Ambit Team Member Spotlight: Nick Sanchez

At Ambit, we recognize that team members are a company’s greatest asset. We create and support a culture that cultivates lifelong learning, teamwork and leadership development. Every member of our team offers a unique and valuable perspective and set of skills.

This month we wanted to spotlight Nick Sanchez, Ambit’s Project Manager. Nick has been with Team Ambit since November 2012 and has played many invaluable roles as his position evolved over the years. Matt Ford, Ambit President, shared:

It cracks me up when I hear that Nick’s favorite part of his job is spending time with clients, when he started at Ambit he was adamant about NOT doing that!  I mean, he literally said, “Bro, I’ll work in the field or the office, or wherever you need me, but I will not do client meetings.  I hate that stuff and I’m not good at it!”  It’s funny, but that’s just another example of how Nick has relentlessly faced challenges, got out of his comfort zone and improved over the years.  He’s grown as a professional by leaps and bounds over the years, and it’s been awesome working alongside him and being able to witness that.

We sat down with Nick to learn more about his experience over the years, and his advice for those entering the land surveying business. Here is a look at our conversation:

Nick Sanchez Team Spotlight

Q: When you were young, what did you imagine doing when you grew up?

I always wanted to be a police officer ever since I was a little kid, but health (vision) reasons kept me from passing the medical exam.

Q: How long have you been in the land surveying industry?

I’ve been in surveying now for 20 years, and with Ambit since November 2012. Through my 20s I worked warehouse manager jobs and didn’t really know where I was going. I started bartending and a girl that worked with me introduced me to land surveying, and the company she was working with. I stayed with that company for seven years then in 2005 I met Matt Ford and became friends. In 2008 I started coming out to AZ with another buddy that worked with me in CA that got a job in AZ and needed help. I ended up working with them for 3 years until Matt poached me!
When I started with Ambit I was a field surveyor. It was just Matt and myself. I was doing all the traveling and field work, going all over the country – sending data to Matt that he’d draft until we hired someone and just continued to grow from there.

After a couple years Matt asked me if I wanted an office position – I liked the field but had already met my wife and she was happy about that offer since I didn’t have to be on the road as much.

Now I’m a project manager – along with Pat Donohoe and Sarah Burgi- making sure our clients get exactly what they need and want in a timely fashion, the field team gets what they need to be successful, and we get the right field data to complete the project.

Q: What’s the craziest thing that’s happened while working with Ambit?

I’m a big animal lover. I love watching rodeos and stuff and am familiar with livestock. I was doing a survey in the field in Strawberry, AZ and there was a big ranch with all of my property corner points inside of a big fenced in pen area for longhorns and cows and bulls.

I’ve been around big animals so I felt comfortable hopping the fence to get my points. A big family of bulls started getting closer and I still had a few more points to pick up when they started walking towards me. They stop, so I stop. I’m about 5 feet from my final point (NGS monument) and the papa bull started kicking his feet in the ground and running at me! I had to run so fast (you’ve never seen a 240 pound man run so fast). I dropped my equipment and jumped over the fence and had to wait an hour for him to go back. I finally got the courage to go back in to get my equipment, walk over to my point, shoot it and start walking back and low and behold he was running at me again. It was pretty scary but definitely one of my most memorable life moments.

Q: What do you enjoy most about what you do?

I never would have described myself as a very personable person. I guess, sparking up conversations, etc. wasn’t my thing. But now all my clients have become my friends, and I really enjoy meeting with them, seeing them – heading out to California to visit them. Developing these relationships has been something I truly enjoy.

I really think this is also key to keeping a working relationship really good – they know we aren’t BSing anything – or being fake – they know that who I am at work is who I really am – and we have a mutual respect for one another.

Q: Any advice for individuals newer to the industry?

For someone in high school – if you don’t want to go to college and you like being out and about in the mountains and traveling the world – I recommend studying your math (trigonometry, geometry, etc.). With technology math may not seem to matter as much, but if you really want to excel, are looking to make a career of it, get your license, move up and take the tests, knowing your math is a requirement.

For example, you need to know how to survey the old-fashioned way when your equipment breaks and you’re in the middle of nowhere (which can happen).

