Alumni who majored in geography join us for a virtual panel and one-on-one chats for the Geography Field Guide.
Presented by the Center for Careers and Internships and co-sponsored by the Geography department, this Field Guide brings alumni back to campus virtually to share knowledge and experience related to their post-Middlebury careers and professional lives.
On April 15-16 Middlebury graduates who majored in geography will join us via Zoom. Thursday evening, alumni will participate in a career panel. Friday morning, our alumni guests will hold one-on-one chats with students.
Field Guides help students think broadly about where their academic work may lead them in a professional context by giving them the information they need to think critically about what they’ll do with their liberal arts major or degree after Middlebury.
Join us for the Zoom panel discussion Thursday, April 15 at 5:00 p.m. to hear how our panel of alumni went from campus to career.
You can also sign up for one-on-one conversations with alums on Friday morning.
Thursday, April 15, 2021
Career Panel, 5:00 p.m.
Sign up in Handshake.
Friday, April 16, 2021
One-on-One Career Chats
9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
via Zoom (full bios and links to chats coming soon!)
Geography Major Guide
Curious about majoring in geography? Check out the major’s learning goals, reasons you might choose this major, where geography majors might go for internships, and what sorts of careers they move on to. See the full major guide.
JACK BALABAN ’12 - On panel, but not available for one-on-one chats.
VP, Special Assistant to the CEO
Walker & Dunlop
Based out of Denver, Colorado, Jack Balaban is Vice President and the Special Assistant to Walker & Dunlop’s CEO, Willy Walker. In this role, Mr. Balaban works closely with the CEO to integrate the company’s technological investments and capabilities into client, partner, and employee meetings throughout the country.
Prior to his current role, Mr. Balaban focused on the company’s multi-year technology initiative to develop a proprietary database of commercial real estate debt outstanding in the United States. Mr. Balaban’s previous roles at Walker & Dunlop include working as an analyst for the New York City-based loan originations team, and he began his career as a member of the multifamily underwriting team in Bethesda, Maryland.
Mr. Balaban holds a Bachelor of Arts from Middlebury College, where he played Varsity Lacrosse.
Jia Jun is currently a Master in Public Affairs (MPA) candidate at Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs, concentrating in economics and public policy. Prior to Princeton, he worked at the World Bank for 4 years (3 in Washington D.C. and 1 in Jakarta, Indonesia). His work focused on the intersection of environmental sustainability and economic development, including topics such as the blue economy, the cost of air pollution, sustainability economics, and the use of spatial data to uncover poverty-environment linkages. He has also worked with the World Resources Institute, National Geographic Society and the World Wildlife Fund. Jia Jun is Malaysian and graduated from Middlebury College in 2015 with a B.A. in Geography.
Marty Schnure is a cartographer and photographer with a focus on connecting people with conservation. She currently leads cartography and spatial analysis at the nation’s leading public lands conservation and advocacy organization, The Wilderness Society. Her maps are used in debates in Congress, films, stakeholder meetings, court cases, news articles, books, and more.
Before joining The Wilderness Society, she founded Maps for Good in 2012 with the mission of creating maps and media to promote conservation initiatives and connect people with wild places. Her work with Maps for Good has taken her to wildlands around the world, some highlights being mapping the future Patagonia National Park in southern Chile, creating science communication stories on the Farallon National Wildlife Refuge, mapping a Bellbird corridor in Costa Rica, and developing interactive maps of the then-proposed Bears Ears National Monument.
Marty got her start in cartography at National Geographic Magazine soon after graduating from Middlebury. She stays involved with the Society as a National Geographic Explorer with the Expeditions Council, which has funded multiple Maps for Good projects. She lives in Seattle.
Hope is currently a Project Leader in BCG’s Chicago office, where her work focuses on strategic development and organizational transformation for industrial goods clients. Prior to her work in management consulting, Hope’s career focused on understanding and improving the urban environment, first as an urban planner at Sasaki Associates and then as Director of Industry Partnerships at MIT’s Center for Advanced Urbanism. Hope also has experience as a cartographer developing maps for textbooks and other print publications. In addition to her BA in Geography from Middlebury, she holds a Masters in City Planning from MIT and an MBA from the Tuck School of Business (Dartmouth).
RACHEL STRONG ’08 - On panel, but not available for one-on-one chats.
Agile Program Manager, Digital Transformation
Rachel Strong graduated from Middlebury College in 2008 with a major in Geography and additional studies in Arabic. She is currently an Agile Program Manager supporting Chevron’s digital transformation, focusing on the new Corporate Affairs Digital Platform. Prior to this role, Rachel has held a variety of posts across Chevron IT including stints in cybersecurity, organizational capability development, and serving as a Business Analyst on numerous enterprise-wide technology and process deployments. Before joining Chevron, she was an IT Business Analyst at IBM and Accenture, implementing Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) software across a variety of industries. Although she hasn’t been able to use any of her foreign language skills post-grad, Rachel has often described her job to confused relatives as that of a “digital translator,” bridging the gap between business problems and technology solutions. Similarly, Rachel hasn’t maintained her GIS skills over the years but she nonetheless attributes her accidental career in IT to those long (but wonderful) nights in the GIS lab solving global issues through spatial analysis. Rachel currently resides in San Ramon, CA, where pre-pandemic she worked locally in Chevron’s global headquarters.