Learning GIS at Selkirk College

What happens in the lab; a showcase of GIS Student creations & other good stuff.

Tag: GIS graduates

ADGIS grads working in the West Kootenays

Want to learn a little about a few of our ADGIS grads working locatlly?  Read on:

We at the Selkirk Geospatial Research Centre (SGRC), were fortunate to hire a few of our 2013 ADGIS grads to work on local projects here in Castlegar Kaela Perry is one intern for the SGRC, who writes:

“Working with the SGRC has been a great experience with learning how to be self directed and manage various projects. I’ve enjoyed working on outreach to promote the Columbia Basin Biodiversity Atlas reporter tools. I have been working on a number of different projects but one particularly interesting one involved defining the drawdown zones of the Arrow Lakes to help determine potential areas for a revegetation project”

Megan Deas is another intern who works out of Selkirk College for the Rural Development Institute (RDI), in Castlegar.  She explains one of her favourite projects:

“I work directly with small and medium sized business within the Columbia Basin to assist them in adopting digital technology. For example, one project I have done is working with Tabletree Enterprises, a company based in Creston that produces gourmet juices and sauces. They sell their products at specialty stores, grocery stores, and restaurants across North America. It was difficult for customers to find a restaurant that used their sauces or a store that sold their juice because on their old website they simply listed the addresses of these places. With the knowledge I gained during my GIS diploma of opensource mapping software, I created a product availability map for them to embed into their website (forthcoming) that allows potential customers to find their products much easier.”

Another SGRC intern, Bart Fyffe, (who writes about his internship on his blog) has recently accepted a full-time position at the Regional District Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) in Trail.  He discusses what he feels separated himself from the competition to land the GIS Technician position (roles and responsibilities include GIS support to planning/operations staff and the public as well as stewardship of the RDKB database):

“Above all: Practice and be proficient in all of your communications–written, verbal, cartographic.  It is easy to make professional grade documents with the software you are exposed to for written and cartographic communication, and practice makes perfect for verbal.  Being able to communicate effectively weighs very heavily in the success of the job hunt.”

In Grand Forks now works Adriana Cameron for Interfor as a GIS Technician.  Here’s what she’s saying about her job:

“I really like my GIS job at Interfor.  I mainly produce operational and planning maps using SQL developer, Cengea Resources and ESRI (ArcSDE, Arc Info).

The learning curve is quite steep. I have learned lots and have been under pressure to complete projects.

I think my forestry experience was the reason I landed this job”

And certainly not the last ADGIS grad working in the West Kootenays, but the final one we will discuss in this post, is Michelle West.   She created an ideal situation for herself, working from home in Nelson, for the Nature Conservancy of Canada based out of Alberta.

“I spend my day building maps requested by lots of different people for different projects, throughout Alberta. The interns send me their monitoring data and I fix it up and map it.  🙂   I am also working on a couple of other projects; one involving data restructure, clean up, editing and error checking and another where I am building google earth map sheets for Alberta using a iterative model I built. All very exciting. I am really enjoying the job and am learning and applying a lot of what I learned”

Stay tuned for more ADGIS grads working outside of the West Kootenays……..

What are our 2013 ADGIS grads up to anyway?

One of the key reasons people come into our technical GIS program is they simply want a job.  A good job that is, something they enjoy.

As we wind down summer, and prepare for our 2013.14 school year, we inevitably get last minute questions about what our previous grads are doing:

  • “Soooo….do people actually get jobs in the GIS field?”
  • “Where do people end up working?”
  • “What types of things are they doing?”
  • “Do they like it?”
  • “What will I be doing when I graduate?”

Well, we can’t tell you for certain what you’ll be doing come next May, or promise you a job, but we can rely on the last few years of stats: our 2013 ADGIS grad class had 100% placement.  And our 2011 and 2012 grad classes had close to that.

This past year, we saw grads go to PEI, Banff, Fernie, Calgary, Kelowna, and of course, some elected to stay in the Kootenays.  Some are working for different levels of government (City of Calgary, City of Fernie, Regional District Kootenay Boundary, Regional District Central Okanagan, Banff National Park), some are working for industry (Teck, Interfor), we’ve also got Not-for-profit employed grads (Nature Conservancy Canada), and those working in Academia (UPEI, Selkirk College’s SGRC).  We had many more jobs and even offers come thru our co-op placement office than we did grads. We’re stoked people have landed great jobs, and continue to do so.

And we’re also excited about the transformational role GIS has played professionally, and personally with allowing people to land dream jobs, or stay in the Kootenays while working remotely, or doing things they just love.  As one grad said it recently in an email:

 “After three interviews I received three offer letters and once again, was able to sit back and pick the best option.  This is pretty much my dream job! I’m still a little bit in disbelief of how many doors the ADGIS program opened for me.”

Interested in knowing more?  We’ll highlight a few grads and their positions in the upcoming weeks to share inside detail. Stay tuned.