Paving a New Way in GIS Leadership | Student Success Stories

We sat down with Gabriel Borroni, M.P.S. ’10, geographic information systems, to learn how his UMBC education has helped shape his GIS leadership skills.

Can you tell us what you loved most about the courses?

The instructors encouraged participation between the peers. Because of all the classmates that are in the program, everyone’s already a professional. So it’s a great way to start networking and learning GIS leadership skills. And I still maintain these great networks today.

How specifically have you applied your classroom knowledge in the real world?

I drew on my GIS technical and leadership skills from the program with a recent project. In this project, I helped develop an asset management system for a local highway construction project. While working on this project, I used a variety of skills I gained in the program. For example, database design, application development, and web design. A great opportunity resulted from this project. I was invited to attend the ESRI National Conference. The client asked me to present my data because the asset management system that we developed is cutting edge and new technology. I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish what I did without the program. The skills learned from the instructors were invaluable.

GIS leadership

What was your experience with the instructors?

The teaching staff was amazing. They’re all incredibly professional and well-versed in their knowledge. During every program and every class, I could ask questions and get a one-to-one relationship with the professor. They tailored their answers to a student’s specific industry or field. And, if one of us were working on a specific project, they would allow that person to incorporate that into their class instruction. So, in the end, we got the opportunity to tailor our learning.

Can you tell us about your professional work after graduating?

After graduating, I began to work in more of a GIS leadership role. Through taking management classes and dealing with specific projects with other peers, the program paves the way to become a GIS project manager or even a manager in general.

How have you benefited most from this program?

The program has actually given me the confidence to take on some new roles and think outside of the box. I’ve learned to reinvent the wheel as much as I can. Rather than just staying with the tried and true methodology, I can incorporate the different things that I learned in the program to pave a new way. Without the program and the multiple courses that I took, I wouldn’t have been able to do this. I learned many relevant skills, from GIS project management, to GIS leadership, to collaborating with other GIS professionals. And, on the technical side, I wouldn’t have been able to build the database and start to design the application without the skills that I learned.

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