Friday, February 3, 2012

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 Fiancé 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.

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