Erin chose to study Forestry Science because of the degree's unique combination of practical and technical elements. 'You get to study topics from core science through to applied management and engineering, which made it an obvious choice for me,' she says.
'The degree gives you a multitude of career opportunities in a variety of fields upon graduation.'
Erin is now happy to be working as a log production coordinator, a role which involves a range of responsibilities. 'I supervise harvesting crews to ensure that they comply with health and safety, environmental and log quality standards,' she explains. 'I am also responsible for the weekly planning of the woodflow from the bush to our customers. This involves matching customers' orders with crews' capabilities, locations and the relevant wood quality.
'My job is unique. It varies so much from day to day as I get to interact with a wide range of people. The thing I like most about it is that it involves a lot of practical and outdoor work. I also like being involved in the log harvesting process and it is rewarding to help ensure that the paper plan comes to fruition.'
Erin hopes that by gaining a degree in Forestry Science at the start of her career she has given herself a broad platform of knowledge which will in turn give her more options for the long term.
'The degree was great for giving me well-rounded knowledge of both the industry itself and the day-to-day operations that occur. For example, the software programmes and methods that I learned are applied and used daily by me and the others in my workplace.
'My aim now is to gain experience in a wide range of areas and allow myself as many opportunities as possible to progress up the management chain.'
The relatively small class sizes of the Forestry Science courses were a definite plus for Erin. 'This led to great friendships developing within our class and it allowed more positive interactions with the academic staff. Instead of sitting in a huge lecture theatre with hundreds of other students, you are there with a handful of your friends being taught interactively by lecturers that actually know who you are.'
Erin's tip for anyone considering studying Forestry Science is to 'try to get the best summer work experience jobs possible as they really help you to understand the course work'.
Apart from the degree programme, she recommends UC for its social activities. 'There were some great clubs that operated around campus and there were always activities and events going on there and in Christchurch – but nothing can beat the package that a FORSOC membership offers, the barbecues are by far the best by any club.
'I found all this great and I certainly never got bored!'