Video: Kate Roberts talks about her experience on the Programme.
A graduate's experience - Chris Bradley
I joined the Forestry Commission Graduate Development Programme in September 2009. I had previously gained a degree in Archaeology and had worked in other sectors until I saw an opportunity to join the organisation I had always dreamt of working for.
My first placement was in the North East of Scotland where I spent 6 months in an operational role. This was very much in at the deep end (not having come from a forestry background) and I loved every second of it. It was all I had hoped and imagined it would be plus a great deal more. During this time I completed many training courses equipping me to confidently deal with the new situations in which I was finding myself.
I then went on to experience a very different approach to forestry, and land management, when I spent 12 months working in the South of England in the New Forest, a unique area which brought with it its own challenges and rewards.
My final placement was in Edinburgh working for a department which offered services across the whole of Forestry Commission. This was more of an office-based policy role and it was here that I saw an opportunity to move into the area of plant health and tree diseases, which is what led me into my current permanent role working for Forestry Commission Scotland.
My overall impression of the Graduate Development Programme is that it tests whoever is successful in gaining a place in a variety of ways and that this means you are often out of your comfort zone, however the rewards are tremendous. The wide variety of experiences and people that I met during my time on the GDP only served to cement my view of what a fantastic organisation the Forestry Commission is and I am delighted to be part of it as it continues to deliver the benefits to people and to the environment.
Graduate Placement Programme, 2009-2011