Jake Lamontagne '14
What are you currently doing for work and how did you get to this point?
I'm a research analyst at MinebeaMitsumi Aerospace. I perform research activities for one of the largest manufacturers of aerospace bearings in the world. These activities include compiling monthly reports for 9 factories in 5 different countries, maintaining the application database and supporting the field sales team with market research. I got to where I am today because of how the 5 themes of geography (location, place, human-environment interaction, movement, region) prepared me to understand a potential research problem from all angles, and how to use statistics to analyze any data set.
How did your education in COLA prepare you for life after college?
COLA's leadership and staff taught me how to research, write, collaborate, improve my weaknesses and realize my strengths. If I never attended COLA I would not be where I am today.
What person or course most influenced you while at UNH?
A human geography degree at UNH requires the student take the course Statistics for Geographers. The statistical foundation of this class and the socioeconomic knowledge taught throughout the curriculum paved the way for my future in research. From that point on, I learned how to use geography and statistics to become the research analyst I am today.
What do you know now that you wish you'd known while at UNH?
How important it is to learn computer software no matter what job you get out of college.
What advice do you have for students interested in your field?
Not a lot of employers know what the field of geography entails, so whenever you are in an interview always relay why geography would be beneficial to the employer. Learn at least one database program (MS Access, Salesforce, Excel, etc.). Take a couple introductory courses on statistics at UNH. Take Arc GIS seriously. It is a very expensive program to purchase, and you should spend time in the GIS lab where it is free to use.