Before coming to Esri in 2007, I was working full-time and pursuing a master's degree in business administration. As I was nearing graduation, I attended a career fair Esri had on its campus. Even though my undergrad is also in business administration with a minor in marketing, my experience at Enterprise Rent-A-Car was a good fit for a position in Purchasing.
I started off as a buyer and eventually was promoted to senior buyer and then team lead. In my current role, I mainly support the purchasing needs of Human Resources and Events Marketing, as well as work on strategic sourcing initiatives, contract negotiations, and requests for proposal (RFPs). Purchasing has evolved from being solely transactional to a more strategic department; we look to add value to anything we do. More and more departments are coming to us and asking us to be involved with their projects, whereas before we’d only be involved when it was time to process a purchase order.
In our department, almost everyone starts from the same place handling the same commodity, office supplies. We cross-train with other commodities as well, so if a buyer is out of the office, anyone else can process an order, whether it’s an assistant buyer, senior buyer, or a team lead. We also work closely with the Contracts Department, as we handle many contracts and carefully review the terms and conditions to negotiate the best deal for Esri.
I’m involved with the Esri Toastmappers Club, a Toastmasters International club available for Esri employees. It's a great place for employees to develop their communication and leadership skills. English is the second language for a good portion of our members, so the club provides a great opportunity for them to practice their English.
One of the things I like best about Esri is that we are a big corporation, yet we still have a small business feel. Everyone's very down-to-earth and collaborative; we still feel like one big family, and that's what I really enjoy.