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Justin PooleBAppSc (GISS) 2005

The BAppSc degree in Geographical Information Systems made perfect sense for Justin with his interest in computers, a passion for geography, and a desire to work in a field with practical and wide-ranging applications.

“The great thing about this degree is that it opens up opportunities for work in numerous fields.” During his time in Australia working for international consulting company, GHD, Justin was involved in many fields including mining, transportation, health, town planning, defence, water management, and environmental assessment. “Depending on your interest, the skills you learn enable you to steer your career into numerous roles – in one year alone my roles ranged from software developer to GIS analyst to project coordinator.”

Justin plans to bring fresh ideas and applications for GIS in helping with humanitarian work in less developed countries. This goal has emerged from a current working holiday through Central and South America to learn Spanish.

“Mainstream awareness of the potential uses for GIS seems to be the biggest limiter of its application at the moment. Once people start to look beyond the likes of Google Earth and car navigation systems, uses for GIS are sure to continue growing exponentially.”

As one of the first graduates with this major, Justin has had a good chance to see how well the degree shapes up in the real world. “The ease with which you get your first few job offers is a pretty good indicator of the value of a degree. The fact that I had several options to choose from says a lot about the growth of the industry and the need for more people with these skills. Otago has a good reputation and let’s face it, the experience of studying at Otago goes well beyond the lecture theatre!”