'The MForSc offered at UC answers all my desires by providing me with all the necessary skills for managing a natural resource business...'
Even with over six years of experience in the wood processing industry back in Kenya, Paul was eager to get further training to give himself a wide range of skills and opportunities to build his career.
‘MForSc at UC is unique because it prepares one with wide a range of skills; research, silviculture and inventorying of forest resources, conservation, economics, survey with GIS, forest biosecurity, forest management, harvesting, bioenergy, forest roading, engineering and many more. One has a wide array of disciplines to choose from without any problem,’ he says.
After receiving the New Zealand Development Scholarship (NZDS) to assist his studies, Paul moved to New Zealand to enrol at UC, where he received the support he needed to settle into a new culture.
‘At UC help is always by your side at any time you want it. The Learning Skills Centre and lecturers are always available and ready with the help that you may require during your study time. The Student Mentors make you feel like your family is with you even if you are continents apart. You will indeed feel a sense of belonging at UC.’
Paul is always looking to make the most of his Forestry Science studies. Alongside tutoring an introduction to Engineering course at the College of Engineering, Paul especially enjoyed the opportunities to work in the field as part of his master’s study.
‘Being out in the woods provides a natural ambience that is refreshing,’ he says. ‘Planning logging activities involves a lot of field visits and practical involvement, making it possible for students to have hands-on experience with the day-to-day planning and running of logging activities.
‘There are lots of workshops and conferences that I attend funded by the School of Forestry. This provides the opportunity to network with employers in the industry and to exchange professional ideas relating to Forestry in general. Being a student of Forestry at UC has made it possible for me to join professional organisations such as the New Zealand Institute of Forestry (NZIF) as a student member without paying any fees.’
Indeed, Paul plans to continue his studies at UC through to a PhD in Forestry Engineering. ‘The MForSc offered at UC answers all my desires by providing me with all the necessary skills for managing a natural resource business,’ he says. ‘The programme would also make it possible for me to develop my thesis with an Engineering approach, thereby becoming a precursor to my PhD in Forest Engineering which I look forward to pursing at UC.’
Paul thoroughly recommends studying in New Zealand for those wanting an international perspective in Forestry.
‘New Zealand is fantastic! There are loads of friendly people, teachers, neighbours and multicultural aspects of other internationals. Generally the New Zealand landscape is comparable to none. With the weather, you can experience up to four seasons in a day!
‘If you want to equip yourself with resource management skills and research in Forestry as a discipline, then UC is the University to look to. You will definitely not miss out.’