Tree Sparks interviews Mima, a Forestry student from Bangor University (and our Director!) in celebration of International Women’s Day 2019.

What do you study?

BSc Forestry, 4th year at Bangor University

Why forestry?

I love trees! I have always enjoyed spending time in the great outdoors and when it came to deciding upon what I wanted to do when I grew up, I know I didn’t want an office job – I wanted a career that would take me outside. I had no idea that forestry even existed until I stumbled across it by accident on UCAS looking for degrees to study and after going to Bangor University for an open day I was hooked on the idea of forestry. I couldn’t imagine anything better than spending 4 years of my life learning all about trees. And so, 3 and a half years on, here I am! Enjoying my final semester of study and looking forward to starting working life in such a rewarding profession. Now, I don’t just see myself as studying forestry, I live and breathe it!

Favourite Tree?

I don’t have a favourite species of tree, but I am a great fan of the horse chestnut tree located outside of Kings College Cambridge – it is truly magnificent!

What do you believe is the biggest challenge facing forestry today?

There are many challenges facing the environment. Climate change is progressing, ecosystems are becoming degraded and at the same time the global population is growing, putting more pressure on our natural resources. I think forestry is a big part of the solution, but if we are going to effectively combat these challenges, we need a strong future workforce to enter into the forestry profession.  

What next?

After my studies, I want to continue igniting conversation about trees and show young people that forestry is a viable and rewarding profession. I want to use what I have learnt to make forestry accessible to everyone and I am keen to dispel the myths surrounding forestry and prove that it is an option for everyone! I want to continue my work with Tree Sparks so I can keep increasing the profile of forestry and help students become more employable and encourage more young people into the profession.

Advice for future female foresters?

My advice to any woman (or man) is to just go for it! Work out the logistics later and put all the worries to the back of your mind and give it your all, whether it be an application for a job, presenting in front of a huge audience or deciding to take a leap of faith into the unknown. Sometimes all you need is a couple of seconds of insane courage and embarrassing bravery to achieve something great.