As we mentioned previously, Sunday was National Mentorship Day, and it was definitely a topic of conversation at the Regional Meeting. The Educators in GIS Network Special Interest Group met, and we were pushed to think about how each one of us could bring GIS to classrooms by Charlie Fitzpatrick from Esri.
I also heard about a conversation between two long-time WLIA members about how many of us might not think we have something to offer as a mentor. But mentorship need not be formal, nor do we always need to offer up magic bullets or grand statements. Sometimes it’s a matter of spending a few extra minutes explaining what went into a decision you made, or introducing a new employee to organizations that might be helpful to their career development.
In this spirit, I received a special shout-out that WLIA member Emily Berth, now with Milwaukee County DOT, wanted to share to publicly thank her mentor:
“Brad Blumer is the current GIS Coordinator at the City of Waukesha. He’s a considerate partner to his wife Devon, the father of two young boys, and the Alderman of his district in Brookfield. He’s a busy guy to say the least. I know this because I had the opportunity to work for Brad at the City of Waukesha when they first hired a GIS Analyst. It was during this time that I began to fully understand what a GIS mentor really is and how important it can be to find one. I’m so thankful for all that I learned from Brad while I was working with him. He taught me a great deal about GIS, project management in government, how to navigate my own career path, and, maybe most importantly, what mock crab is really made of. I trust him to answer technical questions and always have a good meme ready when things with GIS go awry.
Brad demonstrates keen consideration when responding to challenges. When we were in meetings, I know he was always actively listening to our GIS users and what problems they might be facing. I’ve never seen him shirk from a responsibility but always graciously offer any support he could. He is a patient teacher and he has offered me sound advice on more than one occasion. I’m happy to call Brad Blumer my GIS mentor. I respect him and hope to emulate the qualities I’ve acknowledged here myself. So, thank you Brad, for the opportunities you provided me, the advice you’ve given to me, and for your friendship. May you live long and prosper.”
Wonderfully put, Emily, and great work, Brad. With that, think about what you could offer as a mentor, and thank someone that helped you. Help build the future, one person at a time.