Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Bethany Bobek - Garmin International

Name: Bethany Bobek
Family: Clint (husband) and Ethan (son)
Major & Minor: Comprehensive Geography
Year Graduated: 2009
Current Employer: Garmin International
Length of Employment: almost 4 years
Interests and Hobbies: being a good mom, disc golf, volleyball, rock climbing, camping, hiking, ultimate frisbee, canoeing, board games, kubb

What helped you decide what route to take after graduation (i.e. graduate school or type of job)? I felt like I didn't need to go to grad school in order to get a GIS related job so I decided to try to get a job, and I did.
What do you think gave you to edge to get your current position? Having a good GPA and doing well in the interview. Also student research and an internship.

Describe your typical day at work: I work in the recreation group of cartography. We make maps that are used in Garmin's GPS units. I work on a variety of different projects so my day varies depending on what deadlines we have. Garmin does not use ESRI software. For the topographic map products, my group hosts data to the Garmin database and edits/cleans up data from different sources. We work with hydro data, roads and trails, DEMS, points of interest, park polygons etc... We do a lot of QA for each of the products we develop, including testing in the hand held GPS units. I also work with golf data that includes digitizing golf course features from imagery. Also, I work with aviation data that involves geo-referencing features from airport diagrams and charts and digitizing and performing quality assurance tests. If you get an interview at Garmin and they ask what group you prefer to be in between Marine, Automotive and Recreation, definitely say Recreation. The recreation group offers a lot more variety and challenge than the other two groups.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Unsure

What advice can you give to those who are still in school? Try to get as much experience with anything GIS related, whether it's an internship or student research or just more GIS classes. Although it's not necessary for working at Garmin, it would be helpful to have some programming knowledge too.

I am happy to answer questions about working at Garmin. I can be contacted at

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