Northeastern (46th Annual) and North-Central (45th Annual) Joint Meeting (20–22 March 2011)

Paper No. 6
Presentation Time: 11:20 AM


EISNER, Mark, Advanced Land and Water, Inc, 7540 Main Street, Suite 7, Sykesville, MD 21784,

A quarter century ago, I was completing my MS in Geology, and I attended GSA meetings just like this one in hopeful pursuit of employment in my chosen profession. I attended mentoring sessions and participated in on-premises interviews. Then like now, geologists found employment in the energy sector. However, it was oil, not natural gas that seemed to harbor the best opportunities. Everybody wanted the coveted interview with Exxon or Amoco. The environmental field essentially did not exist.

Then, unlike now, there was little if any career development guidance. No one seemed to offer sound advice on course selection, resume building, skill set development or interview techniques. Computers were relatively new and not commonly used in the profession, and my idea to focus my master’s thesis topic on a computer application of geology was brand spanking new. Little did I know that this simple idea would launch my career first as a water resources regulator, then as an environmental consultant and now as the founder and owner of a hydrogeological consulting firm in my home State of Maryland.

That was then. This is now. I hire entry-level geologists and hydrogeologists. I screen resumes, I interview, select, hire, train and mentor fellow professionals in the way I wish someone had for me 25 years ago. I see a wide range of professionalism, diligence, dedication and follow-through on the part of applicants. I see people over-qualified, under-qualified and clueless as to whether or not they are qualified. I see people blow interviews and I see them blow our socks off.

This presentation will focus on “do’s” and “don’ts” of the job search, application and interview process. I will review how to prepare for an interview, how to dress, and how to ask intelligent questions that impress your interviewer. I will offer frank advice in applying for and securing employment, seizing career development and advancement opportunities, and judging when it might be a good idea not to accept offered employment. Some tips may be applied common sense; others may be more subtle.

We are hiring now; check for details. Whether or not our open position is appropriate, I drove four hours to come and speak here because I care about the next generation of geologists entering our profession. Contact me. Ask me questions. Let me help.