From intern to Key Master (of the ERP Galaxy) and beyond

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Life's a journey. It's not always easy to tell what events will be life-defining ones, at least not then and there, in the moment. Life's biggest changes begin in such small, seemingly obscure ways — ways that start you on the path to something bigger.

The person on that next phone call could be your future boss. Your voluntary internship could be your next paying job. These moments become iconic milestones. They help you look back and track your progress in life's journey. The successful quest from intern-to-full-time-employee is a very, very rare one indeed. Only a fortunate few can claim to have attained a win. I was one of the lucky few — to have the opportunity to get a ticket for the right ride, at the right time.

It was the summer of 2014. I was a technical writing student with some video editing skills under my belt when I threw my name into the pool of college intern hopefuls, trying to gain the coveted prize of an internship from the ODU CareerLink website. I was only two (2) semesters away from graduating and that ever-looming reality of the 'fresh-out-of-college-job-hunt' was fast approaching. My application found its way to xTuple. They needed an editor, for both videos and documents. I was accepted for the position promptly after the interview, and my experience started growing, immediately.

Friends took me out to see the first movie in the "Guardians of the Galaxy" franchise to celebrate. I felt that exhilarating mix of heroic resolve and well-timed luck from both the character's story — their 'hero's journey' — and my acceptance into xTuple's internship program. A band of down-on-their-luck space outcasts finding a time where they could finally do some good resounded pretty strongly for me.

Flash-forward three (3) years later! My internship turned into paying work experience and then to independent contractor — all from the same, homey xTuple cubicle where it all started.

I had been gaining more and more in-depth experience — working on assignments of important projects for various parts of the company, from product and customer support to sales and marketing to Web services. Finally, after remaining patient and loyal with xTuple (and they with me), fortune would have it that I was finally able to find and fit into a full-time position with the company. My experience with the software, openness to learning, and working with different departments helped me forge  a place within the xTuple family. I'm thankful for fellow co-workers who were willing to help at any time, building trust and camaraderie along the way.

I am now a knowledge engineer for xTuple with the official title of 'Key Master' for the company's free and open source software, PostBooks®.

As fate would have it, one (1) month later, the release of "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" was showing, and we enjoyed the premiere as an xTuple work outing. Just as the characters started out as misfits in the first film, I was a willing intern, a novice. And now, as they've returned to the big screen as heroes with a history, I'm able to look back at my xTuple journey as a full-time employee with gratitude and experience.

Louise Salinas

Knowledge Engineer
While working toward her degree in 2014, Louise joined xTuple as a summer intern, editing and preparing videos for xTuple University (xTupleU). From there, she was able to see the real world application of her studies, and train her skills outside of the classroom, in a more practical setting. Louise parlayed her internship into a full-time gig with the xTuple Knowledge Management team. In her spare time, Louise volunteers at geeky conventions and enters video game tournaments. She holds a B.S. in Professional, Technical, Business and Scientific Writing from Old Dominion University (ODU) in Norfolk, Virginia.