Former Intern Returns as Full-Time Survey Technician

After completing two summer internships as a land survey intern, L.I. Smith & Associates (LIS) is proud to announce that Nikolas Heath has returned as a full-time survey technician. Heath’s journey with LIS began in the summer of 2022 when he was a sophomore at the University of Tennessee at Martin (UTM). During his first year as an intern, Heath spent most of his time working out in the field as a member of the survey crews, becoming more familiar with survey equipment and data collection procedures.

The following summer, Heath returned. This time, however, he was able to split his time between working with the field crews and the office technicians. He learned valuable skills such as AutoCAD drafting, project management, and more about the various types of survey projects. Further, Heath’s leadership skills shone through as he took on a mentor role with the new interns. Having already completed a summer with LIS, Heath was able to assist and mentor the new interns who were less familiar with the instruments and procedures.

Now reflecting back on his earlier experiences at LIS, Heath claims he felt his internship allowed him to gain extensive knowledge and develop his passion for land surveying further. “Even within the first week, I gained so much knowledge about surveying and I also learned that I loved it,” Heath says. 

Fast forward two years, Heath is now a recent graduate, having earned a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture with an emphasis in engineering technology in May of 2024. Through his hands-on experiences during his internships, he applied the knowledge and skills he learned to his classes at UTM.

In his new role as a survey technician, Heath will take on new responsibilities both in the office and field, such as operating surveying instruments including prisms, GPS/Robotic Total Stations, and auto-levels, as well as recording survey measurements and descriptive data using notes, drawings, sketches, and data collection files. In the office, he will perform technical drafting and provide support for specific projects.

Heath states that he chose to return to LIS for full-time employment because he enjoys the work environment of the office, saying that it was a place that offered comfort as it is not overly strict or rigid, and, also, that he was offered plenty of hours and overtime as an intern. When asked, Heath said he would absolutely recommend LIS to others seeking out internships, remarking, “Everybody here is great. It was easy to come in because everyone was welcoming and willing to teach.” 

However, Heath now has his eyes focused on the future with his full-time position at LIS. Through his new position, he plans to study and learn in order to conquer his fundamentals test and, in two years, his state license test. Overall, Heath is excited to further his professional career and skills at LIS as a survey technician.

“Nick will be a tremendous asset to our team. Throughout his time interning with us, he has shown his strong work ethic, ability to adapt, and willingness to learn,” remarked LIS Vice President of Marketing and Communication, Ashley Horn.