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News & Press: MSS News

Spotlight: Jessica King

Tuesday, January 23, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Ebonique Ellis
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1. When and why did you start surveying?

My father has been a surveyor for as long as I can remember. He says he’s had other jobs; but I just can’t believe it. The man has surveying in his blood and apparently, he infected his children. My earliest memories are of my mother dragging my brother and me to the county courthouses to dig through the land records for deeds and plats. We would run around the room and play with all the dusty tomes. We would scan through the microfilm at warp speed like detectives solving a mystery. Not that either of us could read yet but we felt important. When I got older my dad would wake me up early during the summer so I could help him. I would climb up in the truck and off we went. I would spend the day hearing “Hold still! How am I supposed to shoot you when you keep wiggling?” to which I would reply “but I found a turtle!” or some other wild critter. It only progressed from there. One day my dad got tired of working in the field all day and having to come home and draft the drawings as well, so he decided that I was going to learn AutoCADD. Except he had a generic AutoCADD, it was a DOS program, it had a green and black screen and all two letter commands. Mind you this was only in 2002. To say the least we were still doing things the long way. He didn’t have a data collector and I would have to do all the computations by hand. Don’t even get me started on topo, that took for-ev-er!!


2. My best experience while surveying…

My best experience isn’t so much a particular job, but when I started taking classes at CCBC. My first classes were with Jim O’Connor and I had never really been exposed to anything surveying outside of the way my father and Jack Baker had done it, and to say they were a bit old fashioned is an understatement. We were just starting to learn topo and Jim was going over how we were going to plot the points by hand and then we were going to use our handy dandy calculators to compute and plot the topo on our drawing. So, me being my smart-alecky self, told Jim this is how I do it every time, so this was nothing new. To say the least his jaw hit the floor and instead of “learning” how to plot things by hand I learned all about the wonderful world of Carlson and data collectors. I drove home that day and completely overhauled my father’s business.



3. Worst experience….

Running traverse in Chantilly VA and getting covered in chiggers!! Literally the worst experience of my life!!! On a side note I found that if you put toothpaste on the bites it keeps them cool and from itching.


4. What type of work do I do?

Most of the work we do now is construction stakeout and boundary and topo work for developers. We do some homeowner work but not a ton.


5. Surveyors who influenced me:

  • My father, Scott Schulte, even though he has never gotten his own license he has been there with me through all the ups and downs over the years. I have never known a man that works as hard as he does.
  • Jim O’Connor, my first real teacher and mentor. The man who introduced me to the technical side of surveying.
  • Rob Kundrick, I learned so much working for him at GPI that I really grew into the confident, competent, surveyor that I am today.
  • Bill Orsinger & Ron Anderson two of the kindest, nicest, most wonderful people I know who have supported me and allowed me to stand on my own.

6. Advice to new Surveyors.

Learn what the buttons do! Don’t just push them and assume you are doing a good job because it beeped and said, “point stored.” There is so much more to surveying than just pushing buttons.


7. What do we do outside of surveying?

We race! Were a racing family. My husband races a dirt late model, and is the crew chief on two other cars, both of which are very successful. We travel all over the country to race and watch racing. Our daughter was almost born at a race track. Let me tell you it was a long ride home from Charlotte, NC. Other than that I try and work while being a mom. Not an easy task when you work from home and your daughter just wants to play all day. There are lots of mommy breaks in the day. But I wouldn’t trade the time I get to spend with her for anything.


8. How has surveying changed?

I don’t know that they job has changed so much as the way we do the job. I feel that as the technology gets smarter the operator gets dumber. I feel that as a young surveyor I can see the huge gap in my generation and the older one. The old guard is smart! They had to be. There were no data collectors, EDMs, or laser scanners. I feel that the younger generation is losing the heart of what it means to be a surveyor. They want the number to be exact down to the millionth decimal place and they disregard the intent. How can you follow in the steps of the previous surveyor if you're flying around like George Jetson? Now that’s not to say that the younger crowd is stupid by any means just that they are spoiled with technology and while they are super smart on the computer I just think something is missing. Maybe it’s because even though I am young I still had to do things the long way, so I can appreciate where the technology has gone.


9. I thought you may ask about starting my own business and getting my license.

I got my license in 2012, I was 26 years old, and I was working at GPI and for my father. While my dad had always had his own company, he was not licensed and hired licensed surveyors to review his work. He worked with Jack Baker first until his passing, then Tom Tydings until his passing, Jim O’Connor and finally Ron Anderson until I had my license. In 2015 I decided that I had had enough of working for two different companies and decided to start my own company where I could take all that I had learned and put it to work for myself. I now own King’s Point Surveys Inc., I am licensed in both Maryland and Virginia, and my parents now work for me. I think they enjoy it most days. Especially my mother who gets to hang out with her grandbaby every day.


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