UBC Forestry Co-op updates, stories from the field and job application tips! 
Faculty of Forestr Co-op Newsletter

Partners in the House!

Co-op Welcomes Employers and Guests
At the end of January we held our biannual Co-op Presentation Nights along with an Open House at the Centre for Advanced Wood Processing. The open house was a full day of engaging seminars highlighting new developments in the industry in addition to software and machinery demonstrations. The event was well attended by our many partners who provide software, machinery, tooling, services and teaching support to our academic and industry-focused activities.

During the Co-op Nights our intermediate and senior co-op students delivered presentations on their co-op work terms in the wood products, forestry and conservation sectors and junior students presented their technical posters. These networking opportunities attracted a large number of industry representatives and fortified relationships between UBC and employers.

Co-op Updates

Summer 2015 Co-op Numbers
We are two months into the summer job search process and students are busy with their quest to secure a co-op work term. Don't miss the boat! The job postings are already slowing down... 
  • Positions posted: 917
  • Employers: 149
  • Applications sent: 1459
  • Interviews booked: 226
  • Total available to work: 169
  • Total hired: 43 (25%)
  • International co-op work terms: 6
    • 1 Rosenheim Germany
    • 1 Australia
    • 2 South Africa
    • 2 Japan
Co-op Intakes
This year we received the largest number of applications to the program since its inception in 1996. In January, 116 students were admitted to the co-op program and have begun looking for a summer work term. Here is a breakdown of the new recruits:
  • Conservation = 49
  • Wood = 41
  • Forestry = 23
  • Forest Sciences = 3
Co-op Work Permit
International students going on a co-op work term need a work permit! To start your application (which may take 45 days to process) you will need a letter from your Co-op Coordinator confirming your acceptance in the program. If you have not already done so, speak to your coordinator and begin your application today! Click here for more information.

Student Stories

Warren Neuvonen - Aleza Lake Research Forest - Prince George, BC
This was my first co-op work term and I learned a lot from this experience. My skills using GPS and navigation have improved significantly, as well as practical exposure to the various different silviculture surveys used in the industry today. This co-op work term allowed me to apply concepts learned in class to the work place. This experience has enabled me to work in various fields and my interest in forestry has increased significantly. Being in co-op will also help me stand out from all the other Forestry students when it comes time for me to land a job after school. I strongly recommend students who are unsure of where they will proceed after their degree to undergo a co-op work placement. The skills that can be learned in the workforce are incomparable to those practiced in school.
 
Cliff Ma - Western Forest Products Saltair Sawmill Division, Ladysmith, BC
My work term at Western Forest Products has been exciting, fun, and challenging at the same time. I have been provided with a variety of tasks from analyzing a packaging unit to sampling and testing the moisture content and size of dust particles created during the log breakdown process. Different tasks appear every day and it is my job to solve and learn from these challenges. The co-op program has provided me with valuable hands-on industry experience that will further my career.
 
Miaorong Zhu - Canfor - Prince George, BC
Ever since my first day working at Canfor, I knew it was going to be a rewarding experience. Canfor provided me with orientation and training before I started my job. I enjoyed working in the bush with people who have the same passion for forestry. This picture was taken in a helicopter on a day my crew flew into a cutblock to do some layout. The majority of my time was spent in the field conducting cutblock/road layout, road traversing, stream/riparian assessment, ecotyping, plant identification and bridge site plan. Aside from intensive fieldwork, I also get one day in the office every week. On an office day, I checked GPS data collected from the field and helped crew leaders make final packages. From fieldwork to office, every task was challenging but also rewarding. Both my supervisor at Canfor and the Co-op Coordinator at UBC were very supportive. This working experience was made possible by the Forestry Co-op Program, and it has given me the opportunity as an international student to explore the Forestry industry in BC. My ultimate goal for this Co-op term was to gain a solid knowledge of field operations and build transferable skills to become more competitive in the job market. Thanks to the Faculty of Forestry Co-op Program, I was able to get industry experience and acquire all the training and field skills I would need for my future career. I would highly recommend the Co-op Program and am looking forward to sharing my working experience with all Forestry students. 

Summer Job Search

Co-op Jobs Website
This summer we successfully launched the Co-op Jobs Website which allows co-op students in the Conservation, Forestry and Forest Sciences programs to search all co-op jobs by field, deadline date and/or international positions. We have also introduced a new feature to the site, the “past jobs” tab. This allows students to view past postings in preparation for their interviews. Contact Tony Loring if you would like to post a job on the Co-op Jobs Website.  
 
Application Tips
Employers have told us that it is very important to follow the instructions on job postings (exactly as outlined) as this will increase your chances of being selected for an interview.  Most job ads specifically ask you to outline how you meet all of the job qualifications (for less experienced applicants a sentence outlining how you could achieve these qualifications prior to or during the job would suffice). This makes it easier for potential employers to screen your application. One employer told us they received more than 270 applications but only 5 followed the instructions. Your goal is to make the employer's job easy!
 
Independent Job Search Forms 
The Co-op Jobs Website is a great way to find industry specific jobs for students in Conservation, Forestry and Forest Sciences but your independent job search is just as important! These forms will help you stay on track:
  • Job Search Contact Form: Use this form to track your independent job search activities and to keep your Co-op Coordinator informed of your progress. Students must submit a copy of this form each time they contact an employer outside of the co-op job postings.
  • Self-developed Co-op Job Form: Complete and submit to your Co-op Coordinator as soon as you have received an offer from an employer you found on your own.

Employer Testimonials

Graeme Dick, Senior Technical Director, Engineered Lumber Products - Weyerhaeuser
Co-op programs provide a unique opportunity for students to compliment their education with the practical skills necessary to successfully enter the workforce, while providing employers access to out of the box, cutting edge knowledge. Weyerhaeuser continues to see the benefits of the UBC Wood Products Processing program and routinely posts for a diversity of positions. Students are partnered with strong mentors and work on a portfolio of challenging projects aimed at honing their skills.   Having completed the WPP co-op program myself, I experienced firsthand both the skills learnt and the invaluable industry contacts made by completing this program.
 
Tom Wiebe, Fort Hills Reclamation Manager -
Suncor Energy Ltd.

Our main guy in the field is a Co-op Graduate from UBC’s Natural Resources Conservation program and an integral part of our team. We have hired several UBC Forestry co-op students over the years and they bring us a solid background in conservation and science. I recognize the importance of UBC’s Conservation program as it provides students with the skills we need in reclamation. In fact our current co-op student has consistently performed above my expectations. As someone who graduated without co-op, I can see first-hand the benefits the program has to offer. Everyone has a degree – only co-op students have the experience to back it up!

Co-op Debriefings

Co-op debriefing sessions were held in October with students who had just returned from their Fall work terms. These sessions are designed to help co-op students reflect on their experience while planning their next steps in the co-op program. Each student was asked to summarize their co-op work term in one word:
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Questions? Comments? Suggestions?

Tony Loring
Co-op Coordinator - Faculty of Forestry
2424 Main Mall
Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4, Canada
Tel: 604-827-5196
Email: tony.loring@ubc.ca