Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Tyler Schwartz - Ayres Associates

Name: Tyler Schwartz

Major & Minor: Geography / Political Science

Year Graduated: 2012

Current Employer: Ayres Associates, Geospatial Division, Madison
Length of Employment: 2 months
Interests and Hobbies: Skiing, Camping, Hiking, Kayaking, Live Music, Volleyball

What helped you decide what route to take after graduation and/or in your career path (i.e. graduate school or type of job)? I was very torn after school on whether to continue on for my Master's degree or enter into the work force. As an older student I ultimately decided to get a job after graduation.  I applied for a Lidar/Photogrammetry Technician position (and got it) after an extensive job search following graduation.  I didnt really have that much of a choice on where to work or what career path I wanted to pursue, as my main priority was to simply find a decent job.  I would encourage students who are younger however, to continue on to graduate school as I think it will ultimately open more doors and increase your ability to get a decent paying job.

What do you think gave you to edge to get your current position? I got an edge in a number of ways. First, be an engaged and hard working student.  Forge relationships with your professors. Doing so will create solid references for prospective employers or graduate school. In addition, build those relationships with your professors through student faculty research, then present it at student research day, AAG or WLIA (among other organizations).  This will give you a big leg up on your competition.

Secondly, when you do get that interview, be engaged and come prepared.  Know what the company does, who they are and what some of their past projects have been.  Come prepared to answer questions about past projects that you have done and what your strengths (and weaknesses) are as a person.  Come with questions to ask about the company.  And above all, be enthusiastic, engaged and interested about the position.  Ask questions and dont be silent.

Describe your typical day at work: I spend most of my day either doing stereo compilation (digitizing in 3D) or Lidar processing (cleaning raw data, preparing for delivery to client)

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Hopefully still at Ayres or pursuing a Masters Degree
What advice can you give to those who are still in school? If you have the drive and motivation, go to graduate school. The job market right now is highly competitive especially for entry level jobs.  Having a masters will not only get you into a more specialized and higher-level position, but it will also hopefully allow you to make more money.  Its a wise investment if you enjoy doing research and are a focused student. 

Most of what you will do in the real world after you graduate will not be anything like what you did in school (especially capstone). So if you like research and analysis, the masters degree is the sure fire way to make sure you can get a good research/analysis type job after school (as opposed to something less interesting).

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