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Student story

Hazel Swanson

20 July 2023

"The degree can lead you down a number of different career paths all over NZ and around the world..."


Bachelor of Forestry Science

Graduate Forester, Timberlands Ltd, Rotorua

While Hazel first came to UC intending to study engineering, it was Forestry Science that won her over as a newfound passion.

"I had never heard of the School of Forestry until I came to study down in Canterbury. I had taken a Forestry Paper as an elective in my first year and decided to find out more about the course. After one phone call I was hooked and enrolled the next day and have never looked back," she says.

The change turned out to be a good choice, as it covered a wide range of areas that made studying at university a lot more interesting for Hazel.

"I like the wide variety of papers, we study everything from biology, to engineering, to economics and marketing. The amount of time spent in the field is also a huge bonus, the field trips are a lot of fun and a great way to put what you learn at uni into practice, they are also a great way to get to know your classmates and lecturers. I also liked the small class sizes."

"Canterbury is a great university in both the academic and social aspects. There are a wide variety of clubs to join as well as many University events so lots of chances to meet new people."

"The campus is the main reason I chose to study here, it is absolutely beautiful and the fact that it is all in one location is definitely a bonus. The university also has a very good reputation which was a definite drawcard as well."

Hazel made the most of her time at UC, coming away with a New Zealand Federation of Graduate Women (Inc) Canterbury Branch Trust Board Scholarship, and an LA Alexander Agricultural College Trust Board John McIntrye Memorial Scholarship, for her final year of studies.

She now works at Timberlands Ltd as a Graduate Forester, initially covering the Quality Control Forester role in the Tree Crop department.

"In this role I managed all the quality control for pruning, thinning and planting operations," she says. "I spent half my time out in the field so it’s a good balance of office work and field time. I was also in charge of coordinating a yearly health and vigour survey for the 30 month old trees in our forest estate and reporting the results of the survey."

She is now working on projects within the Harvesting and Marketing department for the same company. As such, Hazel highly endorses the Bachelor of Forestry Science (BForSc) for just about anyone wanting to study at UC.

"Do it! It's a great degree covering a wide range of subjects that will have something to suit everyone. If you love the outdoors this is the degree for you. The BForSc degree can lead you down a number of different career paths all over New Zealand and around the world and is not limited just to forestry."

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