25 August, 2021

“You will never stop learning” - Jimmy Cheung

No one day looks the same for every employee at NGIS, especially not for our graduates who get many exciting opportunities to work on diverse projects and learn new skills each and every day. 

To capture the essence of a typical day as a graduate at our organisation, we spoke to our first official GIS graduate program participant, Jimmy Cheung. Before Jimmy joined the NGIS team, there hadn’t been an official graduate program built into the NGIS framework. However, after joining the team in April 2019 he has become a valued and trusted team member who works on some of our biggest projects. 

Jimmy was a pioneer for the NGIS graduate program. In this blog we will learn more about his day-to-day working life.

What does a typical day look like for you at NGIS? 

My typical day usually starts on a client site. At the moment, I am working for one of our mining clients a few days a week in their geospatial service team. My primary role there is to provide Skyline Software support. Skyline is an intelligent digital twin platform that is really fun to work with. 

When there is an issue with our clients' use of Skyline, I am the guy to help with that. I conduct user troubleshooting and software maintenance and updates. I also get involved in project work from time to time.

On a typical day I might also be delivering Skyline or ArcGIS training at client sites. It’s fun meeting new people and sharing my passion and knowledge for these awesome applications. It’s also a great way for me to keep my own skills sharp and up to date.

What did you study in university and why? 

I graduated from UWA in 2018 with First-class Honours in Environment and Natural Resources Economics and a Masters in GIS. I enjoyed geography in high school which is why I chose it as my undergraduate. I thought I would be saving the world, but unfortunately this career path didn’t have many job prospects. 

I had taken one GIS unit in my undergraduate study and really enjoyed it, so I decided to complete my Masters in GIS. I also chose to study GIS because it is applicable to so many different industries. Your job would never be boring!

Which project has been your favourite to work on so far? 

My favourite project at NGIS was migrating one of our mining clients' GIS applications and systems to GDA2020. Our client had over 100 applications that needed to be moved and made compatible with GDA2020. If you’re not familiar with the term ‘GDA2020’ and what it means - check out this blog we wrote explaining why it is so important

The project spanned over 1.5 years and I was one of two NGIS employees working on it full time. This project involved engaging with application providers to assist with the migration and to make updates available by certain dates. My job was to manage these software vendor relationships and maintain software performance for the client throughout the upgrade. 

What has been your favourite moment at NGIS so far? 

As a thank you for all of our hard work in 2020, NGIS organised a holiday for the team and our partners in Broome, WA. We had the best time exploring this beautiful place and it was a great opportunity to get to know our fellow team members better. From camel rides, to night markets, it’s an experience I’ll never forget. 

Since we are a location company - what's your favourite location? 

Definitely Kyoto, Japan. I have always had a fascination with Japanese culture and in my spare time have been trying to learn the language. I also have a Japanese puppy called Aki, he is a Shiba Inu. Don’t be fooled by his cute face though, he has razor sharp teeth and likes to use them.

What is your advice for graduates wanting to work in the GIS industry? 

Be persistent! When I wanted to work for NGIS, I started emailing employees at the company and reaching out to them on LinkedIn until they eventually interviewed and hired me. 

Another piece of advice I can offer to GIS graduates entering the workforce is that you will never stop learning. When I started working, there were so many different applications to learn about, it was quite overwhelming. I had never heard of Skyline technology in University and now I am helping create 3D mine pits using the technology!

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