GBA Board Member Spotlight – Matt Moler’s Road to Becoming a Geoprofessional

I think most young boys imagined growing up to be a firefighter or a major league baseball player.  I took a different track, and thought the greatest job would be a big  rig truck driver.That’s right – driving an 18 wheeler across the country, seeing beautiful places , delivering loads of goods to folks – sure sounded like a great career to me! I can remember driving down to  the Interstate in the back of the family car, watching the big rig trucks roll by. If I was lucky, I could even get them to honk their horns.  Man that was cool!

  The Smokey and the Bandit movie and the country band Alabama may have been key influences on my initial career selection.  I’m not sure when the 18-wheeler dream was replaced by other career choices, but at some point I thought of ‘cooler things’ to do as a career.  For a while in high school, I was thinking about being a golf course superintendent.  I liked to play golf and I was working on the grounds crew of the local course, so becoming the course superintendent seemed logical. I then learned that a golf course maintenance career meant that every weekend required my services from dawn to dusk.  I’m not afraid of long hours, but I wanted to have weekends available for something other than work.

In my senior year in high school, I took an aptitude test that indicated I was good in math and problem solving.  A career choice that seemed to fit these strengths was engineering.  I heard that civil engineers got to spend a lot of time in the field, and I liked the sound of that – no boring office job for me!  I enrolled in West Virginia University with a focus in civil engineering the following fall, and from there I have never looked back.

I am thankful I arrived at my current career choice so early in life.  I enjoy getting up each day, heading to work, meeting with existing and new clients, solving problems, and generally making a difference in the world in which I live.  My biggest career reward is relationships I am making along the way.  As I think back to my initial career choice of a truck driver, I am thankful I didn’t go down that path.  While driving a big shiny truck all the way across the country would have been enjoyable, it would not have allowed me to build as many relationships as civil engineering has over the years.  It is quite amazing how things work out for the best.