Opening Doors: the value of open mapping for your career
Updated: Jan 4
My name is Aaron Arrington and I am a sophomore at West Virginia University. I am planning to major in Geography with an emphasis in GIS and having a minor in Communication Studies. I am currently in my first virtual internship with the USAID Geocenter, a Co-Chairman of a mapping team at WVU, and I am currently fascinated with learning different types of Geospatial technologies like OpenStreetMap and ArcGIS.
When entering college, I learned that getting involved with school was a must if I wanted my future college degree to land me a job. My second semester I got involved with a mapping team at WVU called Maptime Morgantown. The team was new to campus but was progressing very quickly. I showed up to all of the meetings and events that were hosted and I met a lot of new people and built long lasting connections. I also got very involved within the team and I am now a Co-Chairman.
The team has opened many doors for me, I am learning how to be organized, how to communicate, as well as how to connect with new people and talking in front of larger groups of people, which is one of my weaknesses. I had the opportunity of getting an internship with the USAID GeoCenter, which has given me great experience to further my career as a GIS technician. I also had the privilege of connecting with people all around the globe to support humanitarian efforts.
I started out as a freshman not knowing what to do or how to do it, feeling overwhelmed. Taking chances and exploring things you like can help you determine who you are and what you want to pursue in college. Maptime Morgantown and the USAID GeoCenter internship has helped me in many different ways.
I have been successful with: networking, building my resume, gaining leadership, and gaining internship/ job experience, all of which I think is important for a college student to take advantage of to help further their careers.