Getting to Know Esri Support: Scott H.

Blog Post created by GLehner-esristaff Employee on Sep 26, 2014
BScott-Harris-150x150.jpgringing you another member of our support staff! Our Marketing team talked to Desktop analyst Scott Harris about his love for his job and the work he does daily in solving problems and finding solutions.Tell me about yourself. What is your background?

I took my first GIS class when I was pursuing my Bachelor’s degree at Keystone College in Pennsylvania. I did a few projects while I was there, one of which was making some campus maps using ArcView 3.2 (which seems primitive today). I ended up getting my degree in Environmental Resource Management and then spent a bit of time out of the GIS field doing environmental testing. After that I became a GIS tech for the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where again I was using Esri software. Later, I went back for my Master’s degree in geoenvironmental studies - and then I ended up at Esri.What do you do at Esri?

I’m a Support Analyst on the Desktop Team. It makes really great sense for me because I’ve always been sort of a tech geek. I love computers and even build my own, and did so during college as well. I also felt that having a background in GIS and technology/software would help me in a technical support role. When users call in, generally the first thing we have to do is assess their knowledge of the software and of GIS in general. Then we will walk them through the issue, maybe share screens, and see if there’s a bug of some sort or it’s a user issue.Why Esri? How did you find out about the company and what sparked your interest?

I had an internship with the US Forest Service during my undergraduate years and we were using Esri software, so that was my first real, in-depth introduction to Esri. When I worked for the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy, I attended the Esri User Conference. So it wasn’t just a job I found; I had experience with the products and I knew a lot about what they were doing at the time, so I was interested in building a career here.What do you like best about your job? What’s the coolest thing about working for Esri?

For me, I think the best part is the good feeling you get when you solve a user issue. There’s a little rush when you figure something out before you move onto the next task. That happens a couple times a day. Plus, all of my co-workers are all really knowledgeable and helpful and I’ve learned a lot from them. My mentor, in particular, has taught me quite a bit.You moved here from Seattle to work for Esri. What does Redlands have that Seattle doesn’t?

When I got my interview with Esri and we took the trip into Redlands, we decided it was a great place for both of us, and we’re hoping to start a family here when that time comes. I also like that you easily have access to the mountains and the beach, and if you need to go to the city, Los Angeles is a short distance away.Do you have any advice for students looking for a job they will love?

It’s important to get as many experiences as you can, either through an internship or a campus job. You never know where you might make a connection and ultimately get a job, so try not to burn any bridges! You’ll always need your references, too. Also, by any means, don’t give up! It took me a long time to settle down and find a job I love. You might be frustrated for the first couple of years, but you also might find something you love right away.

Thank you for the great advice, Scott!
Katherine D. - Strategic Marketing Intern