By Erika, Professional Services Intern
Every college student wants that dream internship where they can learn and grow in a professional environment while simultaneously loving what they are doing. I never thought I would be one of those lucky people that can’t stop talking about their internship and annoying all their friends with every detail, until luck struck me and I was hired at Esri as a summer intern! As a recent graduate from UC Riverside and an Inland Empire native, I had always heard great things about Esri and I was so excited to spend my summer learning more about the company. (Editor’s note: Inland Empire refers to the metropolitan area surrounding Redlands.)
Through the course of my internship, the one thing that stood out the most was the incredible people that make up the company. The Esri culture is truly something special. From day one, my coworkers were warm, welcoming, and willing to help. No one ever made me feel like there was a “dumb question” and I soon felt right at home. My mentor went above and beyond in teaching me skills that I can use for the rest of my career.
My role was to assist Professional Services staff with the planning and coordination of their presence at the Esri International User Conference in San Diego. After ten weeks of preparation, attending the conference was the icing on the cake. I finally had the chance to see everything that I had been working on come to life. I remember feeling so proud on the first day when I ran into a lady reading one of the fliers I helped create and choosing presentations she was interested in attending at the Professional Services Island. I was in awe and inspired to see thousands of people in the convention center wanting to make a difference in our world using GIS. There were organizations represented from all over the world, and everyone in attendance wanted to learn more and share knowledge. In addition to the conference, I had the chance to enjoy sunny San Diego in the evenings, grab a bite to eat in the Gaslamp Quarter, and even attend a Padre’s game.
Of course, I would be lying if I said there were never any embarrassing moments – like how I never found out the combination to remove my laptop from the charging station (what was the point of a laptop if I could never disconnect it and carry it around with me?). It was “fun” explaining that to my manager when he asked me where my laptop was upon arrival at the conference. Nonetheless, I gained valuable experience and I can now look back and laugh at the silly things I did. It was great to come to work every day and know that I was part of a company that is positively impacting our world. To me, interning at Esri was not merely a job, but a chance to contribute to a company that is doing something great: transforming our world with GIS.
Interested in joining Esri as an intern next summer? We begin accepting applications in the fall. Visit esri.com/students for more information.