This year I became a GIS staff assistant and have been opened up to a new world I had never known before. Upon being hired, I had incredibly limited knowledge of what GIS is. I was certainly intrigued and could not wait to learn more. I began working on data entry, which some may say is tedious and rather boring work, but I find it rather fun. It keeps me busy and I am learning along the way. I am very passionate about this job, and am very excited to learn more. I enjoy knowing that my work contributes to exciting projects.
The staff is very welcoming and friendly which made me feel right at home. I can easily approach anyone if I have questions or concerns. The GIS lab is home to a relaxed, pleasant work environment. In most places of work it is hard to find staff so friendly. I look forward to coming to work each day and working with such nice people. Although I am quite shy at first, this staff makes me feel comfortable to be able to talk and be myself. I find that having people who are excited and enjoy their job really makes coming to work feel a lot less like work.
I’ve learned GIS is more than mapping certain things, and GIS assists in making this place we live a little better. I currently work on a project which maps the location of impaired driving incidents. This will help show police where the impaired driving occurs most often so individuals are stopped, thus preventing more drunk driving accidents. Knowing my work contributes to projects that are beneficial to others makes me more passionate about my job. I am so blessed to be a part of the Washington College GIS team, and I am excited to deepen my GIS knowledge.
Alicia Shipley works as the GIS Staff Assistant, and attends University of Maryland University College.