Ambassador Spotlight ‘Nicole Rodriguez’

Welcoming Nicole Rodriguez-Bonilla as our latest Brand Ambassador from Puerto Rico:

Where did you study? I studied in the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus (UPRM). I have a Bachelors Degree in Land Surveying and Topography.

What are the requirements to be a surveyor in your area? To be a Surveyor in Puerto Rico you need a 4 year degree in a accredited university, have both FS and PS Exams approved, be a member of the College of Engineers and Surveyors of Puerto Rico (Law 173 of August 12, 1988) and have a minimum of 2 years of experience under the supervision of a Professional Surveyor.

How did you get into surveying? I wanted to become an Arquitect because I wanted to pursue a profession were I could draw plans, but my parents wouldn’t allow me to move far from home. The closest university that offered a career with plan drawings was UPRM and that’s when I decided to study there. It wasn’t until I took a class called Geomatics I, were a Professor named Juan Rodríguez gave, I knew this was the profession I wanted to be in. Since then I’ve been passionate about Surveying.

How long have you been in the industry? I started working at 2019 while I finished my degree.

Are you part of any associations or organisations you would like us to mention? Yes, I’m part of National Society of Profesional Surveyors (NSPS) Young Surveyors Network (YSN) from FIG, the Association of Surveyors of Puerto Rico and I’m a collaborator in the Institute of Surveyors of Puerto Rico which is part of the College of Engineers and Surveyors.

Why do you want to be a GKiS Brand Ambassador? I have wanted to become a Brand Ambassador for more than 4 years now, but didn’t know I could become one.  I think Kids are the most fundamental part of society. Which is why they should be our priority in all of our daily decisions, specially when it comes to the future. That’s why being a brand ambassador is very important to me. I want kids in Puerto Rico to know about our profession, its fun and adventurous side and the importance of a surveyor in society.

Why is it important for kids to know about surveying and the wider geospatial industry? It is important because we’re a profession that while growing fast in a technological aspect, there are fewer surveyors and youth studying to become one. In Puerto Rico the average professional surveyor is 63 years old and there are 360 surveyors of which 9 are women. And although in the island there are geospatial instruments and technology, we are not enough for the population demand.

What are you going to do as an ambassador for GKiS? I’m going to visit elementary schools (as I’m doing as of now), I’m also helping Boys Scouts of America units earn their Merit Badges for Surveying, Compass, etc., I’ll reach out to friends and families with kids and send them information and coloring sheets through mail or in person; and although they are out of the group age scope for GKiS, I’m also visiting high schools to show kids the career opportunities they have in Surveying.

What are your hobbies? I love walking my dog to the park, helping my partner to cook, I bake sweets, watch comfort movies, travel & visit the beach.

If you/your company had a GKiS character, what would it be?  I have a beautiful pitbul named Kiwi (like the fruit). She’s very loving and protective of us. Pitbuls have a bad reputation of being aggressive and even evil and she’s so not that. She loves to eat, sleep (a lot), play and be around us all the time. I think I would love to have a character as similar as yours Erin. Me and Kiwi. Maybe adding a little tropical features because of my island. Like a Maga flower.

What resource would you like to see next from GKiS? I’ve wanted to have information more accessible for Puerto Rican Kids. Although we know English from an early age, it’s easier for them to ask questions and for me and my colleagues to answer them in Spanish. A translation of the presentation is something we would love to have. And also, a tropical poster and characters that kids can relate to would be a dream.

Anything else you want to add that you think our audience (surveyors, teachers, parents) would be interested in? Like I mentioned before, I think Kids are the most fundamental part of society and it must be our priority to keep them in mind when we make life changing decisions that might affect their futures. We have to leave them with a better world than what we got. And as surveyors, our job is to leave the profession standing tall, with great development and accessible opportunities to our Kids.