World of Work: Maya Thomas ’11, GIS Specialist, Civil Solutions
Maya Thomas ‘11
Civil Solutions, a division of ARH Engineering
Major: Environmental Science (RSENR)
How would you describe what you do on a typical day?
I work with spatial data and create maps – lots of maps. Most of our clients are local governments (counties and municipalities) and we provide mapping services for them. For example, we take data from tax maps and convert it to digital data so clients can look at it on the fly on our web service or on their own GIS software.
What motivates you to go to work everyday?
I really love GIS! I love seeing the things I map everyday. I drive on the roads I add to my road maps, I pass by the buildings I digitize, and I learn about new municipalities in New Jersey every day.
What advice do you have for students searching for jobs or internships in your field?
Work on as many GIS projects as you can in your coursework. Incorporate it into your research and internships. Connect with your faculty to find out about internships. From what I’ve seen, certification (different from certificates!) is important in this field. Whether a certification is from GISCI, Esri, ASPRS, or other organizations, start thinking about ways to prepare for those exams or applications. And, of course, network! Both my full-time jobs after college were gained from building connections.
Describe your best day at work.
My best day at work is when I have tons of different projects to do. Mapping out a survey site for colleagues here, creating road maps there, updating parcels over here, and maintaining the web mapping service over there. The day goes by quickly and I feel so accomplished by the end of the day!