Alumni Stories—Jason Caron
BS, Forestry, 2002
Current job/field: Forester
It's been eight years since I’ve graduated with a bachelor's degree in forestry from Michigan Tech, and I find myself working in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, as a forester for the Department of Natural Resources and Environment. The job has been great thus far and has treated me well.
While the road I took to get here may not have been "rough," so to speak, it did take some hard work and dedication.
I enrolled at Michigan Tech as a transfer student in 2000 and worked summer internships throughout my schooling to obtain more knowledge and experience along
the way. This is important!
I graduated in December of 2002 and took a position as a procurement forester with Biewer Sawmill in Lower Michigan, and then I moved to Northern Minnesota for a county forestry position and finally here to Sault Ste. Marie for my current job. As most graduates find out, that first job might not be an exact fit, but with time, experience, and patience, you can find one that suits you. An entry-level job allows you to understand your likes and dislikes and gives you real-world experience, which, in turn, adds to your resume.
My advice to students and graduates is to get as much experience as possible. Internships are crucial to a successful career in any field!
Part of being a student and a professional is keeping in good communication with employees, employers, faculty, friends, the public, etc.
My job-hunting process before and after graduation included sending out endless emails and résumés. Plan to do a lot of research on the computer; it's a valuable resource for finding a position within your field.
Also, be willing to move to a new location; forestry jobs rarely come to you . . . you go to them!
Another key is patience. Finding a job is a job; it takes a lot of time, patience, and determination.
My time at Michigan Tech was well spent and has helped me get to where I am today. My forestry, wildlife, and ecology classes have helped me work with professionals both within and outside of my field. I can recall spending countless hours in the computer lab at Michigan Tech and wondering, “Why so much emphasis on computers?” I now realize when it comes to writing up reports or timber sale contracts and making maps, knowing the computer really helps. I, too, am like the majority of forestry students who didn't go into the field of forestry to sit behind a desk; however, that’s part of most careers these days!
I wish you all luck in your future endeavors!!
Class of '02