We’re well into summer, and most of us Esri interns are in the middle of our internships. Whether you are heading back to school in the fall or you are looking for a full time position, it is important that you give an internship everything you’ve got! In this interview with Lara McLaughlin, Esri’s Internship Program Coordinator and University Recruiter, you will hear what to do and what not to do as an intern from someone who works with students year round.
Describe your role at Esri.
This is my third year here, and since starting I have made a lot of changes to the internship program. I managed the internship program for my previous employer, so Esri hired me specifically to work on the program. Every year I am tasked with finding students and recent grads who may fit into Esri internships, and then I forward their resumes to hiring managers to see if they are a good match for their specific position.
What makes an internship during college so important?
Each year, the Esri International User Conference (UC) brings together thousands of GIS professionals as well as social, economic, business, and environmental leaders from around the world to get the latest Esri product updates, learn from each other, and hear from incredible keynote speakers. This year’s theme was “GIS–Creating our Future.” Esri president Jack Dangermond urged conference attendees to think about the issues our world is facing and how we can combat them using GIS.
This year’s UC attracted more than 16,000 attendees and took up the entire San Diego Convention Center. Help was certainly needed to pull off this huge event! That’s where participants in the Esri UC Student Assistantship Program come in. The assistants help with everything from registration to conference logistics to working in the Esri Store. As a thank you for their hard work throughout the week, they receive registration to the conference and hotel accommodations as well as a per diem allowance for meals.
By Guest Blogger Aradhya, Professional Services Intern
It’s been over a month now since I joined Esri as an intern and it’s been a fun experience so far. I am an international student at University of Redlands and will be graduating with my MBA in Global Business in August. Esri has already been a catalyst for many friendships and professional relationships. Since day one, my fellow interns and I have exchanged much more than just Facebook and LinkedIn requests. We have watched some FIFA world cup games together, visited a few exciting places in SoCal, and went to Redlands’ biggest 4th of July celebration at the U of R.
On Wednesday, interns had the chance to sit in on a brown bag presentation from two employees in Esri’s Professional Services Division. Chad Helm, who works in the extended support programs group, gave us a brief overview of the vast department, telling us about the various projects done by 600 employees all over the world. The Professional Services team supports customers and partners in effectively implementing and applying Esri software products. This may include short-term, in-house technical work or more long-term solutions projects.
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?
During the last week of June, interns were given the opportunity to sit in on some demonstrations in the Esri Applications Prototype Lab. These demos included looking at real-time social media trend maps, environmental habitat maps, and some 3D responsive design. For those of us not working in the APL this summer, these demonstrations were incredible to see. Just another cool piece of Esri that interns got a peek of.
A big thank you to Hugh Keegan and his team for taking the time to show us their stuff!
Who can believe tomorrow is the first day of summer already? Well, those of you who live in California don’t see much of a difference in temperature, but where I’m from, we got 132 inches of snow this year. Yikes!
Southern California is a great place to be during the summer months. From beautiful beach days to music festivals and other great events, there is plenty to do to maintain that work-life balance.
On Tuesday, Esri welcomed its last large group of interns to Redlands. A few more will be coming in over the next few weeks here and in regional offices. Today we had our second mixer breakfast, and this time the fun was a little more condensed. We sat at different tables with new faces and had to fill out some challenging brain teasers. Surprisingly, the biggest challenge of the morning was trying to get everyone in a group picture!
Have a great summer, interns!
Curious what interns did at the first mixer? Find out here.
In the scheme of things, the terms user experience and user interface are relatively new to the technology world. Even the job title User Experience Architect is unfamiliar to many of us. But for Steven Nelson, it’s his nine-to-five.
Steve works in the Creative Lab, or the “creative arm of Esri,” as he likes to call it. Simply put, his job in user experience is to help map out applications that are intuitive and simple to use for consumers with various technology skill levels. Steve works closely with user interface (UI) architects who work on an application’s “front end” to make it both visually appealing and easy to follow. Together these two groups take an application from a simple idea to a useful end product.
TGIF, am I right? From everyone in Esri offices near and far, we hope you have a great, relaxing weekend!