From Esri Intern to Campus Ambassador to Career Launch

Esri Campus Ambassadors are former interns and User Conference student assistants who have been chosen to promote Esri technology and career opportunities on their campus after returning to school in the fall. Melanie Rosenberg is a great example of how this experience can help launch a successful career.

What’s your background? Where did you go to school and what’s your degree in?
In 2013 I graduated from the University of Maryland (UMD) in three years with a bachelor’s in GIS and Remote Sensing and a Certificate in Latin American Studies. I continued my education and in 2015 I gained my master’s in GIS and Remote Sensing from UMD.

During my time in school, I worked full time as a graduate research assistant or research intern at NASA for three years on and off. I also interned at the Esri R&D Center–Arlington in 2014 on the Story Maps team.

What did you enjoy most about your time with Esri as a summer intern?
I enjoyed working with developers to learn how GIS is created and how they are constantly improving their products for their users’ benefit.

What were some of the more interesting projects you worked on?
I created a demo of story maps that would be used to unveil the Map Journal at the 2014 Esri User Conference in San Diego, California. I was given the opportunity to collaborate with some of the best executives in Esri as well as their partners. For another project, I helped build a custom Story Map exhibition for the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, DC. The exhibit was built to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act and was on display from September 2014 to May 2015.

Why did you want to be a part of Esri?
As a powerful company in GIS, I knew working at Esri would give me the tools I needed to excel in my field. I wanted to be a part of the products I was using in school. I wanted to help make GIS better for students, developers, and analysts and more accessible for a general audience.

How did you become a campus ambassador?
After excelling at my internship, I maintained relations with Esri as a campus ambassador. I wanted to promote the company to my peers at UMD because I had such a fantastic experience.

How did you get students on your campus involved in Esri events?
I participated in career fairs and “geography day.” I also presented to classes or clubs to inform students about the power of Esri’s products and how they can help continue the outstanding legacy of GIS.

Do you have any tips or advice for future campus ambassadors?
It is only what you make of it. Be sure to go out of your way to set goals for yourself. I decided to set a goal of at least three events per semester. This worked out well for me and I was able to promote Esri at a career fair, a club meeting or event, or in a classroom each semester. I was also able to aid students in the application process and answer any of their questions about interning for Esri.

Feel free to add anything else, either about your time as an intern and campus ambassador, or Esri in general.
Being an Esri campus ambassador was a great experience that led me to my current position. I am now a GIS Analyst and Consultant for NorthSouth GIS LLC, an Esri Gold Partner. I work with ports to implement Esri’s products and teach others how to maintain these large facilities with GIS. I was selected for my position because of my experiences with Esri and the skills I learned. I am grateful to Esri for the opportunities I had, and would recommend the 2016 summer internship to other students.

We’re now taking applications for the 2016 Esri Internship Program. Check out current opportunities and apply online. Maybe someday you’ll have a story to tell similar to Melanie’s.

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