This summer a record 37 students were part of the DigitalGlobe (DG) 2016 Internship Program, contributing their talents, curiosity and enthusiasm to multiple departments at DigitalGlobe U.S. sites—Colorado; Northern Virginia; and, Florida. For three months, the interns learned about the DigitalGlobe business and got real-world experience completing projects that will continue to add value long after the summer. And for many, the work will continue. More than half of the interns will be staying on during the school year, and some will transition to a full-time position after graduation.
DigitalGlobe introduced a formal program just three years ago in the spirit of cultivating future talent and introducing students to a career path. During this summer’s program, the interns got an inside view of the purpose and mission of the company and of how their college coursework translates into real-world experience. Among the many activities, the students met with CEO Jeff Tarr over coffee and got to ask him questions about the business. Interns got more face-to-face time with senior leadership in Colorado at lunches with Grover Wray, the SVP of Human Resources, and Stephanie Georges, SVP of Strategy, Marketing and Communications, and in Northern Virginia with Tony Frazier, SVP and General Manager of the Services business. They took a tour of the Mission Operations Center and tried their hand at calibrating one of our satellites. They participated in an Emergenetics session to gain insights into how to think and work effectively with other personality types, as well as had a resume critique workshop to help them with their future job search. Fun group events were also thrown into the mix: happy hours, Frisbee golf on the DG Westminster campus and team building at X-Arena, an indoor gym with a range of challenging activities, from climbing to obstacle courses.
“Our emphasis with the program is to have interns work on a significant value-added project that reflects their major and addresses a real need in the company,” said Katie Levine, Senior Talent Acquisition Analyst who leads the internship program. “The program concludes with each intern doing a final presentation about the project they tackled, the output and impact of their months of work. And they all did some amazing projects.”
Interested in joining our 2017 Internship Program? Check out our career’s page in November to see what internship opportunities we have available: http://microsites.digitalglobe.com/careers/
In the meantime, hear from some of the 2016 interns about what they did this summer:
Adrienne Johnson, Graphic Design Intern
Recent Graduate of University of Florida, degree in Graphic Design and Advertising
As a member of the Creative Services, I worked on the design of Corporate Marketing collateral and communications, including social media and web advertisements, internal icons and logos, external and internal event materials, wayfinding, printing of posters, banners and design materials, and updating and organizing existing brand elements and visuals. In addition to that experience, I met company leaders, built connections with other interns, and got insight into what happens behind the scenes in satellite operations.
My favorite part of this internship has been learning how a creative team that is part of corporate marketing works within a large company. The genius of those on my team shines through in the visuals and campaigns they create daily. I believe in DigitalGlobe’s purpose, enjoy the company culture, and have gotten elbow deep in graphics that truly reflect the brand. And I have come to realize this: No task is mundane when you’re designing for something bigger and better than yourself!
The time I spent at DigitalGlobe this summer was a success thanks to a great company, a great team, and a great group of interns. DigitalGlobe is full of amazing people, and the company has capabilities unmatched in the industry. There is no other company that can take 30 cm resolution images from space, and with that incredible technology has such a global, world-changing impact.
As an intern on the Learning and Development team at DigitalGlobe, I got a breadth of hands-on experience. I was able to create graphic designs as part of a learning journal for employees and also facilitated multiple learning programs that were a positive addition to the company. The projects I worked on will have a long-lasting impact companywide, and it was great to have the opportunity to make a difference.
The internship was, in one word, amazing. I put the skills acquired during my undergraduate study to work analyzing a dataset no one had analyzed before, which means I was the first to extract meaning from data. That was a cool feeling. I figured out how weather forecast quality varied across different regions of the globe, and which source DigitalGlobe should use to get the most accurate weather information for a specific region. The information was used to plan the collection of imagery, I was immediately able to see how I was making a contribution to the business.
Outside of my particular project, my favorite part of my internship was the people I met, the connections I made in the company, and the many activities I was involved in. From the intern events, meetings and conversations by the coffee machine I learned so much about DigitalGlobe as a company, a culture and a great place to work. I can’t wait to see where all this takes me next.
I split my time between assisting with marketing efforts for strategic partnerships and writing technical proposals for many imagery products and services. I was unsure if my training in English Literature would translate to technical writing for a satellite company but I was welcomed enthusiastically to the team and immediately got to work on fascinating projects. My colleagues were brilliant people who treated me as a valued employee—not an intern—from the moment I was hired. This was one of the reasons I loved spending my summer at DigitalGlobe along with the welcoming nature of every employee I met. DigitalGlobe’s open-door policy allowed me to set up meetings with people across the company to learn about what they do and how their position contributes to DigitalGlobe’s overall success. I was able to learn about things ranging from the technical detail of how satellites work to the way DigitalGlobe leverages its imagery to enable freedom and save lives around the world. This was a summer of learning.
Despite busy schedules, DigitalGlobe leaders met with interns and eagerly provided advice and answered questions about DigitalGlobe, their careers, and leadership styles. Having spent my previous summer scooping ice cream, this was a surprise and an incredible opportunity to learn about the internal workings of business from the executive level.
My work supported Seeing a Better World®—which is both the DigitalGlobe purpose and a program to help international development organizations gain access to our imagery and data. I’ve found that the best way to illustrate the scope of information that satellite imagery can provide is through examples.
Here are a few of my favorites:
- When large scale natural disasters occur, DigitalGlobe provides open imagery to assist humanitarian relief efforts. For example, the Ecuador earthquake in April 2016. The Humanitarian OpenStreetMap team adds DigitalGlobe’s imagery to its online mapping platform where hundreds of thousands of volunteers identify destroyed buildings and impassable roads, quickly generating maps that can be used by response teams.
- DigitalGlobe high-resolution imagery and geospatial analysis of Garamba National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo was used to identify likely locations of elephant poaching enabling park rangers to focus their resources in those areas.
- DigitalGlobe satellite imagery was used to create population estimates of remote communities in Afghanistan so that health response teams could deliver sufficient supplies of polio vaccines. Buildings were first identified by computer algorithms, and then a DigitalGlobe Tomnod campaign enlisted volunteers to verify. Once 50,000 square kilometers of imagery was verified, population data was distributed across the verified settlements, and shared with healthcare workers on the ground.
Compared with other internships where I was given smaller, sideline tasks this summer I felt like a valued and contributing member of the DigitalGlobe team. I have had incredible exposure to the uses and potential of geospatial information and mapping, and I can’t wait to use that knowledge as I continue in my graduate studies.