Julia Bell Headshot

 

BSOS ALUMNI CAREER SPOTLIGHT: Julia Bell

Title: Solution Engineer, National Government Defense Team

Major:  Geographic Information Systems & Environmental Science and Policy

Class Year: 2018

LinkedIn Profile

 

 

 

 

What is a typical day like in your position? 

 In my role, each day is a little bit different. My day-to-day can include anything from meeting with customers, whether that be virtually or in person, giving workshops or demos on our technology, and attending conferences and staffing the Esri booth or giving presentations. My downtime is typically spent working on building new demos to show customers and attending trainings to ensure I'm as up to date as possible on our new technologies. 

 

 

What do you enjoy most about your current position?

In my current role, I have the ability to travel a lot, which I really enjoy. I work on the defense team at Esri, primarily supporting the Marine Corps, so I have the opportunity to travel all around the country and the world to visit customer sites, attend conferences, and present Esri technology to customers. So far, I've been to places like San Diego, Charleston, Colorado, St. Louis., and the United States Military Academy. As COVID-19 ends I will be able to travel more abroad as well which I am very excited about. My company is also really great about allowing us to extend our work trips to add personal time, so I can really take advantage of this and explore the places that I am sent in addition to working.

 

 

How has your coursework helped you in your current position?

The technical GIS skills that I obtained while at UMD have been integral for my current role. I also benefitted a lot from presentation/communication classes that I took as well since my current role involves a lot of presenting and talking to customers. I also learned valuable research and problem solving skills which help me out a ton when I run into issues with the software or need to figure out how something works. This saves me a lot of time and resources.

 

 

Which undergraduate experiences did you find most helpful in preparing you for your current position?

For me, internships were definitely the most helpful to prepare me for my current role. I interned with my current company for two summers before being hired on full time. My internships helped me explore my interests, gain experience, hone my technical and communication skills, as well as show me what I did and didn't like about certain jobs. Before GIS, I interned at an environmental research lab. While I learned a lot there, I quickly learned that environmental research was not for me, and was able to explore different options that were better for me. 

 

 

Any job advice for students seeking a position in your field?

My number 1 piece of advice would be to do as many internships as you can. They are so valuable and important for gaining experience which will set you apart when applying for full time positions. Also, I would encourage students to apply for internships even if they don't feel qualified for them. Esri internships are very competitive and I never imagined I would be selected when I applied, but I was. If I hadn't applied for that internship 5 years ago, I wouldn't be where I am today.

 

 

Advice for students:

Try to make as many connections as you can in your field and don't be afraid to reach out to people in positions that interest you. Most people, myself included, will be happy to sit down with you and discuss their careers and how they got to where they are.

 

 

Anything else you want to share with undergraduates? 

Try to make as many connections as you can in your field and don't be afraid to reach out to people in positions that interest you. Most people, myself included, will be happy to sit down with you and discuss their careers and how they got to where they are.