Letter From DC: Sean O’Connor

Sean O’Connor, Class of 2005, pulled off a hat trick by graduating with honors that included Outstanding Achievement as a Geography Major, Distinction in the Major, and being awarded the Jack and Laura Dangermond Undergraduate Fellowship. To top that, he also landed a National Geographic Internship and just sent the following “Letter from DC” about his experiences:

Greetings from the nation’s capital!

I finished up my internship with National Geographic Magazine in December. I worked in the research department for the magazine, which is a great role, as researchers have a strong hand in shaping the editorials published in the magazine. I also had the opportunity to write 5 small articles published online. The topics I covered ranged from Jewish holidays to the Spitzer space telescope (I even called upon the wisdom of the geography department’s optics sage, Dar Roberts, when writing that one). I continue to work for the Geographic as a part-time freelance researcher.

I currently work full-time at an organization called Bridges.org. They work to bring Information & Communication Technology to the developing world, mainly in eastern and southern Africa.

I’m working on a mapping project for them (back to my GIS roots!!). We are working in conjunction with Map Maker Ltd (a small commercial UK-based GIS company), and their non-profit counter-part-the Map Maker Trust, on a project to bring maps as a tool for socio-economic development in Africa. Basically, it is a project to bring maps to the non-mapping experts working on-the-ground in development in Africa. It’s really exciting and I’m leading the project. Big boots to fill, but I’m not sinking, yet anyway!

I hope all is well in SB with all my geography comrades. I’m your loyal UCSB geography alum over here in Washington, if you ever need any lobbying done! Or anything at all really.

Yours in Washington (and in mapping)

Sean P O’Connor

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