'I can comfortably say that I have learned enough to make educated choices and have a voice...'
Bachelor of Forestry Science with Honours
Graduate Forester, Rayonier/Matariki Forests, Canterbury
'The places I work and the people I meet,' are the best things about working in forestry, says Josh. He landed his first job as a graduate with Rayonier/Matariki Forests, which has him working all over the Canterbury region. 'I am able to see a lot more of the countryside than those with different jobs and I get to deal with people from all different walks of life, which is an enjoyable challenge.'
'An office job just isn't my cup of tea,' Josh adds. Although there is an element of office work to his role, he organises his time to maximise being outdoors.
'I spend about two days a week getting around the various harvesting crews and completing audits of log quality, as well as generally catching up with the crew and looking at any queries or problems that may arise. Post-harvest, I complete assessments of the sites to determine whether we are meeting our environmental requirements. I also look after the planting crews, which means almost daily supervision in the planting season. When it's raining I plan my days to be indoors, analysing data and coordinating with the rest of the team.'
While his job centres on harvesting and quality control, Josh's enviable working environment means he is able to pursue his interest in New Zealand's plant and animal life.
'One of the more exciting aspects about the job is the chance to see both native and exotic flora and fauna. We work as best we can to conserve the native values within our forests, looking out for endangered species such as the New Zealand falcon and Mount Cook lily, and this gives a real sense of job satisfaction. I've also had close encounters with pigs, deer and even a chamois since I've been working for Rayonier. In fact, I'm lucky to be able to hunt the land we manage and provide delicious meat for my friends and family.'
Josh says his Bachelor of Forestry Science has set him up perfectly for his job.
'The degree gave me huge background knowledge of all aspects of forestry,' he says. 'When it comes to the specifics, I can comfortably say that I have learned enough to make educated choices and have a voice that will be listened to by all my work colleagues.'
He adds: 'At this point in my career, my main goal is to keep learning and to prove myself. I try to take on board all that is happening around me so I can use my knowledge to climb the ranks.'
There are plenty of benefits to working in forestry, according to Josh, and even his sister is following his path.
'The degree itself is enjoyable - the small classes mean you are on a first name basis with the lecturers almost from day one. At the end, the job is also enjoyable, and worth the effort. It pays respectably for a graduate job when you're straight out of university, plus you get a Toyota Hilux to use personally. My sister has taken a keen interest in forestry and has recently enrolled at UC. She is also enjoying things so far.'