This spotlight article features a guest post from Morgan Moe, at the University of Calgary who recently attended the Esri User Conference in San Diego in July as a volunteer through the Esri Student Assistantship Program.

Group photo of the 2017 Esri Student Assistants
Group photo of the 2017 Esri Student Assistants
(Morgan Moe is in the 2nd row, fifth from the right)

My name is Morgan Moe and I am Geomatics Engineering Student at the University of Calgary. After taking my first Geographic Information Systems (GIS) course I was eager to learn more about it and how I could apply it to real-world problems. As with everything, my search started online where I discovered the plethora of resources that Esri offers. I quickly decided that attending the 2017 Esri User Conference was the best way to further my awareness in the world of GIS.

This is when I learned about the Esri Student Assistantship Program. This program selects 60 students from around the world to attend the annual Esri User Conference in San Diego. Being a Student Assistant, you receive full registration to the conference, hotel accommodation, and a per diem allowance for meals. You are required to help with a variety of conference tasks such as registration, logistics, technical workshops, and running the Esri Store. The best part is that while you get to work with a great group of people for the first half the day, the second half is at your disposal for attending inspiring talks and informative technical workshops.

With dozens of great events taking place simultaneously, it was very challenging to decide what to attend! Here are a few highlights that stand out in my memory:

I would highly encourage any students interested in GIS to apply for the Esri Student Assistantship Program. Not only will you learn an outstanding amount about leading GIS technology and how to use it, but you will also meet incredible people from all around the world. These professional connections will inspire your own career and open opportunities you may not even know exist.