Durham Regional Police Service in Whitby, Ontario
After completing her undergraduate degree in Geography – Urban Development – at the University of Western Ontario, Tracee Nemeth took two years off from her studies before enrolling in Fleming College’s GIS Application Specialist post-graduate certificate. Since then, she has interned for the Town of Richmond Hill in their GIS department, worked in GIS Support for Orion, and now serves as a Crime Analyst for the Durham Regional Police Service (DRPS). Tracee recently completed 10 years of service with DRPS as a civilian employee.
1. Can you describe the relevance of your university and college classes in the real-world setting?
The one-year GIS certificate at Fleming was more intense than my four years of undergraduate studies. University supplied the educational background and foundation for independent learning that I desired, whereas the program at Fleming College provided me with the practical skills to go out and actually get a job. Although my role as a Crime Analyst is not a GIS-based position, the inherent knowledge that goes along with understanding GIS in invaluable to this role.
2. How do you incorporate geography into your work?
Maps can be used to support different crime theories. The processes we use are not overly complicated but the results are useful. For example, maps can help establish timelines and activities for investigative purposes.
3. What skills do you wish you learned during your education that would help you in the job market today?
Placing more emphasis on the development of verbal communication and presentation skills would have been beneficial. There is no doubt that my proficiency in written communication improved over my studies, but I would have appreciated more time dedicated to verbal communication as well.
4. Do you have any advice for students wishing to attain a fulfilling career in geography?
Get out there and do the field camps. Not only are they fun, the experiences you have and relationships you form will be useful in the future. Make the effort to build your people network and maintain it. Become a master in your field. Really get involved, do not just read about it.