Experiential learning is imperative to begin a career in GIS. Our internship program is designed to help students gain real-world work experience so they are marketable for full-time, post-certificate careers.The course itself has two major goals;
1. to monitor the progress of students in their selected internships or projects and
2. to prepare students for the GIS workforce through focused seminar topics.
We currently have a diverse group of 16 students enrolled in the 3 sections of GIS Internship/Directed Study this semester. The majority are in their last semester with the certificate.
One of the assignments this week is for students to join a user group. User groups are organizations for GIS users to network with other GIS users, share GIS technology and to learn about new developments in the field. Belonging to a GIS user group can help you get involved and stay connected with the GIS industry.
One student that already caught my eye is Lindsay Golden who is now a member of the Orangutan Foundation International (OFI) group. OFI is a nonprofit organization "dedicated to the conservation of wild orangutans and their rainforest habitat." The organization created a GIS program that is supported by ESRI and maps intact forests and prime orangutan habitats. This program has also been the impetus for land protection efforts like their online “Sponsor Acres” forest protection campaign.
GIS is such a broad industry and this just shows that the possibilities are endless with GIS!
We are excited to see what this semester has in store for our students and plan to highlight all the students at various times throughout the semester.