunity during the holiday season.

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Get to Know the “IE” in Esri Story Map

Just East of Los Angeles, surrounding the Esri campus, resides a robust and active metropolitan area known as the Inland Empire. Check out the cultural—and crazy!—attractions that are all within a short drive of Esri. From fondue restaurants with live music to a museum dedicated to the history of aviation, the “IE” is not short on things to do and places to see.

The adventure starts here: http://ugis.esri.com/IETour/#

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Summer in Redlands: Something for Everyone!

By Maura, Strategic Marketing Intern

Summer has now officially begun, and Redlands and the surrounding areas are kicking their seasonal activities into full swing. Although within driving proximity to Los Angeles and San Diego, Redlands and nearby cities offer a wide variety of events closer to home.

Celebrate 4th of July in Redlands with a picnic in the park, family-friendly parade, and one of the largest fireworks shows in California. The opening ceremonies include a four jet flyover, a USAF C-17 flyover, and skydivers landing in the center of the stadium. Fun for all ages!

The Redlands Bowl Summer Music Festival offers free, live music on Tuesday and Friday nights. This year’s offerings include a Chinese dance company, Frank Sinatra and John Denver tributes, symphony concerts, a ballet, and The Sound of Music. All are invited to join in a community sing beforehand.

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A New “Face” on the Esri Careers Blog

Meet Maura, who will be a regular contributor to the blog this summer. Stay tuned for her posts on student programs, events for Esri interns, adventures around town and beyond, and much more.

Upon deciding to pursue a Geographical Studies undergraduate major, I began the prerequisite courses, one of which was a class on basic GIS. On my campus at the University of Chicago, few outside the Geographical Studies department have heard the terms “GIS” and “Esri.” However, after explaining to my peers what the software is, many claim some sort of knowledge, whether they used it at a previous internship or are familiar with its use in news articles, etc.

The class I took was also my first introduction to GIS. Although I am not tech savvy, I was greatly intrigued by the variety of uses for GIS in a multitude of fields. The study of geography is similar in this way: although united by one field, there are so many uses and paths one can follow in the exploration of geography and GIS that they are impossible to list. Thus, with a new interest in GIS and its uses in the everyday world, I jumped at the chance to intern at Esri.

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Special Guest Host for April’s #EsriJobChat on Twitter

We’re excited to have Christie Pleiss from our Professional Services division joining us for this month’s #EsriJobChat Thursday, April 18 at 4 p.m. Pacific.

Christie holds a bachelor’s in geography from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a master’s in civil and environmental engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She joined Esri in 2001 as a technical specialist/developer working on what is now known as ArcGIS for Aviation: Charting. In 2004 she became a member of the “Rent-a-Tech” team, providing customers with technology transfer and custom workshops for desktop and ArcGIS Engine development.

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