'The opportunity to work outdoors really appeals to me...'
Studying towards a Bachelor of Forestry Science
Forestry Science ticked all the boxes for Ben with its heavy emphasis on being active in the outdoors.
‘If you’re remotely interested in the outdoors, machinery, ecology (just to name a few aspects) and being in a really social environment, you’ll have a hell of a time,’ he says.
Originally intending to study an Engineering degree, an optional course in Forestry inspired him to change his study after finding it a real passion.
‘It was probably one of the best decisions I could have made. I definitely enjoy how easy going it is, as well as the close knit feel; being such a small degree compared to others we have pretty good relationships with our lecturers which I don’t think many other students can say. Being from the West Coast I really enjoy the outdoors, so that aspect of the degree and the career opportunities that stem from that really appeal to me’.
‘I wouldn’t have stumbled across Forestry if I hadn’t come to UC!’
A bonus to his choice of study is the amount of time spent out in the environment learning hands-on skills.
‘There are a bunch of field trips associated with the Forestry Science degree; in all years, which helps us apply a small part of what we learn in class to the industry as well as spending some time out of the lecture theatres,’ he says. ‘The opportunity to work outdoors, and with like-minded people really appeals to me.’
Ben has received both a New Zealand Institute of Forestry Undergraduate Scholarship and two Rayonier-Matariki Forests Scholarships, including funding and work over the summer periods.
The flexibility of the Forestry Science degree for work experience opportunities is also one of its aspects Ben enjoys. He hopes to eventually go into a managerial career path or forestry contract work in the industry.
‘There are a significant number of job opportunities in the term and summer breaks for students, with both forest management companies (New Zealand as well as overseas) and logging crews, which are only increasing every year,’ he says.
One other way of getting experience was through the Forestry Society (FORSOC) as Vice-President in 2016.
‘Because club culture is so big at UC it was great being behind the scenes and getting amongst it for a year, being able to put on events for other students both campus-wide and also just those studying Forestry,’ he says. ‘Don’t get me wrong, it was pretty stressful at times, but well worth it when you pull of a successful event.’
Meeting other students through University Hall in his first year was also a great way to get involved in UC’s Forestry community from the beginning of his studies.
He makes sure to stay in touch with mates in his spare time outside of study through his active hobbies.
‘When I’m not studying I’m usually working, otherwise it’s sport, or anything outdoors related.’