Summer Member Spotlight 6
Our sixth Summer Member Spotlight goes to Mario Salazar who's been interning at Esri this summer.
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Checkout our previous Summer Member Spotlights:
- Joel Gomez at LinkedIn
- Elijah Marchese at NASA JPL
- Jessica Gonzalez at NASA JPL
- Valerie Chiou at Moody's
- Samuel Hwang at Applied Medical
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Mario goes into how he was selected, Esri's culture, impact, his experience as an intern, and his intern project.
Hello! My name is Mario and I am a 4th year Computer Science student at UCR. I landed an internship at Esri as a Software Security Intern.
The Selection Process
The selection process for me has been a bit unorthodox. I got a phone call from the Chief Product Security Officer Michael Young (UCR Alum), whom gave me a behavioral interview over the phone. I later received a follow up email from Corianne the University Programs, Program Manager. She sent me an offer letter and I accepted. Esri selected 115 out of the 10,000 applicants this year so it is fairly competitive, but a large number of interns are from UC Riverside!
Esri's Culture and Impact
Esri is the top GIS company in the world. It is privately owned by Jack and Laura Dangermond. The private ownership gives the company a customer-first approach to development. This is one of my favorite things about the company. You are catering to the end-user and receiving feedback from them to improve the products/services instead of being forced to focus on revenue by the board of directors in a public company.
Esri’s campus was designed by Jack Dangermond himself with his landscape architecture experience. The campus has an outdoors theme and it has 2 ponds that I usually have my lunch at. It’s a relaxing place to sit during lunch.
The hierarchy at Esri is very flat so there are less managers, which can be a good or bad. It’s a bad thing if you care about your job title and a good thing because there’s less hoops to jump through. Responsibilities may be added to contributors that could be considered managerial responsibilities. Although the position name might not change, employees are compensated for the additional work.
The Intern Experience
Esri hires a diverse group of undergraduate and graduate students from many schools all over the globe, which adds to the experience. There are a few major components to the Esri internship experience. Main project, User’s Conference and the intern hackathon. The main project of an intern at Esri varies based on your current team’s needs. From what I have experienced, it is always a meaningful active project that has an impact on Esri. Given Esri’s customer-centered focus, the company holds an annual User’s Conference at the San Diego Convention Center with over 15,000 attendees. I was not fortunate enough to go to the event, but my fellow interns have told me that it is a great experience and it gives interns a feel of Esri’s reach and culture. I was also unable to attend the intern hackathon, so I did not get to experience it. From what I saw, the hackathon builds teams of diverse interns varying from marketing to software development. Interns work on projects using the ArcGIS developer tools and present their final project.
The Intern Project
As my main intern project, I have been working on a Security Toolkit Library to standardize the implementation of security at Esri. I have learned a lot about security as an industry, the applications of security in a corporate environment and the implementation of crypto in software. I have been working directly with the Security Architect, Chief Product Security Officer and some consultants who are leaders in Software Security. It has been a rewarding experience that I have enjoyed and have gained tremendously from.