Before coming to Esri in 2007, I was the GIS manager for a southeast regional engineering firm in North Carolina, where I managed the GIS program for nine offices. I was also an Esri authorized instructor, so I had a lot of interaction with Esri through regional offices as well as Esri conferences. Word of mouth got around that I was looking to make a change, and an Esri recruiter contacted me.
I had no defense background before coming here; it was mostly environmental. I did my undergrad studies in natural resources and was taking more of an environmental focushow to apply GIS and geography to solve today’s environmental problems. When I went on to grad school, I switched to a technical program and got my master’s in spatial information science, a mix of GIS, remote sensing, and imagery analysis. After graduating, I wanted a technology-focused career working with cutting-edge systems. When you look at the different industries out there, what’s cutting edge is really the defense and intel world, which is why I wanted to make the jump from environmental.
There are really two sides of what I do in Defense Services. The first is managing projects. Typically, I manage large-scale projects, so in a given day I coordinate the work of our technical leads, manage the budget and schedule, and work closely with customers to understand their technology requirements. I also get involved in business developmentgoing to conferences, reaching out to customers, understanding customer requirements, and turning those into Professional Services projects, as well as driving those customer requirements back to our core development team to help improve the next release of ArcGIS.
One of the things I really find interesting about working in Defense Services is that our customers have a mission-critical need for our software, something you don’t always find in other industries within Esri. It’s pretty exciting to know you’re making a differencehelping save lives.
At Esri you’re working with the world leader in GIS. You’re at the doorstep of cutting-edge technology; you’re implementing the latest and greatest. I’ve been a consultant/project manager at other companies, as well as a user, and you’re always one step behind the latest release. Here, you’re not. Here, we’re in the process of developing a future product release, and we already have projects building on the latest version before it’s been released to the public. If you’re a GIS professional, that’s something you can’t find anywhere else.
Sound interesting? Search current openings in Professional Services and Consulting.