While completing my B.A. in Geography, I sought to better understand what it meant to be a practicing geographer. Through an internship with Syracuse Community Geography (SCG) I gained tremendous perspective in this arena as it connected me with thought leaders, assisted in developing my GIS skills, and revealed the value of spatial thinking through real world projects and professional situations. This unique training and exposure experience led to other developmental opportunities and paved the way to a full-time position as a practicing geographer after graduation.
I am currently a Presidential Management Fellow with the U.S. Department of Labor Women’s Bureau. In this role, I research women’s economic and employment trends, analyze existing and proposed policy, create data visualizations, and coordinate with experts in the field. I daily rely on the skills I acquired and honed during my time with SCG, namely, rigorous research, critical thinking, GIS and spatial analysis, public speaking, and stakeholder engagement. Perhaps most importantly, I hold on to the central lesson I learned while with SCG to inform my work, that is, geography offers relevant theoretical, technical, and analytical approaches that can be used to build a more just society.
SCG helped establish a strong foundation of both hard and soft skills that have been transferable and instrumental throughout my academic and professional careers. I whole heartedly recommend interning with SCG to anyone interested in learning more about what a future in geography holds.