Neeraj Sirdeshmukh

“. . . studying GIS gives me the tools and knowledge I need to graduate and get straight to working in the real world.”

Hometown: Pune, India

Major: GIS
Expected Graduated: May 2014

UT Dallas Achievements & Activities

  • Archer Fellowship, Intern at National Geographic Society
  • GIS Department Researcher
  • President's Volunteer Service Award
  • Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society
  • Collegium V Honors Program
  • Undergraduate Research Scholar Award
  • Dean's List
  • UT Dallas Toastmasters, President and Vice President of Education
  • Alternative Spring Break, Site Leader
  • Indian Students Association
  • Global Awareness Forum, President and Founder
  • GIS Student Organization
  • Volunteer through Office of Student Volunteerism

Deciding on GIS

Geography is my passion. Ever since I was young, I have always had a love for maps and learning about the diverse cultures of the world. Learning about the world and its people intrigues me. I think it is absolutely crucial for us human beings to understand the planet we live on. Geography is also very interdisciplinary, and studying GIS gives me the tools and knowledge I need to graduate and get straight to working in the real world.

My EPPS Success

Dr. Denis Dean has really inspired me to succeed in this field and I owe much of my success to both him and my advisor, Nora Hernandez, for all of the invaluable help and support she has offered me over these years. Professors and academic advisors are excellent people to work with, and I can say with utmost certainty that Dr.Dean and Mrs.Hernandez have been the two most beneficial people so far in helping me succeed in college.

Plans for the Future

I plan to stay in the GIS field and use the knowledge I have acquired here at UT Dallas. GIS has excellent real-world applications and I have already interned for companies using GIS to survey for oil and gas reserves and for the protection of wildlife. I have seen the direct correlation between the skills I have learned in class and those which are needed for real-world jobs. GIS is an emerging technology that is being rapidly put to use, especially in developing countries such as India and China. It promises an outstanding job market and potential for growth.

Advice to Prospective EPPS Students

I would highly encourage students to plan their classes wisely. Look for classes that interest you, even if they are not in your degree program. It is sometimes possible to include even these classes into your degree if you speak with your advisor. Also, keep the Fast Track program open as an option for consideration. Being able to receive your bachelor’s as well as your master’s degree in five years could prove to be incredibly beneficial for you in the near future.

I highly encourage students to find what they are passionate about and pursue their passions further in college. Also, I would strongly recommend students find a proper balance between school work and extracurricular activities, as both are important to your college career; never value one at the expense of the other.

Other Interests

UT Dallas has many extracurricular activities and clubs which you should take advantage of. There are a wide variety of interest groups and almost anyone can find a club or group that fits their niche!