Annie Brough needed an edge in the competitive job market, so she decided to add a Fleming College post-graduate program to her resume.
“I wasn’t having any luck finding a job in geography with just my BA,” said Annie, who graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University in 2015 with an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Geography with minors in Global Studies and French. She then worked various jobs, including work as a hostess, farm and market worker, server, and teaching piano lessons.
“When I was job searching, I noticed there were a decent number of GIS job postings. As a creative, artistic person, I decided that my best chances for success would be to pursue further schooling in GIS,” she said.
Annie exclusively applied to Fleming College’s post-graduate Geographic Information Systems – Cartographic Specialist program because it was highly renowned and had positive reviews online, the program was only three semesters long, and Annie felt her artistic skills and geography knowledge would help her succeed in the Cartographic stream.
“It wasn’t until I attended the GIS Open House that I really understood what I was getting myself into. Seeing all of the amazing work the students accomplished made me super excited to get started, but it also terrified me. I wasn’t sure that I would be able to succeed in the program,” said Annie. “Thankfully, I met a friend from Laurier at the Open House who was just finishing the program, and he gave me some idea of what to expect in the upcoming months and words of encouragement.”
Her experience at Frost Campus was enjoyable and she describes the teachers as fantastic and helpful. She loves that the school is quiet and peaceful, features big windows to let in lots of sunlight, and is full of plants.
Fleming College also made Annie feel more confident about her job prospects, which was why she attended in the first place. Annie said her teachers emailed students job opportunities, related class material to real-life situations, introduced new job prospects and ideas, and welcomed guest speakers from the industry to class. And it worked out, as Annie was hired on contract by Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority (CLOCA) as a GIS Assistant after graduating this year.
“My Fleming education definitely helped me get this job. During my interview, I was asked technical questions about various GIS applications, terms and systems. Without my Fleming education, I wouldn’t have been able to answer the majority of the interview questions,” said Annie. “The Career Centre at the school was also key to my success. They helped to mentally prepare me for the interview, and provided a general idea of what to expect and how best to conduct myself professionally.”
As GIS Assistant, Annie develops and modifies the creation and implementation of geomatics databases; supports projects, including reports, databases, analysis and mapping requests; creates and prepares maps, graphs and other documents for presentations, training and publications; and provides staff with technical support on GIS software, and more.
“The best thing about my job at CLOCA is the people and the opportunities. The people at CLOCA are so friendly and supportive, I felt at home the moment I walked through the door on my first day,” said Annie. “I feel like my Fleming education never ended! I have learned so much at CLOCA, it’s almost hard to comprehend– and I can’t wait to keep on learning!”
Annie said she “100%” recommends the GIS – Cartographic Specialist program at Fleming College. “If you want a job in GIS, apply to this program, it will get you there. Quite a few organizations exclusively hire Fleming GIS graduates,” she said. “The school prepares you for the real world and the teachers are professionals in their fields, with a lot of first-hand experience in many different areas, provinces and countries.”