This is where your life as a GIS professional begins. Review these best practices as you search for the right project for you, and increase the chances that a client will want your particular help.

Always Act Professionally

You are engaging with this service as an individual student, but you are also representing your academic program and your university within a community of skilled professionals. Be polite, courteous, and respectful in everything you do here, from the content of your profile to the honesty with which you contact clients and submit a request for a project.

Communication is the Key to Success with this Service

Informed clients are happy clients, and this goes for your faculty advisors as well. Communicating early and clearly is key to avoiding conflicts, completing projects successfully, and moving on with your academic obligations.

These are our top communication tips, from landing the job to finishing the project:

  • Outline a few clear and realistic expectations for you and your client to agree upon before you start the project. Document the agreement, including deliverables, deadlines, availability, and communication.
  • Be completely knowledgeable and upfront about your availability and academic schedule. Make sure the client fully understands that you are undertaking this task while you are a student enrolled in an academic program and must fulfill other academic obligations concurrently.
  • Respond quickly to questions and messages.
  • Keep your faculty advisor in the loop too, so they are able to provide you support and work through any issues that may arise with your project. Consider sending your client and faculty advisor regular updates.
  • When in doubt, ask! Don't be afraid to contact your client with project-related questions or concerns.

Use Your Profile Wisely

Your profile is the one way that you have to show a potential client that you're the right person for the task. Use the space wisely and strategically to highlight your skills and interests. Well-written, professional profiles are always more likely to be a client's choice. Avoid using slang, ALL CAPS or text shortcuts, and double-check that everything is grammatically correct and spelled properly.

Put Thought Into the Projects For Which You Give Your "Bids-of-Interest"

To increase your chances of being selected, only submit your interest for a project that you expect to be able to do well, that really interests you, and that fits within your schedule of availability. Be aware and respectful of the fact that this service is being provided for many students across many universities. Choose wisely and keep the service running well for future clients and students.

Be Work-Ready and Reliable

Being reliable and responsive is just as important as doing great work. Make sure that you understand the client's expectations and the project's needs so that you will be qualified and capable of meeting these. This means responding promptly, meeting deadlines, and delivering on your professional promises.

Be Your Own Best Manager

Within the context of your particular academic setting, you will be responsible for managing your project, your schedule, and your client relationship. Don't overcommit. Set and communicate realistic expectations, meet deadlines, and always do your best work. Use this experience to prepare you well for all of the future work you will do with geospatial technologies.