Sound like your scene this summer? Then look no further than Genscape — now hiring its 2016 summer intern class.
Local company, global impact
Founded in 1999, Genscape was the nation’s first supplier of real-time data for global commodity and energy markets. Today, they operate the world’s largest private and patented network of land, sea and satellite monitors that measure and track things like power, oil, natural gas, agriculture and maritime freight.
There’s hardly an area of the globe the company’s data doesn’t reach. So it’s impressive — surprising even — that much of the industry gets its information from right here in Louisville.
Derek Williams, a two-time Genscape intern and now a full-time systems administrator on the infrastructure team, was working part-time and pursuing his degree at University of Louisville when he was recruited as an intern in 2013.
“I was a little skeptical about it because I had a good, stable job that was helping to pay my tuition,” said Williams. “But touring the office, meeting the team, the conversation with my manager — that solidified it for me. Just seeing the camaraderie of the team and how welcoming everyone was.”
“It was a win-win,” said Williams. “They had a vacant role, and I loved what I was doing there. Plus, I was incurring a ton in student loans, so it was a better arrangement in the end.”
Williams has gotten a wide variety of experience, and two promotions, in his short time at Genscape: from setting up new employees, (“a great way to learn the technology stack and how to later automate processes”) to front-end support and troubleshooting, to now helping architect, build and manage the company’s rapidly growing cloud structure.
A place for proactive problem-solvers
Williams says Genscape is a place where employees are empowered to solve problems.
“It’s one of my favorite things about it,” said Williams. “If I find a problem, I want to solve it. And here you’re encouraged to do that; across the entire company, in a way that meets the business need, and without a whole lot of micromanaging.”
That philosophy extends to interns as well.
“Even as an intern, they tasked me with an automated notifications project,” said Williams. “They said, ‘Find a software that does this and implement it.’ They didn’t tell me how to solve it or what the right software was. I found it, implemented it, and it’s still running today.”
Real, meaningful work
At some companies, interns may find themselves relegated to monotonous tasks or unimportant work.
“Day one, I knew that wouldn’t be the case here,” said Williams.
“Managers develop thorough job descriptions and scope out meaningful projects that make a solid impact to the business,” said Sarah Madden, director of talent management.
Williams said, “It’s understood here that interns are energetic, eager to learn and smart. Across all verticals of the organization, every intern that comes to Genscape is doing work that matters.”
Genscape is looking to fill more than a dozen summer internships, both nationally and internationally, in everything from research and product development to analyst and IT roles.
And the talent the program attracts is impressive.
“There were interns from Yale, Johns Hopkins, Harvard,” said Williams. “I’m not going to lie; it was a bit intimidating at first. You’re surrounded by these incredibly intelligent people doing biofuels work, image analysis, oil analysis.”
Intern ambassadors at each location schedule activities for the classes, like bowling, go carting or paintball.
“One year we had an ultimate Frisbee game — the employees vs. the interns,” William said. “I remember distinctly the employees had some pretty good athletes. We got embarrassingly smoked.”
Lunch & learns are also held throughout the summer where leaders from the organization share career advice and industry knowledge. These are capped off by a session with Matthew Burkley, company CEO, at the end of the experience.
People over perks
“The perks and the culture are great,” said Williams, “but that’s secondary to the amazing people I’m surrounded by on a daily basis. These are the best, brightest most driven people this town has produced (or attracted). The amount of intelligence and drive really rubs off on you.”
But high-performance doesn’t necessarily equate to high-stress …
“There’s this laid back vibe, but there’s also so much that gets done. It’s hard to describe,” said Williams. It’s really not a high-stress company. Everybody’s so capable of getting their work done. We’ve accomplished so much — even though you may not think so with our beer fridge and ping pong table.”
Genscape has multiple internship opportunities available. Applications should be submitted by no later than May 1. Internships typically run from mid-May to late August, but timing is flexible. Check them all out here.
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