Thursday, March 26, 2015

Jon Bowen - Esri

Name: Jon Bowen
Major & Minor: Geography
Year Graduated: 2012
Current Employer: Esri
Length of Employment: about 9 months
Interests and hobbies: whitewater kayaking, traveling, biking, things that keep me moving

What helped you decide what route to take after graduation (i.e. graduate school or type of job)? You sort of take what you know, what you enjoy doing and apply it to people who give you the opportunity to live off of it. I was fortunate to have a lot of experience from internships and guiding trips that gave me the idea of a person I wanted to be and once I found that I had made connections to apply what I know in the way’s I find fun and amusing.

What do you think gave you an edge to get your current position? The ability to say yes to anything and figure out the details later. My stoke level for the things I’m doing at the moment.  Extensive internship experience.

Describe your typical day at work:
My typical day at work…well I usually get in around 8 am to a workspace that consists of no offices but a collaborative space much like the lab at Eau Claire yet inspirationally overlooking DC.  Check some emails, check Github for updates/issues, manage all the new elements for the website, then start working on my more exciting projects that tend to be more cartographically focused in the am until about noon. From there on California is alive and at work so we start to do collaborative projects on future Story Maps templates and prototypes with the rest of our team from Redlands.  Intermixed in the afternoon I tend to do my less interesting projects which include server management and some other GIS problems solving. On a given day I do anywhere from an ongoing set of 3-4 different projects. These may consist of some of the following;
Building custom story maps for our bigger partners
Meetings with important gov bureaus or big non-profits
Researching new story ideas to take on as personal projects
Creating mock-ups for prototypes/whiteboard new ideas
Front end HTML/CSS and content website management
Wrestling server and GIS issues
Learning the latest and greatest in the industry and javascript
Slamming coffee

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Since my position is fun, creative, inspiring, educational etc I plan to stay at Esri until that changes.

What advice can you give to those who are still in school? Get off your arse and do something you enjoy. The world needs more people who enjoy their work. You’re at a perfect time in your life to try and do literally everything until you find something that you can jive with. Don’t waste your time on people or activities that don’t help you making your tomorrow better than your yesterday. If your lazy now you’ll be lazy forever so don’t expect a thing to be given to you if that be the case. Your 4 years in college shape the rest of your 90 year lifetime not just with your job outlook but with your social life, comfort levels, exercise habits, etc,. Put into motion the life you envision and not give two shits who disagrees with that, you’ll find your groove eventually and I guarantee you if you make yourself happy the folks around you will put up the stoke your putting down. 

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