Young Visions

PSM’s February and March 2013 issues feature essays by young surveyors about their visions of surveying’s future, many who are continuing to write for us into 2014. 

The Next Wave Talks about Their First Jobs

PSM_Outlook14_41In 2013 we began examining the future of surveying through the eyes of the next generation of surveyors by co-sponsoring a student essay contest (with Trimble) and featuring “Future of Surveying” essays in PSM’s February and March issues. In addition, we published several articles profiling surveying and geomatics schools as well as SaGES (the Surveying and Geomatics Educators Society). We’re continuing our initiative by publishing insights here of young surveyors who have recently graduated from these fine schools and have started their first surveying internships or jobs. 
Historic Documents, High Tech, and Monumental Projects
By Alberto Rabionet
Having just graduated from the University of Florida (UF) in May, I am proud to begin my first surveying job with Biscayne Engineering Company in Miami.

My transition from student to surveyor-in-training (SIT) has benefited tremendously from the well-crafted curriculum and the phenomenal networking opportunities furnished by UF. Their relationship with the Florida Surveying and Mapping Society (FSMS) stands out as they continuously support students while introducing us to a successful community of professional surveyors and leaders. I believe it is imperative for an SIT to find a quality mentor in order to grow, and I feel privileged to have met several with generations of experience to share. Through UF and FSMS, I was fortunate to have met my mentors at Biscayne Engineering and secured my first internship with the company.

As a student who had never worked in surveying, sweating it out in the field during my first internship provided invaluable insights. My second co-op featured more office work and served as a bridge between my work as an intern and my responsibilities as an SIT. Staying with Biscayne Engineering after graduation certainly made the transition smoother.

Several months in, I continue to love my career. The variety of subjects and projects encompassed by surveying has emphasized the importance of our profession. At Biscayne Engineering, I have been fortunate to work with century-old documents, cutting-edge technologies, and monumental projects on a daily basis.

The current land development renaissance in Miami sparks optimism for the future. At this critical time, the rich traditions and history of the surveying profession continue to grow with the greater implementation of new tools such as GIS and lidar. As part of an incoming generation of recent graduates, I find myself more motivated than ever and feel privileged for the opportunity to grow with my company in this great profession.
A Rapidly Growing World
By Julien Clifford
This summer I interned at Esri as part of the technical marketing team, and part of this internship was attending the Esri International Users Conference in San Diego. Before the conference opens, there is a gathering of surveyors for the Surveyor Summit, and it is here that classes are held and booths set up showcasing the newest in positioning technology. Though the summit was small, it isn’t the quantity that counts, but the incredible density of innovation that was highlighted. From GPS units that plug into a smartphone to new lidar systems: there is no shortage of new technology. 

During this internship, I met students from all over the world and learned that most of the people learning surveying as part of their curriculum are from rapidly growing areas. In these places, such as Indonesia and Africa, surveying is a prominent goal for college students. These countries and their schools know that surveying is critical to the development of dynamic markets and healthy economies, and the students I met are masters of both GIS and traditional surveying techniques. The requirements of a developing country, along with growing up in the computer age, have produced unique minds that I believe are what we will see in all future surveyors around the world. 
PSM_Outlook14_44West for the Summer
By Gordon Wilson
This summer I joined the members of the survey department at Merrick and Company in Greenwood Village, Colorado as an intern.  At Merrick the survey department performs a variety of different projects; I rarely worked on the same project each week, and every day I came to the office expecting to learn something new.  My favorite job was staking out new power-line structures in the mountains.  I remember hiking off the road with the total station, setting up on a perch with a view of the Rocky Mountains, and thinking to myself, “This is why I wanted to be a surveyor!”  

It was rewarding to get out of the classroom and put some mud on my boots for the first time, so to speak.  Now, with more hands-on experience with the total station, levels, and GPS equipment, I’m excited to hit the books again this fall (at the University of Maine).  Of course, the most rewarding part of my internship was working in the company of experienced surveyors and picking their brains. I’ve made professional relationships that I see lasting throughout my career as a surveyor.   
Always Something New to Learn
By Claudia Barrueta
My first job out of Fresno State’s Geomatics Engineering Program is as a survey technician at Johnson-Frank and Associates, Inc. I began full-time in late May, and since then I have learned a tremendous amount. Our company has a contract with the City of Irvine; all of the city’s map checking comes through our office. In the past couple of months I have had the chance to thoroughly check numerous tract maps. I’ve also helped prepare for field surveys by adjusting record data to generate search coordinate for our field crews. I’ve assisted in preparing corner records for centerline monuments for the City of Anaheim for local road construction projects, and, just recently, I began training on the post-processing of laser scans—never a dull moment. My favorite part about working at Johnson-Frank is that there is always something new to learn. 

So far, my education has complemented everything I’ve worked on. A college degree scratches the surface of every aspect of surveying, which is essential for the professional world because you don’t always know where you might end up. After interning at Johnson-Frank, I knew the land surveyors I worked with were the ones I wanted to emulate, so I was thrilled to be hired there full-time. I feel very lucky to be working with such a wonderful company and with people who truly uphold the land surveying profession.
From Text Books to Field Books
By Jonathan Brundage
Long hikes and cutting line: everything we had heard about in school. Four months working in Maine offers about all a surveyor can expect to see. At CES, Inc. the long rainy days, muddy motel rooms, and field book files are just a few things I have become accustomed to. 

Transitioning from college life to working life wasn’t so bad. The 8:00 am classes become 6:00 am pre-job meetings. Leaving the University of Maine in my back sight with CES in my foresights wasn’t such a new angle for me. While pursuing associates and bachelor’s degrees, I had spent three years sharpening skills at Paul Smiths College, which has proved invaluable to my professional development. 

Transitioning from college to construction sites likewise isn’t so dramatic; we have to collaborate with our peers, whether they are co-workers or clients. The result is not far from that of the classroom—a completed group project. The University of Maine surveying program readies graduates to converse professionally with clients and co-workers and to prepare for on-the-job training to come. The working surveying world should not be such a shock to the graduate: the classrooms are outdoors and the experiences are what keep those who love surveying setting up tripods in the rain with a smile.

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