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Awesome Associates – Kelsey Smith, PSM, Project Surveyor (West Palm Beach, FL)
Tell us a little bit about where you’re from and where you went to school:
I was born and raised in South Florida. I call 70 degrees cold and like to be able to spend Christmas at the beach.
After a couple of semesters at Palm Beach State College, I moved up to Gainesville to finish my associate degree at Sante Fe State College before eventually transferring to the University of Florida and graduating with my Bachelor’s Degree in Geomatics in 2010. I was lucky enough to experience 3 championships (2 football and 1 basketball) while in Gainesville.
What drew you to this profession?
The biggest element that drew me to land surveying was luck. In high school, I needed a job to fulfill my OJT (on-the-job training) class requirements. I was waiting tables and quickly learned that wasn’t the job for me after dropping more meals than I delivered. My mom was working at a local survey firm at the time and they happened to be hiring for an entry-level position. I was at a point in my life where I needed to start considering what I was going to study in college and ultimately choose as a profession. I enjoyed the work, and after doing some research on the demand for licensed surveyors, I decided this was the career for me.
What types of projects have you worked on?
The majority of my experience has been in land development, including boundary surveys, topographic surveys, construction layout, and as-builts.
What’s your get-pumped song?
Turn Down for What by DJ Snake and Lil Jon
What do you like to do in your free time?
When the weather is nice, my wife and I like to take our jeep up the coast to try out restaurants in Port Salerno, Jensen Beach, or wherever we feel like stopping for the day. If we’re keeping it local, we like to take our two dogs over to the dog beach north of the Juno Pier and maybe catch some surf if it’s breaking. If I’m not at the beach or driving the jeep around, I like to spend my time in the garage working on our cars.
What does your ideal vacation look like?
My ideal vacation includes a beach, cold drinks, and no plans. I guess that’s probably why I like living in Jupiter.
What would be impossible for you to give up?
Any interesting facts about yourself that you’d like to share?
I have been driving for 19 years and have owned 15 different cars. It’s not an ideal financial strategy, but I like the variety.
Who or what inspires you?
My parents. They worked hard to provide for my sister and me and prioritized spending time with us. They always made it seem easy, and I know it wasn’t. Also, those videos on Facebook about stray dogs who get adopted and are happy. Those are inspiring too.
Everyone at WGI has a story about why they joined the team. What’s yours?
While working at my previous employer in the public sector, I received an offer to join a private survey firm. At the time, I felt like my public sector job may have run its course and might not offer the path for growth that I wanted for my career. However, this was about 3 months into the Covid-19 pandemic, so I was concerned about the stability of the private sector. I reached out to Jim Sullivan, who I had known for several years through FSMS, to get some insight into how surveying was faring in the pandemic. After answering all of my questions, Jim mentioned that WGI was hiring a Surveyor in West Palm Beach. Between my experience working with Jim at FSMS and WGI’s reputation, I decided it was the right opportunity to pursue.
Join the team
Do you want to work with more awesome associates like Kelsey? Be sure to check out our Careers page for the latest opportunities in your city!
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