Rhonda-Costin.jpg
Alumni, Class of 2016
Hometown
Springfield, Oregon

Accomplishments while at Oregon Tech: Only student to ever receive NAIA recognition 6 times, Team captain for Cross Country, PLSO Scholarships
Current city: Woodburn, OR
Current job title & place of employment (or continuing education school): ODOT in Salem, OR

Why did you choose Oregon Tech?

I chose Oregon Tech because it has a strong Geomatics department and supports participation in the MECOP/CECOP internship program. Also, the small class sizes make classes a lot more enjoyable.

What do you like best about your major?

I love the combination of outdoor fieldwork and computer mapping. Being outside along with performing calculations is the perfect balance.

What do you like most about your profession?

I enjoy being outdoors and the math and problem solving that is involved on a daily basis. It never gets old!

How long after graduation did it take you to find a job?

After I graduated I was encouraged by one of my professors, Jack Walker, to attend Purdue University’s grad program in Remote Sensing. It is a 2-year program but I finished in one year while also being a TA in the surveying classes. I got my job at ODOT three months later.

Did you participate in any externships during your time at Oregon Tech?

I spent a summer working at Hawaiian Electric Company in Honolulu, HI.

How do you feel your time at Oregon Tech prepared you for your current job/continuing studies?

All of the hands-on classes at Oregon Tech really prepared me well for my job. At other schools students learn the theory but at Oregon Tech we were actually working with the instruments starting our first year. The CAD classes were also very important for the work I do and if I had not had those courses, I wouldn’t know what to do. Employers don’t have time to train employees so my coding classes at Oregon Tech were really important.

Is there anything you wish you would have done during your time at Oregon Tech that you didn’t?

I wish I would have taken advantage of the Outdoor Program more. I was busy year-round with track and cross country.

Do you maintain professional relationships with any of your professors?

I stay in touch with professors Mason Marker and Jeff Walker. I was also the only woman in my class of 12 students that graduated together and we all keep in touch and still get together.

What advice would you give to a current student at Oregon Tech?

My advice is to spend as much time with your professors outside of class, during their office hours. The professors have industry experience and you can learn so much from them, even outside the classroom.