Hitting the Internship Jackpot

By Guest Bloggers Sara, Professional Services; Melanie, Support Services; Stacey, Education Content; and Kristen, Marketing/Industry Solutions

No matter how great the area, the job, or the people, new experiences can be hard to grapple with—especially when you move to a new location. Having a strong support system during these transitions is really important, and that’s what we got from each other.

As far as summer jobs go, the four of us know that we hit the internship jackpot this year. To say that we have been lucky to have the chance to spend a summer in Southern California with intern duties that go far beyond the stereotypical coffee retrieval would be selling our experiences short. Here at Esri, we have not only had the chance to put our educational and career experiences to work in roles that resemble full-time employees, but we have also had the opportunity to form strong friendships.

Every year, Esri attracts a wide variety of students from all over the country to participate in its summer internship program. Although most interns share a common love of all things geography, the scope of student backgrounds is vast. In mid-May, the four of us came together to begin our 12 weeks as interns and found that we all had much more in common than our resumés may have initially suggested:

  • Sara from North Royalton, Ohio, is a geography master’s student at the University of South Carolina.
  • Melanie from Phoenix, Arizona, is a recent graduate of the University of Arizona with a bachelor’s in geography/GIS.
  • Stacey, from Fonthill, Ontario, is a recent graduate from the University of Miami with a master’s in geography and will begin a Ph.D. in social studies education at the University of Georgia this fall.
  • Kristen from Stow, Ohio, is a rising senior and marketing major at Boston College.

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Intern Perks: Free Training and Being Part of UC

By Guest Blogger Owen, Solution Engineer Intern

On two occasions during my time at Esri I had the opportunity to take training courses, taught by highly knowledgeable Esri staff. This was definitely a highlight to being an intern at Esri. The first class I enrolled in was Introduction to Geoprocessing using Python, which taught me basic Python scripting and workflow automation. The other class I took was Creating Effective Web Applications, an overview of concepts in web app development. I learned the basics of the ArcGIS JavaScript API and how to make GIS content easily accessible to wider audiences.

I can describe Esri training as worthwhile—I came into the courses knowing very little about the subjects and left with good understanding. I felt confident enough to deploy what I learned in various projects throughout the summer because I had gained valuable hands-on experience.

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An Intern’s Observation: Esri Employees Passionate about their Work

By Guest Blogger Deepak, Professional Services

I am working as a summer intern in Professional Services at Esri’s headquarters in Redlands, CA. I have seven years of work experience in various multinational companies and I am currently pursuing an MBA from the University of Arizona. My goals for this internship were to get real-time experience in managing large technology projects and developing technology strategies for clients.

I am working primarily with the Technical Advisor Team which supports Esri Extended Support Programs such as the Enterprise and Business Partner Advantage Programs. As a technical advisor, you have to understand clients’ business needs and develop a technology strategy that aligns to these needs. This summer I have been attending technical planning sessions and client calls, as well as helping the team with developing high-level work plans for these clients.

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Hot Job: Solutions Product Engineer

Are you an accomplished GIS professional looking for a career change? Leverage your experience to provide technical vision, design, and project leadership in this position serving as a product evangelist for Esri solutions. In this role, you’ll work with lead software engineers to define, build, and release GIS software; capture key user workflows and functions that will be engineered into the software; and define and execute software testing activities.

Chris, the recruiter for this position, says, “The cool thing about the solutions team is that the solution products built are often borne out of project work from our professional services consulting engagements.”

Qualifications include three or more years of work experience as a software product engineer or in a position with similar responsibilities, direct experience and knowledge of applying GIS technology in new and innovative ways, and demonstrated creative problem-solving skills and ability to propose solutions. Programming background with languages such as C#, Java, Silverlight, or Flex and project management or planning experience on project teams are a plus.

Think this might be what you’re looking for? Read the full job description.

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An Intern’s Observation: The Power of ArcGIS

By Guest Blogger Brian, Support Services

I’m spending the summer as a Desktop Support Services Intern in the beautiful city of Charlotte, North Carolina, where Esri’s Eastern Support Unit is located. I am currently in between my first and second year of graduate school at Appalachian State University where I am continuing my studies in GIS and Renewable Energy site location. I received a B.S. degree in geography with a concentration in GIS from UNC Charlotte.

Staff from Esri’s Charlotte office consistently visit universities around the state, including Appalachian State, UNC Charlotte, and UNC Chapel Hill. During these visits, I had the great opportunity of meeting a number of support analysts and felt that Esri had a lot to offer, not only technically but the people seemed so happy and grateful for their job. Knowing that Esri is such a leader in geospatial technologies, it has always been my goal to land an internship or job here.

