Friday, February 3, 2012

Sarin Strobush - East View Geospatial, Minneapolis, MN

Name: Sarin Strobush
Family: N/A
Major & Minor: Environmental Geography
Year Graduated: 2011
Current Employer: East View Geospatial, Minneapolis, MN
Length of Employment: 6 months
Interests and Hobbies: scuba diving, travelling, motorcycles, saving money, island cuisine, and renovating my house

What helped you decide what route to take after graduation?
The reason I chose to find a job instead of continuing my education is because I wanted real-world experience using GIS. I enjoyed learning about different applications of GIS in mapping and problem solving, but I wanted a chance to apply the knowledge I gained. I decided a career would allow me to implement things I knew as well as continue learning new processes.

What do you think gave you the edge to get your current position?
Having a simple, organized resume is the easiest step to getting a job. I am by no means an expert on getting hired, but I think I got my job because of my solid resume, flexible availability, and genuine interest in the company during my interview.

Describe your typical day at work
I work in the special project section of the company with less than ten other people. We are a contracted group that works on many types of cartographic or GIS projects. One thing that attracted me to this job is the occasional change in work assignment. I have been involved in two projects since starting in July. The first consists of high-resolution feature extraction in one geocell, and the second project deals with updating data in more than 50 geocells. I am constantly learning new tools and procedures in Arc 9.3 and 10, while applying different sets of geographic standards. I have to execute quality control by using batch checks, PLTS tools, and other software in addition to ArcGIS. My group is often working 10 hour days to complete assignments on time.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I hope to still be working at East View.

What advice can you give to those who are still in school?
The most important thing to do is decide what you want to do after graduating. If you want to work, decide what type of job you want and the skills needed to attain it. 

Ryan Robert - St. Mary's University. Master's in GIS

Name:  Ryan Robert
Major & Minor:  Geography, History
Year Graduated:  2009
Current Employer:  GeoSpatial Services – Winona, MN
Length of Employment: 1 year
Interests and Hobbies:  disc golf, swimming, camping
What helped you decide what route to take after graduation (i.e. graduate school or type of job)?    Christina (and the job market) encouraged me to pursue a graduate program.   I’m glad I listened.  I studied GIS at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. 
What do you think gave you to edge to get your current position?  I left UWEC with a firm foundation in GIS concepts and techniques, but I strongly believe that my graduate experience opened new networking opportunities for me.  I was introduced to Geospatial Services, my current employer, during my studies at Saint Mary’s. 
Describe your typical day at work:  I work on National Wetland Inventory projects for the USFWS and the WI DNR.  The job includes several processes including: orthorectification of images, raster to vector conversions, data attribution, geodatabase management, and topology validation.  I work with very talented people with great personalities!!!
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?  My goal is to continue working in the GIS field.  Ideally I would like to be working for the city police department as a crime analyst.  I’m at an exciting point in my life!!!  I will be getting married in September of next year and my FiancĂ© and I just purchased our first home.  Kids next?!?!?
What advice can you give to those who are still in school?  I would mention three things:
1.        Database design and management skills are extremely valuable.  I would also recommend being comfortable with SQL.
2.        The web page development and/or web application development seems to be increasingly linked with GIS and its capabilities.  Agencies/organizations/employers seem to be moving more and more toward publishing interactive maps on the internet. 
3.       Learn a programming language.  I would recommend Python as ESRI is moving in that direction.