It is my thinking that when a college student is offered an internship (after the “Will I be paid?” question is answered), they wonder if the work they do will actually benefit the company in the long run. For some companies, yes. For many others, probably not. It is part of the questionable catch 22 of gaining experience. How does one get significant experience before graduating college and getting a real job? And how do we even know if we will enjoy doing what we majored in?
Frankly, I think the true sign of enjoying what you do comes when you realize you’ve been at something a whole month and it doesn’t even feel like that. I started May 28th and here I am now, wondering how I only have 6 weeks left at Esri. A lot has happened in these four and a half weeks. I’ve been helping develop an Esri campus ambassador program to start this fall, I’ve written numerous blog posts and Facebook updates, and I even learned to use some of the basics of ArcGIS Online to create a story map. When have you ever heard of a marketing intern using HTML 5 to develop and change content? A month ago, I didn’t even know what GIS was.
There are multiple facets of this internship that I could talk about, but there have been a few things that stand out:
- I have been working a lot with internship and recent graduate recruiting, focusing on developing content that will draw students to Esri. Even those with little working experience play a vital role in Esri’s success. The recruitment marketing and university relations teams go out of their way to make sure they are finding the right people to come on board and that they are providing resources to help prospective employees see their future with Esri. This company is doing something special, and I don’t think many people realize how important a role Esri will play in the near future. I’m finding that I am very proud to be a part of that.
- I may be a marketing intern, but I have learned things I never would have expected to. Even more important, I see how these learnings fit into the marketing I am doing and will do throughout my life. I’ve sat in on presentations ranging from location analytics to user experience to watching 3D demonstrations in our Applications Prototype Lab. I built robots in high school. I thought I wanted to be an engineer. When I realized that wasn’t the direction for me, I thought I’d never get another chance to use cool technology in my job. But I was wrong. Even in my internship, I am learning things that I couldn’t possibly be taught in a marketing class. I like to think that Esri has helped put me a cut above the rest of the young marketers out there by showing me the tools to understand our world.
- The people. Even though I think it’s cliché to say that everyone in the company is so nice and approachable, I’m going to say it. I have a fantastic supervisor who has an open door policy, and in most of my work, it feels as though we are collaborating rather than her just giving me busy work. Not only that, but I have met and worked with people from other areas of the company, and each time, they are friendly and want to share with me what they do at Esri. This isn’t just a marketing plug for me either; this company truly embodies a collaborative environment.
Thankfully, I’m not done yet. I still have multiple projects to work on, User Conference to attend, and much more to learn about everything Esri is doing. Thank you to everyone who makes this yearly internship program possible!