Name: Marut Tangtrongwanit
Year of graduation: May 2016
Current employment status:
• Employer: ESRI
• Position: Software Engineer

What is a recent project that you have worked on that you have drawn on skills from the MPS program?
I work in ESRI’s Professional Services division where we get a wide variety of requests from customers in both the public and private sector. Currently I am helping work on an agricultural management program that is meant to help an ESRI client to better track and monitor various field test sites around the world. Towards that end, I am engaged in web development, python scripting, and GIS data management which are all skills that I was able to develop and refine in UMD’s MPS GIS Program.

How have the skills you have learned in the MPS program helped you progress in your career?
I function as a GIS applications developer which means that I not only engage with the development of the front-end web interface, but I must also be able to perform back-end development work with GIS software and databases in order to complete my tasks. The MPS helped provide an environment where I could both learn and work towards developing my knowledge and skills.

What drew you to the MPS GIS program at Maryland?
One thing that I definitely appreciated was the way the program was designed to be flexible around your schedule. For instance, lectures are held in the evening after work hours and in the event that something comes up then you can watch it later as it is saved online. This aspect of the MPS program helped promote a better work/school/life balance for me as I was pursuing my degree.

What advice can you give current and prospective students about the MPS program?
I would also like to state that the intent of the MPS program is for you to learn and develop your toolset as a GIS professional, it is important that you try to explore and challenge yourself. If you don’t know programming then try to pick up Python or JavaScript (if you want to practice making web maps then try signing up for the ArcGIS Developers program). If you want to make sure you know your stuff when setting up SQL databases, then try setting one up using a free AWS trial. Setting goals for yourself is important as it helps provide guidelines with which to measure your progress and if you get stuck somewhere then you can try asking your professors or fellow classmates in the MPS program for help. These projects can also serve to build up your work portfolio with samples you can show to prospective employers as well.

What recommendations would you make to current students for career and academic success after graduation?
I would also like to stress again that if there’s something you want to try and learn doing then just do it. Regardless of whether you succeed or fail, you’ll still gain valuable experience that you wouldn’t have otherwise if you had done nothing at all.
Also, try make an effort to try to head out to GIS meetups and conventions if you can. You can meet people in that work in your field and see what employers are looking for in terms of skills and also perhaps make some connections that could lead into jobs.

What are some of your hobbies/interests?
Well, since I just moved to Missouri, I’ve mostly been spending my time getting used to the area by seeing the sights and trying out the local food (St. Louis gooey cakes are pretty good!). Additionally, there are also quite a few bike trails around so it’s been good exercise as well as an interesting contrast to the DC-Metro area.
Aside from that, I do try to keep my eye on new trends in GIS technology and I’ve been keeping my eyes out for possibly getting a new UAV drone to try to collect GIS data for some personal projects and general knowledge.

Anything else you'd like to add?

I actually do regret not getting at least a Testudo mug or figurine before I left.

That aside, Go Terps!!!

Thank you, Marut! 

Marut Tangtronwanit