In the world of GIS, folks often find themselves on unique and winding paths to their current roles. Jenny Benish, a remarkable member of the GIS community, embodies this journey with her passion, dedication, and profound commitment to GIS. Jenny’s story is one of resilience and determination in a field that continually evolves.
Jenny's introduction to GIS was far from conventional. She initially embarked on a career in cultural resource management archaeology, earning a graduate degree in the field. During her archaeological work, which involved using GPS to document site locations and create maps, Jenny became increasingly captivated by the world of GIS. This fascination eventually led her back to school, where she obtained a graduate certificate in Geographic Information Analysis, marking the pivotal moment in her transition from archaeology to a full-fledged GIS career.
Jenny's venture into GIS began at ground level, joining as a GIS analyst working on projects related to national security and intelligence. Her role involved analyzing aerial imagery worldwide, annotating geographical features, and recording data. Through determination and hard work, she steadily climbed the ranks within her organization, eventually overseeing teams and managing complex projects. Her ability to build a department from scratch, standardize deliverables, and ensure project success showcased her leadership and GIS expertise. With her heart set on pursuing a career more aligned with her passion for GIS, Jenny joined Axim in January 2022. Her role as a Geospatial Project Manager marked a shift toward a more comprehensive project management focus in GIS.
For women aspiring to enter the GIS field, Jenny recommends aligning educational choices with specific job requirements in the GIS industry. She emphasizes the importance of examining the prerequisites for your dream job early on, so you can tailor your education, accordingly, avoiding potential mismatches. Jenny's second piece of advice centers on setting clear career goals and constantly seeking opportunities for growth and advancement. She firmly believes in the mantra, "never stand still," emphasizing the necessity of forward motion and continuous self-improvement.
Jenny's interests extend far beyond the boundaries of GIS. Travel holds a special place in her heart, allowing her to experience diverse cultures, cuisines, and landscapes. She enjoys the opportunity to explore new places and broaden her horizons. In fact, Jenny has set a personal goal to visit all 50 states in the United States, and she's well on her way to achieving it, with only 11 more states left to explore.Additionally, she enjoys reading and various forms of gaming, including board games and video games.
Jenny's accomplishments in GIS and her unwavering dedication to learning and growth exemplify her impressive career. Her transition from archaeology to GIS project management serves as an inspiring testament to the possibilities within the GIS field. As we celebrate the achievements of Women in GIS, Jenny Benish stands as an admirable example of determination and resilience, inspiring others to pursue their passions and embrace the changing world of GIS.