GSS Spotlight!

ANDREW SANDOZ

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What is your education and professional background?

I am from Harrison, WI and I graduated from Kimberly High school in 2016. Presently, I am finishing up my third year of undergraduate studies at Saint Mary's working, on both a Business Intelligence major and a Finance major. This past summer I had the opportunity to stay on campus and work in the Admissions office as a tour guide for prospective students. That experience was a great way to share the awesome things Saint Mary's has to offer, and allowed me to help start our community garden on campus.  

What led you to GIS? More specifically, how did you get to Saint Mary's University of Minnesota (SMUMN) in Winona? 

Coming to Saint Mary's was an easy choice for me because five of my relatives have graduated from Saint Mary's. I had never visited campus before deciding to attend but I knew it would be a great fit for me. The bluffs and all of the amazing outdoor recreation opportunities have made my time at Saint Mary's incredibly enjoyable.

Explain briefly a project at GSS you've done that contributed to your overall knowledge and educational experience.

I am currently working on mapping wetlands in North Dakota. Not being from a biology background, I have not had too much class time learning about plants and wetland ecology, but working at GSS has exposed me to so  much new information that I would have never had the opportunity to learn in the classroom. The project, in general, has been a great learning opportunity in working with clients and what their needs are for a project in a real business situation. It has been exciting to see what I am being taught in my business coursework come to life outside of the classroom.

How do you see GIS fitting into your future? 

GIS will hopefully play a big role in my future. I would like to keep working at GSS and sharpening my skills with the Data Intelligence and GeoAnalytics (DIGA) Master’s program at Saint Mary's. After finishing the DIGA program, I would like to keep working at GSS or do GIS work for cities in southeast Minnesota.

Where can we find you outside of GSS?

Outside of GSS I can usually be found in the community garden on campus pulling weeds or watering the plants while eating kale. When not gardening during the school year I am most likely in the computer lab working on some form of data analytics.