In today’s Ambassador Spotlight, we discover a little more about our latest Brand Ambassador Jose Pedraza from Houston, Texas.
What do you do and what company do you work for?
I am a land surveyor working as Survey Director at Stuart Consulting Group, Inc. We do a lot of work for the local cities, counties, and flood control district, mostly focused on civil engineering.
Are you part of any associations or organisations you would like us to mention?
I am very active in the Texas Society of Professional Surveyors (TSPS) – currently a local chapter director. I am also the east region coordinator for the Texas Young Surveyors (TYS).
Why do you want to be a GKiS Brand Ambassador?
I would like to be a GKiS Brand Ambassador to make a bigger impact on the growth of the geomatics/geospatial industry. I have previously coordinated a booth for the TSPS/TYS at a local student career fair here in Houston as well as participated in the technical advisory committee at a school district developing a geomatics program.
Why is it important for kids to know about surveying and the wider geospatial industry?
I think that exposing students to the opportunities in the geomatics field is important to help encourage growth. There are multiple opportunities for motivated and talented individuals to fill which are currently vacant due to the lack of talent. We have to encourage students into the field since not many educators know about the career opportunities available as geospatial professionals.
What are you going to be doing as an ambassador for GKiS?
I will strive to continue presenting at local careers fairs, schools, and other education avenues available locally. I will also encourage my peers to become more involved in spreading awareness of land surveying. My wife is a teacher, and I can work with her to find more opportunities to share our industry.
How did you get into surveying?
I got into surveying through luck. I enlisted in the Texas Army National Guard while in my first year of college studying civil engineering. My recruiter asked me what job or specialty I would like. I had no idea there were additional roles on top of just being a soldier, so I asked him to place me in the closest role to a civil engineer that he had. Next thing I knew, I was learning drafting, soils testing, and (most importantly) land surveying as a technical engineer specialist. I didn’t pursue surveying as a full-time career until a few years later after a couple of life-changing surveying missions with the Guard to Chile. (I actually wrote a post about it on LinkedIn a few months ago (see post here)).
What are your hobbies?
I enjoy learning. My hobbies include finding new ways to improve myself and sharing that knowledge with others. I also enjoy working out and binge watching TV shows with my wife.
If you/your company had a GKiS character, what would it be?
Our GKiS character would have to be an investigator (almost Sherlock Holmes but not quite…). Since a big part of our job is searching for the small details, I think that would be fairly accurate.
What poster or resource would you like to see next from GKiS?
It would be interesting to develop some sort of simple learning game that kids can play, highlighting surveying somehow… I remember playing Math Blaster as an elementary school student and that really got me into math. Not sure how much work that would take, but I think that would really get some interested!
Anything else you want to add that you think our audience would be interested in?
I’m just trying to make a positive impact in our community. I think there’s a huge lack of awareness of our industry and know it won’t get better with inaction. I also know there’s a big opportunity to grow our talent pool by looking to diversify our recruiting efforts.