Scholarship a foot in the door

23:20, Feb 14 2013
Jacob Fairhall
On-the-job learning: Canterbury University forestry engineering student Jacob Fairhall, originally of Blenheim, at Adams Block in the Onamalutu Valley. He has been working for Nelson Forests and harvest crews around Marlborough for three months as part of a scholarship

A 20-year-old forestry engineering student from Blenheim has been racking up as much experience as possible during his summer holidays.

Jacob Fairhall, a Canterbury University student with a scholarship from Nelson Forests, has just completed his second summer working for the company, which provides him with work experience and $4000 a year for up to five years.

The experience had helped him get the work hours needed to complete the professional requirements of his engineering degree as well as reinforcing theory learned at university and giving him a head start on further learning.

"What we studied [last year] followed on from what I had learned on the job last summer," he said.

He became interested in forestry engineering because it involved work indoors and outdoors.

"You're not stuck in an office all the time."


Harvest planning and the practical work involved in quality control and log making or simply watching how the harvesting crew worked would help his future career in the industry, he said.

"I'm really grateful for the experience and to Nelson Forests and the harvesting crews for giving me the opportunity to work with them."

Nelson Forests managing director Lees Seymour said it was vital to invest in talented young people interested in forestry.

"Providing focused young people with an opportunity to get on-the-ground experience of the forestry industry is good for the students and good for our sector in the long term."

The Marlborough Express