This post is a part of our Student Spotlight Series where we sit down with graduating students and ask them to reflect on their time at MCEE and what comes next.
- Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Sarah Fowler and I’m a senior double majoring in Geology and Geographic Information Systems. I’m wrapping up my 5th year at OU to graduate this spring and right now I’m also one of the outreach officers for the Pick & Hammer Club.
- Tell me a little bit about what it’s like to double major in geology and GIS at OU.
It’s definitely a lot of staring at a computer screen! The geology program is a thorough study in geosciences while GIS is more of a data manipulation and mapping program. As part of my GIS Major I do a lot of data manipulation and mapping using technology, and then as part of my Geology Major I get to do a lot of hands-on stuff in the field. It’s a lot of balancing classes and time but I enjoy it. I have lots of friends in this program too and the faculty and staff are always super helpful and supportive, especially in the geology department.
- You’ve spent the past year working in Pick & Hammer, what’s that like and what do you enjoy about it?
Pick & Ha
mmer has almost become like a second job and I mean that in the best way possible. As an outreach coordinator I do a lot of events outside of the school where we work with kids and other teachers, so it’s really helped me with my communication skills. This past week I actually presented at Halliburton Day on our outreach work. It’s a sort of conference where a lot of the college-level student initiatives Halliburton funds present on what they’ve been doing. I was able to show that between the 15 of us conducting our outreach we’ve been able to reach something like 2,200 kids this year and are on track to reach 2,700 before the end of the semester. That’s more than twice what we did last year!
- What are you looking forward to after graduation.
I’m excited to say I have an internship in Houston this summer working as a Land GIS Analyst. I’ll be working with lots of data manipulation and land management components like leases and land rights. I’m almost most looking forward to actually having a job and a consistent schedule after all these years of balancing classes.
- Do you think that the education you’ve received from OU has adequately prepared you for your life after graduation?
Totally! Being a Geology and GIS major, I went in knowing that I would need more education beyond my Bachelor’s Degree if I wanted to work solely in geosciences. Having the option to get a GIS Degree as well has helped a lot in letting me go straight into the workforce after graduation. A lot of the programming and software skills I’ve learned in this program I know will be directly applicable to what I’m doing once I’ve started working, so it’s been really helpful in that aspect.
- Since you’ll be graduating, what’s been your favorite experience you’ve had at OU the four years you’ve been here?
Definitely being an outreach officer with Pick & Hammer! I’ve been able to work with lots of great people. It’s been great to work with faculty, staff, the kids we’re talking to, and other people I normally wouldn’t have had the chance to work with. Honestly, I feel like the skill set I’ve learned just from this experience in terms of growing myself professionally is going to be the most helpful for me when I go into the workforce.
- Lastly, what is something you’d like someone coming to OU next year to know about our program?
I would want people to know I definitely believe that, while our geology program is a 4-year program, you definitely need to pursue a Master’s Degree if you want to get the most out of it. I would also wouldn’t want people to be scared off by that, and that our faculty and staff is there to help you every step of the way. They’ve all been absolutely great and if you talk and build a relationship with them they’ll be their to support you through all your classes.