Mature student Conor highlights that while college can be daunting, his journey to a forestry degree shows that college is truly for everyone
Conor Dowling graduated from WIT with a Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Land Management in Forestry.
Previously, he spent ten years working as a carpenter which inspired him to study forestry. He originally completed the level 7 BSc in Forestry and went on to study this one year-on level 8 programme.
The benefits of work placement
There is an opportunity to do a placement in the three year level 7 degree and for Conor, he found this a very rewarding experience.
“I was offered the opportunity to do my placement in Coillte in second year and it was definitely worthwhile doing. I got to work with other foresters doing inventory and harvesting, stuff like that.
“I actually did my thesis on the experience I got during the placement so it was a great benefit to my studies. It also gave me a good sense of the industry”, he said. “Being able to get a better understanding of the job involved is what a placement is all about.”
Returning to education
For many people returning to college seem a daunting experience and this was no different for Conor. “It was quite tough at first. I was thinking ‘what am I doing’ when I saw that there were so many young people in the course but there were actually a few mature students as well so I didn’t feel out of place.
“I think college is really for anyone. College has really opened my eyes to new things”, he continues. “College is open for anyone who wants to avail of it. It can be a rewarding experience for those who are passionate about their course.”
Some helpful advice
Conor gives some advice to anyone considering a career in forestry, “I would advise them to talk to several people from the industry and to the course leader Tom Kent. They should talk to recent graduates also as they will have great information to give.
The forestry courses provide a good mixture of both academic and practical work. For those who are interested in the general topic of forestry would definitely benefit from doing this course.
“Overall though, they should choose something that they are interested in and passionate about”, he stresses.