Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture

lozanowebSpatial science senior Emily Ruth Lozano is completing an internship as GIS technician for the County of Nacogdoches under the tutelage of SFA almnus John Streeb, Nacogdoches GIS & 911 Addressing Coordinator. Her internship began in February and will end upon her graduation in May. We reached out to her to learn more about duties, as well as how ATCOFA’s spatial science program has prepared her to contribute to the management of Nacogdoches County.

What were your duties as an intern?
As an intern I work on various projects including field data collection, map production, and updating multiple vector GIS datasets used by the local 9-1-1 dispatchers and first responders such as police, fire departments and EMS.         

How has this experience enhanced your undergraduate career?
This experience has greatly benefitted my undergraduate degree by reinforcing the skills I was taught in lab and class. Furthermore, it has given me exposure to more job specific uses for GIS. John Streeb is extremely knowledgeable, and almost daily we’ll discusses better, faster methods to complete a task, or more broad GIS topics and tips.    

What is your favorite aspect of the internship?
Every day I have a project to work on and my time is never wasted doing busy work. All of my outputs are reviewed and then merged with the existing database, which makes my efforts feel valuable. I have learned vital skills in my field and have so much more confidence that I will be qualified for the workforce after graduation.

How did you learn about the internship?
A faculty member sent me an email with the job posting, and I had an idea of what John Streeb’s position was from his presentation at GIS Day held at the Forestry Building.  I would highly encourage all undergraduates to seek out and apply to any internship opportunity that comes their way. I was hesitant to send in my resume because I felt like there was surely going to be someone more qualified or more desirable. What I didn’t really realize was that I was hired with the expectation that I wouldn’t know everything I needed to in order to complete my projects. That’s where the learning comes in. I would recommend asking as many questions as necessary to understand what’s being asked of you. Employers are going to be much happier in the long run answering three questions for clarification rather than telling you to start over after you’ve finished the month long project because it was done incorrectly.