One of Esri’s newest employees is hitting the road this fall, possibly coming to a campus near you! Nick Kelch recently joined the university programs team and will be working closely with universities as well as helping build up Esri’s campus ambassador program. He will be using his background in technical recruiting and GIS to strengthen our efforts on campuses across North America.
What inspired you to want to be a part of Esri?
I’ve wanted to work at Esri ever since I learned of the company when using their software in school. At first it was a love/hate relationship because learning GIS can be difficult. After overcoming the initial challenge of learning the software, I developed a passion for the technology and its capabilities. It was once I realized the full potential of GIS that I was hooked, and I had been searching for a way to join Esri ever since.
What will you be doing in this new role?
I will be attending recruiting events throughout the year; meeting students, branding Esri on campus, and building relationships with professors. I am also coordinating our campus ambassador program, which is where we work directly with students to help us with our presence on their campus.
What innovative changes do you see coming?
One of the things I would like to do is add an aspect of gamification to the campus ambassador program, which would allow students to interact with each other more as well as allow for rewards and some friendly competition. Additionally, I plan on helping the HR team use Esri’s technology in our daily operations and analytics. There are a few other ideas that come to mind, but those are the ones I’m most excited for.
What are you looking forward to in your new role?
I’m excited for everything that is included with my job. I have the unique ability to build relationships with professors and students, and also internally with managers and co-workers. This provides me with the opportunity to hear the different ways GIS is being used and developed. GIS is everywhere, but you don’t necessarily notice it until you work at Esri where it’s visible in every department and it’s the center of almost every conversation. It’s really exciting to be part of that.
How will you describe Esri’s culture to students?
The atmosphere is like nothing I have ever seen. Everyone is so eager to help you achieve success, and they want you to be successful. You can do anything you want here and your ideas will be heard. Esri is all about helping the world become a better place. It’s everything I have ever wanted in a company.
What advice do you have for students?
It depends on their background. In general though, try for an internship, co-op, or assistantship to one of our conferences. Go to career fairs, build relationships with Esri staff, and build great relationships with your professors. They will speak on your behalf more than you realize. Take on extracurricular activities to become well rounded. Join a club and step outside your comfort zone. The biggest mistake I see is when students underestimate themselves and their skills.
What do you mean by underestimating themselves?
Students tend to underestimate themselves when it comes to their skills and previous work experience. All of their work experience is valuable to an employer, even if it isn’t directly related to the position they’re applying for. When they neglect to add in jobs or volunteer projects on their resumes, they are removing those skills and experiences. Additionally, it’s always better to show they did something over the summer or at a part-time job and gained more experience than have a gap on their resume. Lastly, students need to be specific in what they put on a resume because it shows a story of who they are and what they have done.
What is an activity you enjoy participating in outside of work?
I like to wood work, snowboard, and do 3D design. I also enjoy volunteering. Currently I’m working with True Friends, an organization that helps mentally challenged people form long-lasting friendships with each other by hosting events at their camp locations. I get to put my GIS skills to use by updating their camp and trail maps. I have enjoyed it so far, and I plan on finding other ways to help in the future.
Nick will be visiting schools across the US this fall with other Esri staff. Check our event calendar to see where we’ll be.