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April 28, 2019 at 2:26 pm

Career Corner | Geography Alumni Give Advice to Job Seekers

By Sierra Heilman

It’s important to learn from those before you. Bobcats who used to stand in the same position as you are now are here to give you advice that they wish they would have known before they left college.

Listen to these two professionals, Susan Liggins ’02 and Scott Cormany ’02, to learn from their knowledge because it will only help you grow.

“Be open, says Liggins, who earned her degree in Environmental Geography. She is with Ohio Department of Transportation using GIS for planning and engineering.

“It’s not likely that you stand there today knowing exactly what you will be doing in one year, let alone 15 or 20. Building connections in multiple business or government entities only increases your odds of landing a position once one opens.”

Using an opportunity like the College of Arts & Sciences Career and Networking Week is “an excellent way of finding out all of the different avenues you can take using your degree,” she says.

For all of the Geography majors out there, Liggins told us one thing she wish she had known before going out into the field: “I wish I had known how challenging it would be to find a position in my field. It took me four years to find a job specifically calling for my education background. I know there are so many more geography positions around the state available to geography majors than there were 15 years ago.”

“Be open to the different work out there for you in the next few years. It will build your resume and make you more employable for the positions you likely chose your degree for.” she says.

Our next alumni, Cornmany, also gave some great pieces advice for students getting ready for the job market. He is Geographic Information Systems Director for Fayette County.

One thing that we hear over and over again—make meaningful connections. We hear this all the time and there’s a good reason for it. Asking for internships and volunteer opportunities is the perfect way to get your foot in the door and make a good impression.

Cormany stresses the importance of attending career and networking opportunities while in college.

“I think it would have given me a better understanding of the opportunities in my field,” he notes.

By attending and talking to different professionals, you start to figure out exactly it is you’re looking for.

“Personal relationships matter, how you treat people, who you know, and real skills that can be immediately transferable to a career are immeasurable important. So, get out there and start networking!” he says.

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