By obtaining her professional licensure, Jeanine Thibodeaux, PLS has become Fenstermaker’s first ever female professional land surveyor. On the 21st of July, Jeanine received word that she had passed the PS Principles and Practice of Surveying exam, sending reverberations of excitement throughout our organization. These celebratory sentiments should be echoed throughout the entire State of Louisiana, as Jeanine joins the ranks of a select few trailblazing Louisiana women. According to Bill Tripoli, IT Director at the Louisiana Professional Engineering and Land Surveying Board (LAPELS), “Jeanine has become the 7th woman living in Louisiana to have earned this designation, and one of the four who are actively practicing.”
Jeanine joined Fenstermaker in late March of 2019 as a Survey Technician with significant surveying experience. Upon graduation from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Jeanine began working as an AutoCAD Technician and Assistant Survey Technician at what was then C & C Technologies. It wasn’t long before she was promoted to Senior Survey Technician, working with PLS project managers on boundary, route, and topographical surveys in Louisiana and Texas for both private and public sector clients. Jeanine continued her growth trajectory, becoming an Assistant Project Manager and GIS Mapping Analyst after having completed additional surveying courses to obtain her Land Surveying Intern (LSI) certificate.
Jeanine shared that she is immensely grateful for the opportunity to have furthered her academic studies in pursuit of licensure while working alongside some very talented and experienced professional land surveyors, “My situation allowed me to immediately apply the concepts I was studying. I was able to quickly address questions concerning laws, principles, and procedures—furthering my knowledge and understanding. The mentorship and encouragement I received throughout my career allowed me to progressively accept more in-depth involvement and responsibility on surveying projects.”
After gaining her LSI certificate, Jeanine applied for licensure and was informed of a mandatory 18 months of field experience. As is the case with many women in today’s workforce, Jeanine’s familial obligations prevented her from being able to travel for multiple days at a time, and although she had a wealth of office experience, the 18 months of specified ‘field’ experience was seemingly unattainable. This disappointment led Jeanine to table her ambitions for several years, until she joined Fenstermaker and was reinvigorated for the pursuit by Vice President of Survey, Travis Bodin, PLS. Travis reassured Jeanine that she had more than enough experience and knowledge, that the dynamic of the licensing board was changing, allowing for more open consideration and flexibility.
It was Travis’s encouragement that led Jeanine to reapply, and he has this to say about her achievement, “Since the hiring of Jeanine in March of 2019, she has been nothing short of amazing. Her attention to detail, work ethic and drive are second to none and I am excited to welcome her into the profession as a licensee. I am humbled that she has chosen to work with our great company, and it excites me to see the profession that I love grow and mature within the new culture that we are pushing forward. This is a monumental day for Jeanine, Fenstermaker, Louisiana, and the survey profession.”
Jeanine, much to our delight, has now begun an effort of inspiration all her own. Planting seeds of encouragement within her colleagues, she is inspiring other women in our organization to follow in her footsteps. Our hats are off to you, Jeanine, and all the women who pursue this path. The survey profession is better because of you.