My Experience as the OGC's first Intern

Contributed by: 
Lingling Ge

As the first intern to work for the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), I feel honored to share my intern experiences with this great organization.

From February to the present time, I have worked as a Marketing and Communications Intern in OGC. My internship will end in August. Most of my tasks are aimed to help promote OGC among target audiences and facilitate the communication between OGC and its respected members.

I dealt with many domain publications. There are nearly 20 domains that OGC has projects in. I helped to find the related domain publications and website communities in each domain. Many editors are very interested in our projects and expressed their willingness to receive our press releases and monthly OGC Update newsletter, which made me feel great about my job.

Every year, OGC and its members publish many articles concerning OGC standards and ongoing projects in magazines and websites. In order to keep members informed about the progress that OGC has made and the related industry news, OGC posts the links to these articles on the website. Although searching related articles takes a long time, my understanding of geospatial technology improved through the process. It is a very interesting field and I would be more than happy to have a career in the geospatial technology world.

Another important task that I’ve done is to critique the website design of both the OGC public pages and the membership portal in terms of user experience. This is one of my professional fields since I’ve taken related courses during my graduate study. But to better fulfill this task, I consulted with my professor, referred to professional textbooks and asked my former classmates to give their opinions. After synthesizing all these ideas, I came up with a report, which got great feedback from my supervisors.

One thing that needs to be mentioned is that OGC highly values young people’s ideas and welcomes young people to stay tuned in to OGC. My supervisor, Lance McKee, always suggested to me to ask for comments from people of my age. And this summer, sponsored by Google, OGC is holding a Student Map App Challenge, which aims to get fresh ideas from young students while providing a platform for them to get practiced. I was involved in the publicity for this event and felt very happy to see many students from different countries registered for the competition.

Majoring in Marketing and Technological Innovation at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), I used to participate in many academic projects concerning emerging technology. Last semester, in an E-business Application course, my team’s project was about utilizing behavior information collected from different sensors to improve the product design process in the home appliance industry. This is a project that deals with many cutting-edge concepts and technologies such as “Internet of Things” (IoT) and “Machine to Machine” (M2M). When I began working at OGC, I found that OGC has already established working groups creating standards in this field. I realized that OGC is a very professional and internationally known organization that caters to the needs of any domain that requires geospatial standards. This may be the major reason I enjoyed working in OGC. To contribute something myself for this great organization, I took the initiative to help promote OGC in my home country – China. I helped create a Chinese wiki page in Baidu, the largest search engine in China. Also I’m in contact with the editors in Xinhuanet, one of the most influential news websites in China, to publish articles introducing OGC. I felt it was important to introduce this great organization to more Chinese and encourage them to get involved in this enterprise.

What’s more, the colleagues whom I’ve met in OGC are so nice. Lance McKee guided me in my job in OGC and provided me with advice on my career development. Mark Reichardt and Jeff Burnett, president and vice president of OGC, also helped and inspired me. Barbara, Christine, Debbie, Lynne and other staff in OGC office are all very friendly and helpful. I really enjoyed working with them.

I sincerely appreciate the chance to work at OGC, a great organization that fosters cooperation among public sector and private sector organizations in many different domains. The experience I’ve gained working for OGC will absolutely be useful to my future work.