Name: Angelica Avalos
Program/Career: Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
One Word That Describes You: Ambitious
Hobbies: Road trips, video games, concerts, learning about nature, and visiting National Parks.
Geographic Information Systems is something that I was drawn to because it casts such a wide net in terms of what can be done with it. I have done a tree inventory on campus, a map for businesses in the Schaumburg area, and started working on some park district boundaries for neighboring cities. In class, I have done homework on topics from preschools, hurricanes, whale feeding habits, urban transit, and much more.
I also have a sister who currently works in GIS for the University of Michigan at the moment, and worked for the National Park Service in the past. Her work was so interesting that I wanted to see what that was like, and it seems to be a perfect fit for both of us so far!
I had been looking into taking classes again for a while, and I ended up going to a Continuing Education Seminar on a whim. During this session, I found out that there was a certificate program for Geographic Information Systems, I was so surprised. With Harper being so close to home, and being able to still work while taking these classes, there was really no reason not to come to Harper.
So far, it has been fantastic. Harper College has a different environment over the university I went to, and it was so easy to get started here. I take a couple classes every semester while I work full time, and the college provides so many different class options. Because of that, I am able to takes these classes around my work schedule and I am so thankful for that.
All of my professors so far have been open and extremely accommodating, they all understand how lots of students that come to Harper have crazy schedules. The experience so far has been above and beyond what I expected.
After Harper, I will be looking for a more permanent job doing GIS. I have had an internship and some projects with GIS on campus and in the Palatine area, and I would love to see what else the world of GIS has in store.
For anyone considering the Geographic Information Systems program, I would definitely ask the professor about any opportunities available outside of class. Doing projects outside of class in real-world situations is so fun, (at least for me!) and you can really learn how powerful a tool using GIS can be.
Mukila Maitha, who is the professor who teaches GIS. He has guided me the whole way and is still a great mentor.
Learn more about Harper College’s Geographic Information Systems program. Have questions about registration, financial aid or advising? Contact Harper College's One Stop – your one stop source for information.