Liberal Arts Career Services
Liberal Arts Career Services

Texas General Land Office

Spring 2017  

Position: GIS Intern
Student: Geography Senior

For any student interested in a career in GIS, or to develop their GIS skills to assist their career in many other environmentally oriented fields, the Texas General Land Office (GLO) is a great place to intern. The friendly and open nature of the office is very conducive to a productive internship. Whether you are focused on the methods and techniques involved, or the many frameworks which determine how we manage our public lands in Texas, there are numerous opportunities to advance your understanding of the field. If you have concerns of being kept busy with marginal, unimportant jobs, the GLO will certainly be a sigh of relief. Not only will you work on projects that could potentially save the state millions of dollars, but you will work on projects that ultimately end up facing the public on the web. I would encourage anyone interested to browse the many pages of GIS products on the web for a selection of potential work projects during any internship with the GLO. Additionally, the scheduling for interns is extremely flexible. You essentially write your own schedule, are reasonably well paid, and the only requirement is that you work the 150 budgeted hours over the course of the semester. You will participate in the weekly office meetings, where the opportunity to contribute to the discussion is encouraged, and at the very least you will gain valuable experience in the inner-workings of a functional government office. The majority of your time will be spent at your own desk where you have your own network credentials to log into your own pc. There you will have nearly every tool available to contribute to major projects, daily map requests, or even participate in webinars that cover the latest industry technology and software. Interning with the GLO is also a great way to get your foot in the door of the industry. Having access to the extended networks of the office is a perk that any intern with the right amount of drive could potentially turn into career opportunities down the line. 

Summer 2016

Position: Human Resources Intern
Student: Psychology Senior

As the HR summer 2016 intern, I was tasked with the creation and implementation of a new Employee Performance Evaluation (EPE) system and method of 360-degree feedback for the entire 600+ employee agency. This was, essentially, done completely independently with very little regulating guidance. This job involved individually researching, analyzing, compiling, and presenting information regarding common HR metrics and various effective employee appraisal systems in different industries to HR managers and agency executives. After gathering feedback and input on my research from higher-ups which indicated the general direction in which they wished the new program to go, I was then in charge of independently creating, distributing, monitoring and maintaining, and then analyzing an agency-wide survey for the collection of employee input, opinions, and job data. I then used my resulting data and its analysis to develop and outline all aspects of the new EPE program as well as all of its associated forms, instructions, educational, and supplemental material.
    This internship was unpaid and required that the intern use it to earn class credit. It entailed a great degree of independently driven and self-regulated work with periodic and rather minimal supervision and managerial oversight or instruction. The duties of my internship, however, were different from their average internship for several reasons. First of all, the HR department just so happened to be tasked with the rather uncommon job of completely redesigning the agency’s EPE along with several other intra-employee communication systems this summer. Secondly, in my initial interview I discussed my desire to pursue a degree in Industrial Organizational (IO) Psychology post graduation, and explained to HR management that the field that can often incorporate a number of the duties they were in need of, including the design and management of EPE systems, survey and data-collection techniques, and management and leadership training. Because of this, my managers decided to hire me as their intern with a uniquely created project instead of being tasked with the duties a normal internship might entail. They believed that assigning me with the oversight of developing such a system would provide me with a unique experience and skills closely associated with many careers in IO psychology, as well as serve the agency in its current specific needs.
    Because my internship duties fell under a rather unique set of circumstances, I cannot say that my job duties are typically those that constitute a summer internship for the HR department at the GLO. My best prediction of the normal time spent as the HR intern for any given summer are that half of the internship time would be split working under each member of the department, helping with whatever they needed at the time in order to get a good understanding of what each HR job does, as well as all the different functions HR fulfills within the agency. I predict the other half of the time would be spend working on an independent project that management would assign depending specifically on what the intern desired to get out of the experience and their unique skills and interests, as well as on what the agency currently needed from the department.

Summer 2010

Position: GIS Intern
Student: Geography Senior

During the 2010 summer I had a great opportunity to participate in the Texas General Land Office internship program as a GIS intern. I was involved mainly in their Coastal Resource Program and had the opportunity to work closely with GIS personnel. I had a really good experience in my short time with them. I joined their team of two full-time employees there and two other interns from other universities that were there for the summer just as I was.

The typical day as a GIS intern was to work on map that have been requested either from someone in our agency or for other agencies. In the beginning of the internship we work very much in-group settings. All the interns would receive the map request and be given some suggestions on what we should have on the map. And from there we would begin to work on the project that we received. The two interns and I would think about what is the best way to visual the information that was requested with the most up to date and most accurate information. I had a lot of hands on experience during this internship, which was great because I learned a lot. It was a great internship because I was not given mediocre or unrelated tasks but I was part of the GIS team. I was trusted to have the projects done by the deadline given to the fellow interns and me. I trusted and they can full confidence that I was able to do my job.

When we were not working on map requests we would be working in building a database for the agency. The database has been an on going process and they briefed us on the purpose of the database. Then they would instruct us on what they need us to do. There was much help given to us by them, because neither I or the other interns were familiar with how to add to the database and the data that was presented to us.

A good thing about the internship was that even though we were given the responsibility to do the projects and were briefed on the projects and then left to do the projects they still helped us when we needed it. If we could not remember how to do something they would assist us. They really wanted us to treat the internship as a learning experience. They both were very helpful.

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    University of Texas at Austin
    FAC 18
    2304 Whitis Ave. Stop G6200
    Austin, Texas 78712-1508