Joe Araiza is responsible for new business development at Urban GIS. Araiza holds a B.S. from Northern Illinois University focused in geography and GIS certified 2007. He is also working on his masters of publication administration online at University of Illinois Springfield. Araiza also served in the Illinois Army National Guard (1999-2006) Military Police and is an Iraqi War Veteran (2003-2004).

(Photo Courtesy of Joe Araiza)

(Photo Courtesy of Joe Araiza)

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Araiza shares his experience and insights on what it takes to be successful at Urban GIS.

What are the responsibilities of your current role?

“As business development lead at Urban GIS, Inc., my primary role is fostering relationships, attend networking events while representing the company, seek new opportunities, opportunity response and manage the company CRM database. Since 80 percent of opportunities we seek has a GIS (Geographic Information Systems) component to them, finding the right prime is part of our business development strategy in addition in being the qualified MBE or DBE company.”

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What is your favorite part of your daily duties?

“My favorite part of my daily duties are interacting with the people who I work with and those that I meet through networking events. I have met some great people in my profession, which makes it interesting and rewarding.”

Do you feel your education prepared you for your current role?

“Currently, I am taking classes through the M.P.A. online program at UIS (University of Illinois at Springfield) and some of the core courses has led me to great success in business development. Similar to the M.B.A., the program has taught me more on business ethics while focused within the public sector when engaging clients. I do carry a GIS background from Northern Illinois University that has helped me tremendously not only for business development purposes, but also as a user.”

Do you have any advice for people who desire to pursue a similar career?

“Those who seek a career path in business development I would offer three things to follow: Always be dedicated in the profession and following up and meeting deadlines are very important; Another would be competitive and success will follow, and having the drive to ‘win’ is important when seeking partnerships or winning an opportunity; Finally, ‘believe in your product or services,’ because if you don’t believe in it how else can you influence others?”

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Michelle Guilbeau is a writer, reviewer, teacher and business owner living in Chicago, Illinois. She also has experience in school administration, literacy coaching and is proud founder of and Michelle enjoys sharing her knowledge of Chicago, food, travel, education and parenting issues with her readers. Her work can be found on