Raina Monaghan is a 2022 graduate of the Geographic Information Science program. She holds a B.S. in Earth, Society, & Environmental Sustainability from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She is currently a Remote Sensing and Geospatial Technology Specialist at Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy. Raina previously worked at State Farm Research & Development Center, Chicago Field Museum of Natural History, and the Illinois Natural History Survey. As a PSM student, she built professional and interpersonal skills, learned how to interview, secure an offer, and best practices for on-the-job projects. Raina advises GIS students to develop interest-specific geospatial skills and widely applicable skills, such as database management.
Aditya Allamraju is a 2022 graduate of the Geographic Information Science program. She holds a P.G. Diploma in Remote Sensing & Geographic Information Systems and a Bachelor of Technology in Geo-Informatics. She is currently a Product Engineer II at Esri in California. Aditya previously worked at EOFactory, SkyMap Global, the Indian Institute of Technology Bhubaneswar, and the Indian Institute of Remote Sensing. The PSM program taught her the skillset required for GIS industry positions and how to secure her dream job after graduation. She advises students to make the best use of the PSM professionalization seminars, stay connected with faculty and peers, and serve on the PSM Student Leadership Council.
Hao Zhang is a 2017 graduate of the Geographic Information Science program. He obtained his undergraduate degree in Geographic Information Science from Beijing Institute of Technology in his home country of China. Hao worked for Gartner at the University of Illinois Research Park, as a Web Development and Data Visualization Intern. He believes that one of the most beneficial aspects of the program is the Illinois PSM seminar because it "helps prepare you for interviews, teaches you proper business etiquette, and how to communicate professionally."
Edmond Lai graduated from the Illinois PSM program, where he studied Geographic Information Sciences, in 2017. “The main motivation to attend the PSM program was the internship opportunity with the program. I was in the process of making a career change with my master's program and I believed industry experience would be extremely beneficial for me. Another reason to attend the program was because it would allow me to access to numerous campus resources, classes, and connections.” Today, Edmond works as a Software Developer at the Champaign County Regional Planning Commission. He says, “I work on front-end and back-end development of web applications related to transportation planning, social services, and customer relationship management… My GIS experience is also a bonus when working on spatial analysis and mapping projects in my current position. “
If you’re a current or prospective PSM student, Edmond has plenty of advice. He says. “Don't be afraid to look for classes that are relevant to your career goal even if they are not on the recommended list. Seize the opportunity in the year and a half to learn as much as you can (to be a developer or a GIS professional, I find data structure, data visualization, and application development classes to be most helpful to me). Talk to any and everyone that you come across; they could be a tremendous resource to you to build your career.”
Jiangdong “Chuck” Liu is a graduate of the Illinois PSM's Geographic Information Science program. He earned his undergraduate degree in geography and geographic information science from the University of Illinois. Chuck completed his internship at Urban GIS in Chicago. Upon graduation, he started working for Champaign County's Social Justice Task Force as a GIS Developer. Chuck praises the Illinois PSM for assisting him with career preparations and helping him compare various offers for his internship.