‘The best career you can have’ is Dan Rocca’s categorical opinion on forestry. ‘You can work in the bush or you can work in the city. It gives you so many options of what to do that you will never get bored. It is a career that can take you to so many places.’
Dan’s job at Pöyry, a forestry consultancy, epitomises this. His task is to support and work with the consultants in providing a range of services such as feasibility studies, valuations, due diligence, forest resource strategy, and GIS work.
‘That can be anything from doing market analysis to looking into yield tables; from log grades to the carbon market. It is very dynamic and you are working in multiple areas and with different people. The bulk of our clients are from overseas, so each new project is completely different from the last. One great aspect of my job is that it includes travel opportunities, both domestic and international, and on top of that field experience. I also get to work with some unusual trees and some different products.’
Dan says that his UC Forestry Science degree prepared him very well for his job.
‘It taught me how to think critically and be proactive. It also gave me exposure to many different areas of the forestry industry, so even if I do not know in depth about a certain forestry topic, I at least have an idea of what it can relate to, and I can build on that.’
Originally from Italy, Dan started out studying agriculture at university in Brazil, but soon decided that he wanted to focus on forestry. With a number of offers around the world, he opted to study at Canterbury.
‘The major drivers for me to choose UC were the lifestyle, the papers being offered, and the good reputation the forestry course had,’ he says.
The decision worked out well for him and he found it easy to adjust to his new circumstances as an international student.
‘Some people find it a bit challenging to move countries, but I never had any problems in New Zealand. People go out of their way to give you a hand when you need it, and that does not happen that often overseas.
‘I reckon the best things about Canterbury are the people and the environment. Most of the students live close to Uni so there is always stuff to do. And the staff are exceptional too. They are always there to help you when you need assistance, to provide some guidance and even to have a laugh every now and then.’
Looking back, Dan wouldn’t change things.
‘I still think moving to New Zealand and doing Forestry was the best decision I ever made. Realistically I got a pretty awesome job, I am living in a very nice place and I even had a job offer before I had graduated.’