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Career Profile

Jim Wei

Associate GIS Analyst
Esri Canada
Jim Wei tenant un drone
Jim Wei tenant un drone
Sector
Location Born
Location Now
Education Pathway

I use online mapping software and programming skills to help solve real-world problems in the environmental and health industries.

About me

I was born/grew up in: Toronto, Ontario

I now live in: Toronto, Ontario

I completed my training/education at:  I did my undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto in Environmental Geoscience and an advanced diploma at Fleming College for Geographic Information Systems (GIS). I prepared myself for my current job by taking courses in programming during my spare time.

What I do at work

I work in the developer team at Esri Canada. Our team is part of the technical support department. My department is responsible for making sure all our customers and clients are able to use our mapping software products successfully. These may be online or offline products, on desktops or mobile devices.

My day-to-day tasks involve talking to customers and clients about any issues or questions they may have. I use my research skills to find solutions and write code to solve problems. My school education taught me how to write effectively for communication, and problem solving and organizational skills.

I have talented coworkers who are some of the best in the GIS field. My team can range from 10-30 people, depending on what kind of work we are doing. I am now part of a unique associate program that takes me to different teams and departments. One day I could be solving cases, the next day I could be giving a webinar or writing code!

My specialized equipment is a powerful computer, three monitors, a keyboard and a mouse. Because I have the option to work remotely, I can take my equipment and work anywhere in Canada! I talk to my coworkers and clients using virtual phones and messaging applications like MS Teams.

My workplace uses French. That’s very important because we are a national company. Personally, I prefer communicating using programming languages!

My career path is

Late in my undergraduate career, I realized that I like working with hands-on projects using computer software, and visualizing problems. After graduating from university, I worked in the environmental and geoscience area for a couple of years. However, GIS and mapping software was always in my mind.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, I decided to go back to school and learn GIS in depth. I thoroughly enjoyed my application specialist program and graduated top of my class!

I am motivated by

I get excited about working with cutting-edge GIS technology. We have so many software products and tools that do incredible things. For example, we can build 3D models in our software, do drone flight planning, and use satellite images to see changes in our environment. These are just the tip of the iceberg!

I enjoy helping my customers and clients succeed with our technology. Helping them solve their problems makes me feel like I am involved in their work. You get users from all kinds of industries, so the work is always new. One time I helped a client with his wildfire monitoring dashboard. I felt like I was indirectly a firefighter, even though I only helped with a small part of his work.

How I affect peoples’ lives

My job helps people manage, analyze and visualize their location data. It also gives them the ability to communicate that data. GIS helps businesses improve and meet their goals. Without my job, people would have a hard time figuring out where everything is, and how they should manage their resources.

Outside of work I

I enjoy flying drones, rock climbing and making barbecue.

My advice to others

Don’t be afraid of trying something you are not good at, especially if you know it is something useful. I was not good at GIS or programming when I first started. Nevertheless, I built a strong habit of practicing a little every day.

When I was a student, I enjoyed:
  • Foreign Languages
  • Geography
  • Math
  • Physical Education/Health
  • Science
  • Technology
When I was a student, I would have described myself as someone who:
  • Always wanted to be outside
  • Liked helping people
  • Enjoyed working with my hands
  • Was motivated by success
  • Wanted to be in charge
  • Liked reading
  • Played video games
  • Felt great satisfaction in getting good grades
  • Wasn't sure what I wanted to do
  • Learned best "by doing"
  • Liked to take things apart to see how they worked

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Partners

Mining Matters

Let's Talk Science would like to thank Mining Matters for connecting us with the individual profiled above.

Mining Matters is a charitable organization dedicated to bringing knowledge and awareness about Canada's geology, mineral resources, and their roles in society to students, educators, and the public. The organization provides current information about rocks, minerals, metals, mining and the diverse career opportunities available in the minerals industry.

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