From Trajectory Magazine:
Gettysburg College graduate Sarah Kenney proved that making connections and being proactive are an effective way to launch a career. With the help of Gettysburg College and USGIF, Kenney landed her first job with one of the leading defense contracting companies in the D.C. area.
Kenney’s link to USGIF was formed when her remote sensing class took a trip to Northern Virginia in 2010. Students visited DigitalGlobe (then GeoEye) and the U.S. Geological Survey.
“Sarah was always a sharp student with solid technical skills, but what really set her apart was her work ethic, maturity, and interpersonal skills,” said Rutherford “Rud” Platt, associate professor and chairperson of environmental studies at Gettysburg College, who taught the remote sensing class.
USGIF CEO Keith Masback also spoke with the class about the GEOINT Community and encouraged them to reach out to him with questions.
Kenney took Masback up on the offer and contacted him for advice on how to develop a career in the GEOINT Community. Masback urged Kenney to attend USGIF and other industry events to meet and network with senior leaders, as well as young professionals.
In 2010, Kenney graduated with a dual degree in environmental studies and history, and then went on to complete graduate-level coursework in geography and environmental science at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. While pursuing her degrees, Kenney attended the 2010 International Commercial Remote Sensing Symposium and USGIF’s GEOINT Community Week 2011, where she met recruiters and later received a job offer as an all-source analyst for a defense contractor supporting the DoD.
“Reaching out to Keith and going to GEOINT Community Week really helped me understand what I was getting myself into—I’m happy I pushed myself to do that,” Kenney said. “My best advice to fellow young professionals is to put yourself out there, listen to others’ experiences, and make connections with people in the classroom and work environment.”
Currently, Kenney is gaining an M.S. in environmental science and policy at Johns Hopkins University, while continuing to work full-time as a research analyst. After completing her education, she hopes to become a senior analyst and apply her geospatial analysis skills to assist others in the field.
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