Q: What do you feel sets Ambit apart from other companies in the industry??

As a smaller team, we’re more invested in our client’s success. Getting to know clients on a personal level drives us even further to make sure we don’t let them down. Our whole team is very responsive. We’ve been told this by clients throughout the years that they’ve never worked with a surveyor that’s as responsive as we are and takes care of stuff like we do. We answer emails within a couple of hours and really want to take the best care of our clients.

Q: If you could change one thing about this industry, what would it be?

In land surveying I would promote it more. We’re a dying breed if you look at numbers and age of surveyors – I believe the average age of the professional surveyor is 50s or early 60s. We’re not getting the young kids right out of high school anymore.

In telecom, one of the things that burns a lot of people out is the timelines and the number of hours required to meet those deadlines. I think increasing awareness about how putting surveys together doesn’t happen overnight – a lot of work is involved. We know our clients also have some unrealistic expectations upon them, and they have to pass that on to us.

Most of our core team has been with Ambit for 5+ years so our ‘nucleus’ is there and know how we all work and work together. So, either way, we’re managing to get the job done – crazy deadlines or not.

Q: What’s your favorite way to spend your free time?

Working out and doing my bible studies are the two things I really like doing in my free time. I start my morning with coffee, do a bible study, workout then start working. We have an acre in Buckeye so lots of caretaking of the house on the weekends too, and I enjoy that.

Q: What is the last show you watched on Netflix/Hulu?

I’m not much of a TV person but there was a series of books called “All Creatures Great and Small” that aired as a TV series on PBS and I got hooked. It’s based on the true story of James Harriot, a veterinarian in the countryside in London in the 1930’s.

Also, my wife is a Bold and the Beautiful fan and she got me to watch that dumb show every night so now that’s our thing…

Q: What is something only those closest to you know about you?

Yeah, the Bold and the Beautiful nightly viewing…otherwise I’m a pretty average guy, kind of boring actually.


Q: Where is your favorite place to vacation?

Going to the south to visit Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee. I envision retiring out that way. Love that style of life out there, everyone is friendly, love the food, can buy acreage out there and we’ve got family out there. I’m an Ole’ Miss Rebels football fan so I could actually go to some games out there would be cool. Not to mention no income tax on retirement money in Tennessee if we decide to retire there…


Q: You mentioned you enjoy Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, what got you into this sport?

Back when I was bartending I tried it every once in a while, but didn’t really do anything about it for a while. When I moved to AZ a friend bought me a Jiu Jitsu membership for my birthday and I started going and got hooked. I really enjoy the camaraderie. I don’t go out that often, so for me it’s my getaway. It’s also the only thing that keeps me from being 300 pounds. Being in the office for my fifth year in a row – sitting on a chair all day long – I just need to get out and get moving, and it’s a good escape.


Q: What is your drink of choice?

A Southern Sweet Tea


Q: What’s your favorite quote?

My favorite quote I have on my email signature “Quality is never an accident, it is always the result of an intelligent effort.”


Q: You recently received Ambit’s MVP award for going above and beyond throughout the year. What motivates you to step up in this way?

I’m pretty religious when it comes to Christianity. I do everything for my lord and savior Jesus Christ. He’s given me the ability to do what I do to be healthy and make a good living and I do it all for him.


Q: Matt described you as embodying what it means to be a true ‘Ambitonian’. How would you describe what an ‘Ambitonian’ is?

Always giving it your all, never half-assing it. It’s never for yourself, you’ve got people that are looking to you to fulfill your end of the job – so you do it. We all expect that from each other and I think that’s what an Ambitonian is, we don’t want to let anyone else down. We don’t just look at this as a job, we look at it as a career – beyond a job – and I think everyone on the team feels that way.


Q: Anything else you’d like our readers to know?

I’ve never been at a company where the camaraderie and the ability to work with different personalities is so great – even though there are hard times, individually we always work it out and communicate and it makes us better. We know what we need to do and what we need to work on. I don’t want to let my teammates down either – it’s really ‘all for one, one for all’. That mentality has helped us make 15-16 hour workdays into a more manageable schedule.

To learn more about the Ambit team, or to apply for an open position, visit our About page here: