GIS Support Analyst, Redlands, CA - 20 June 2017
I enjoyed most of my time at Esri. It was my first job out of tech school and I couldn't have been more excited to be working for the industry leader in GIS. In support, there a couple of different shifts to choose from, which meant I could opt to work from 7, so I could leave earlier in the afternoon.
I learned way more in my 2 years as a support analyst there than I would have with any other organization. Dealing with clients in all states of mind was fantastic, I learned soft skills, like patience and compassion, which I have been able to take with me and use throughout my career. Technically, I became very resourceful and technically savvy, learning to think and talk on my feet, digging up answers without losing the client's confidence.
The biggest issue I had was the way the advancement worked. In order to apply for an internal position, be it within your current department or in another department, you need to have your managers permission. This leaves a lot up to subjectivity - if you are great at your job, they might want to impede your professional progress, so as not to lose you, if they like someone else better, they might sign off on their application, and not yours. These types of things happened often and made the environment less than pleasant for those affected. Managers were often promoted by way cronyism or nepotism, and not always leadership qualities and skills.
As an entry level position, the pay was OK, but not really good. Increases are based on "merit," which is determined by your manager. Sick, Bereavement and Vacation time available were bare minimum, health and dental coverage was excellent. Coming from another country, the recruiting staff were incredibly helpful with the immigration paper work and worked tirelessly to get me over some major hurdles and into my position there.