Since I took the terminal non-thesis masters’ option my research was somewhat limited, but the most interesting field research I did was on corn growing at the Kellogg Biological Station in Hickory Corners. I also did some work with spacebornehyperspectral imagery. Some months after graduation I took a job as GIS Analyst/Coordinator for the City of Davenport, IA. I stayed there for nearly 2 years, then I briefly attended Seminary for one semester at Western Theological Seminary, one of the 2 denominational seminaries of the Reformed Church in America. Then in 2006 when I realized the seminary thing was not my cup of tea, I accepted a general IT Manager position at a polystyrene foam manufacturing plant in Grand Rapids. I stayed in general IT or general web programming until June 2010 – often making changes due to the hard economic nature of those years, and moving to the Chicago area to help my chances and doing very little GIS work unfortunately – until I accepted a job as a developer at Investortools, Inc. based in Yorkville, IL. At Investortools I work with a team of developers to service and further develop custom software used by many of the world’s largest financial institutions to manage their investment portfolios. Our software has particular appeal and large market share amongst portfolio managers who invest primarily in municipal bonds. Since coming to Investortools I have successfully argued for the adoption of mapping technology into our CreditScope software. Many Investortools employees have worked with me to develop some fairly decent mapping functionality. Users can now map various financial metrics at State, County and Census Place level in CreditScope. This might not sound so impressive to members of MSU Geography, but when I came here we had precisely zero mapping whatever in our software. The most recent development in this story is Investortools’ forthcoming partnership with Lumesis, a start-up company from Connecticut that has more advanced mapping capability. Our shared client-base will be able to access a great deal of mapping functionality as a result of this partnership.
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