Brian (left) and support analyst Ian give two thumbs up
after helping a customer resolve an issue.


Being in a Technical Call Center was a little disconcerting at first, as I have always had the perception that support centers are just places where people read off scripts and provide basic troubleshooting steps to clients. “Turn off your modem, wait 30 seconds, plug it back in. What lights are being displayed?” This is not what Esri support is like in the least. We interact with our customers almost as though we are mini-consultants. We work through their problems with them and help them achieve their end goal. Every problem is different, and it is necessary to be fluent in all aspects of the technology because you never know what kind of call you are going to receive next. This has opened my mind to the power and potential held within ArcGIS.

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Attending SIGGRAPH? Two Ways to Meet Esri Staff!

SIGGRAPH Conference
August 7-9, 2012
Los Angeles, CA

It’s described as “the world’s premier conference on computer graphics and interactive techniques.” A few years ago when Esri first participated in the job fair at SIGGRAPH, attendees were probably wondering why a mapping software company was there. As Esri’s technology has continued to evolve and with the acquisition of Procedural Inc. and CityEngine, now more than ever we fit right in. As a matter of fact, if you attend SIGGRAPH this year, you’ll see that Esri also has a large presence in the main exhibit hall.

I spent a few minutes with Jason, one of the recruiters who will be at the job fair, to learn about the skills he’s hoping to find in the candidates he meets and what makes SIGGRAPH different for Esri this year.

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My Life as a Summer Intern, Part 2

By Guest Blogger Zack, Support Services Intern

Left to right Zack, Sara, Mike, Philipp, Kristen, and Kiril
on a recent lunch break in the Esri Café.

Not knowing many people in this part of the country, I wondered what I would do to unwind during my off-duty hours this summer, since I’m a firm believer in work–life balance. To my relief, it was easy to make friends in the internship program, and it will be difficult saying goodbye when my 12 weeks here are completed. I’ve gotten to know many of the other interns over lunchtime chats in the Esri Café or at one of the scheduled networking events, but it’s still nice to relax and spend time with each other outside of the workplace.

Luckily, there is no shortage of opportunities for fun social outings during time off regardless of where one’s interests lie, from catching a baseball game to seeing a musical performance or national park. Centrally located in the Inland Empire region of Southern California, Redlands is a short drive from cities like Los Angeles, Palm Springs, and San Diego. Weekend trips to visit friends or family, shop, or just lounge at the beach are tempting options. One highlight of my summer was going to Las Vegas, NV for an exciting weekend getaway.

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Nine Esri Employees Awarded Scholarships

Esri and the University of Redlands are proud to announce the induction of nine new scholarship recipients to the Esri Fellows Program. Established in 1999, this program provides selected Esri employees with full tuition scholarships to attend evening and weekend courses at the University of Redlands School of Business towards completion of either an undergraduate or graduate level degree.

This year’s recipients are from Product Development, Technical Support, Professional Services, Contracts and Legal Services, Customer Service, and Marketing. One is completing a bachelor’s degree and the others will be obtaining master’s degrees.

Julie, ArcGIS for Server product manager, said, “It is an honor and privilege to be chosen for Esri’s scholarship program. My vision is to become a true problem solver utilizing GIS and industry knowledge by earning a master’s degree in GIS, combined with unparalleled experience, enabling Esri’s users to achieve success. I am especially excited for the master project. My plan is to investigate opportunities with the GIS community to select a project that could have a positive impact on real-world issues, and work with mentors at Esri to design a state-of-the-art solution to the problem.”

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Working on All Things GIS

By Guest Blogger Owen, Solution Engineer Intern

My studies of geography at the University of Colorado gave me an introduction to GIS and Esri. This brief experience sparked great curiosity of GIS—the problems the technology can solve and the positive impacts it can have on people—so I eagerly applied to be a summer intern at Esri. When I first heard the news I was going to work at the Denver regional office as a solution engineer intern, I was ecstatic. With two months of school left, I began researching Esri and the many industries the ArcGIS system is used in, and I was amazed. I let my mind wander through all of the possible projects I could take part in.

The moment I walked in the door I could feel the energy and enthusiasm that every employee has for Esri and GIS technology. When I met the team of solution engineers, a creative GIS tech-savvy bunch, I knew immediately that it was a great fit. I thought to myself, “This is going to be great, coming here every day this summer and working on all things GIS!” The work environment is friendly and team oriented. I have had the opportunity to learn from and work with many teams in the office, encouraging me to expand my knowledge of Esri and GIS.

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