4. Work experience outline

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This program offers you a taste of what it’s like to be a GIS Drone Pilot at Cardno. You will be working on a geotechnical risk assessment project to upgrade the walking trails at the Murramarang South Coast Walk. Your tasks will include digitally mapping the drone’s route, creating a pre-flight safety checklist accounting for the weather conditions and aerodrome forecast, recording a drone flight simulation, and working with 3D map imagery.

Industries and areas of interest relevant to the work experience

Geoscience and geotechnology, topography, environmental science and sustainability, meteorology, GIS, drone mapping and surveying

Learning activities

Here’s a rundown of what this program will look like in the next 4 weeks. As this is self-guided learning, it is recommended that you complete the work experience on a week-to-week basis to achieve the best results and to avoid getting swamped with the amount of information. 2-4 hours per week should be enough to do the weekly activities at a comfortable pace. 

Week 1 - Job offer, project brief, industry induction
Week 2 - Drone surveying project planning
Week 3 - Pre-flight preparation and piloting a (virtual) drone
Week 4 - Data processing and post-production, program summary

Aims and objectives

Knowledge and experience building

In this program, you will:

  • gain an understanding of the key disciplines and concepts relevant to the work of a GIS Drone Pilot as well as their day-to-day tasks
  • contribute to project development, from brief to delivery
  • get an insight into the established procedures and values driving the decision-making process in a global infrastructure, environmental and social development company like Cardno 
  • receive feedback on your work and progress from the industry mentor and the program facilitator
  • self-reflect and assess your compatibility with the GIS Drone Pilot career path
Skill development
  • Critical thinking and problem solving
  • Organisation and planning
  • Data processing and interpretation
  • Written communication, argumentation, and reasoning


In addition to gaining the knowledge, experience, industry exposure, and skills outlined in Aims and Objectives, the program participants who completed the entire virtual work experience will be awarded a certified microcredential titled ‘Drone Pilot and GIS Analyst Virtual Work Experience at Cardno’.

Moving on to your work environment at Cardno for the next 4 weeks...