SAALOG Stories - Transportation Services
"When I had first learned that I would be working at the Department of Transportation Services at the University of Maryland, College Park, I was ecstatic. One of my career goals was to work in the transportation industry, so this opportunity was a blessing. When I began working at DOTS, the first thing that struck me was how friendly everyone was. I had always expected the atmosphere for any workspace to be stern, but everyone was friendly and professional. It taught me an important lesson on company culture, and I had known from then on that I would love working here. Being a GIS Intern/Special Projects Assistant at DOTS has taught me about database management. The map projects that I have worked on required me to maintain large datasets with multiple features pertaining to DOTS inventory. I have worked with ArcGIS Online as well as ArcMap to edit and manage map features, both of which are necessary tools that many companies in the GIS industry use. I also had to make sure that the data was accurate and concise by verifying the points out in the field using Arc Collector. In addition to being good exercise, the field verification allowed me to familiarize myself with the Collector as well as practicing data management. Participating in these projects has also shown me the various challenges that DOTS face when providing transportation options for students. These challenges are common among transportation agencies, and my tenure at DOTS has given me multiple methods of solving these challenges. One of the biggest things I have learned while working with DOTS is the importance of time management. Many of the projects I worked on spanned across the entire campus, and each had a deadline to complete. This required me to divide the large area into manageable parts, which I could complete individually. Because I had done this, I was able to complete the projects before the deadline. It was a good reminder of how managing my time wisely can make work easier. Because of the nature of my work, I was required to check meters and parking spaces. Many times people approached me, asking what I was doing. As a result, I have become used to dealing with customers on a regular basis. After doing field work, I traveled back into the office to further manage the data. Working in an office setting was a new experience for me, as I participated in multiple meetings where I explained the process of my work as well as how it could be used in various studies. Overall, this sort of exposure has helped me to develop my communication skills. Working for DOTS was one of the best experiences I have ever had in the workforce. Every project that I worked on had significance to the parking changes at UMD. Helping DOTS to solve various challenges using GIS while also making an impact to the future of UMD was extremely gratifying. Because of the work I have done here, I was able to land a job as a GIS Tech with ASRC Federal. I am forever grateful for my experience and interactions with DOTS."