Welcome to the Grand Finale of our National Geography Awareness Week Story Series in partnership with the National Geographic Society!  We're celebrating this special week by highlighting five innovative young professionals and students who are blazing their own paths in geography.  Listen in on the group chat, then explore their individual geo journeys:

Celebrate National Geography Awareness Week!

Learn how young professionals are redefining what is means to be a geographer in a 15 minute group chat.

Explore their Geo Journeys:

Reed 
Tomlinson
geo business starter
Lauren 
Herwehe
globetrotter & student
Mike 
Colosimo
geo business starter
Sam 
Zuhlke
nat geo 
educator
Myles 
Sutherland
startup incubator

Interview led by Rachel Kornak, GISP, Creative Director & Editor of GeoPivot Magazine.  This story series is brought to you by National Geographic Education in celebration of 2013 National Geography Awareness Week and the 125th birthday of the National Geographic Society. Check out their blog for more exciting geography stories.  Special thanks to Justine Kendall, the Geography Awareness Week Program Coordinator for making this story series possible.
 
 
Welcome to Part 4 of our National Geography Awareness Week Story Series in partnership with the National Geographic Society!  We're celebrating this special week by highlighting five innovative young professionals and students who are blazing their own paths in geography.  We'll post a new interview every day this week, so check back often.  On Friday, we'll bring all of our new friends together in a virtual panel discussion.

Samantha Zuhlke, Washington, D.C.

Meet Samantha Zuhlke, a 25 year-old Project Manager at the National Geographic Society.  Sam gets to tell the world how great geography is on a daily basis and helps people learn about our world in fun ways.  Before joining the National Geographic team, she completed a bachelor's degree in geography at Colgate University in Hamilton, New York, was a student video journalist, and interned at a conservation organization called the Lake George Association.
Learn about Sam's Geo Journey in a 5 minute clip.

Claim to Fame:

  • Produces free educational resources for National Geographic Education.
  • Geography education advocate.
  • How'd she do it?  Persistence.  She turned an internship into a contracting position, and then spun that into a full-time position.

 
 
Welcome to Part 3 of our National Geography Awareness Week Story Series in partnership with the National Geographic Society!  We're celebrating this special week by highlighting five innovative young professionals and students who are blazing their own paths in geography.  We'll post a new interview every day this week, so check back often.  On Friday, we'll bring all of our new friends together in a virtual panel discussion.

Mike Colosimo, Marina del Rey, California

Meet Mike Colosimo, 31 year-old Co-Founder & CEO of thrdPlace.com.  Mike creatively combined his passion for urban planning and business, and mashed them together with geography to start a company.  ThrdPlace* is a platform that enables companies to organize and mobile resources around community projects and tell better stories about the great work they are doing.  

* Urban theory states that we all exist in three places: home, work and community (the third place).  
Learn about Mike's Geo Journey in a 5 minute clip.

Claim to Fame:

  • Co-created a business based on a conversation with friends about the inability for people to take initiative to build their own communities.
  • Became an Esri Business Partner, exhibited at the Esri International User Conference and was an invited keynote speaker at the Esri Locate Event in Los Angeles.

 
 
By Rachel Kornak, GISP, GeoPivot Editor & GIS Instructor, Penn State. Redlands, California.
OK, I admit it...the Association of American Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting wasn't really in Hollywood.  But it sure was close...just right down the street in downtown Los Angeles.  Being so close to Tinseltown inspired me to create my own movie about the Geo Community.  

Check out the results from the GeoPivot Conference Cam (a.k.a. my iPhone).  I captured mini-interviews with three first-time attendees at different stages in their geo-journeys.
Meet The Cast
  • Ray Tripp is a career flipper who pivoted into GIS after his career in finance crashed with the market.  He went back to school and is about to graduate!  
  • Tim Dewland is a recent grad from Penn State's Online GIS Certificate Program and on the prowl for his first GIS job.  
  • Urvashi Banerjea is an undergrad who jumped out of her comfort zone and presented a poster at her very first conference
Urvashi Banerjea, Undergrad Student. 

 
 
By Sara Stokes, Assistant Instructor GEOG487, Penn State World Campus, Golden, Colorado
Picture
Embrace your experiences...you earned them!
A career is much like a wool sock dragged through a field of grass seeds. The sock is your career path and the grass seeds are the tangible and intangible nuances experienced along the way. 

Age, therefore, is an asset; it is only through time that your sock can collect those valuable, and yet intangible sticky seeds. On a personal level, my career path has taken me through many a field. 

I launched my career as a field biologist, transitioned to working in small museums, then to legal marketing, and on to event coordinating. And not to be forgotten, the years I joyfully spent raising my three boys. It wasn’t until many years later that I met my GIS career pivoting opportunity.