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Forestry Careers Ireland

Grow your career in the forestry sector


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Interviews

Kevin Power, Resource Manager

Kevin Power, Resource Manager

Kevin Power works as a Resource Manager for Coillte. Kevin returned to education in his mid twenties to study Forestry at WIT.

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first question!

What were the main 'career decision' milestones in your life so far?

Kevin Power, Resource Manager

Without a doubt, the biggest 'career decision' milestone in my life was when I returned to education in my mid-twenties to study forestry at Waterford Institute of Technology. When that decision was made I set myself on a path to a vital qualification that in turn gave me the confidence to go on and attain higher qualifications such as an MBA. When I finished college the next 'career decision' milestone was finding work in the industry and getting the experience I needed to get me into Coillte which had been my goal since I first enrolled in forestry at WIT.

Who are the people who most influenced your career direction?

Kevin Power, Resource Manager

My parents and one particular aunt were very concerned that I had no direction in my working life and they encouraged me to get a qualification in the area I already liked working in.

How did you go about getting your current job?

Kevin Power, Resource Manager

An opening came up within my area for a resource manager and I was asked to take on the challenge. I had been working as an establishment operations manager for the previous three years and I was keen to try something new.

Describe a typical day?

Kevin Power, Resource Manager

During my typical workday, I am responsible for ensuring that the harvesting and engineering teams have all the information, documents and maps etc. that they need to carry out their roles effectively. I help them with any issues they may be having such as issues with people, the environment, archaeology or material assets. I keep in touch with the BAU leader and update him on our progress as we move along.

What are the main tasks and responsibilities?

Kevin Power, Resource Manager

My current responsibilities include planning and presenting for sale the optimum annual timber supply available in the BAU in compliance with best silvicultural practices while meeting the requirements of Forest Certification. Contribute to the leadership of the BAU Achieve BAU timber supply and saw-log targets Coordinate the BAU timber allocations process Assist in the application process for general felling licences Prepare site activity packs for operations Manage field verification contractors Represent the BAU6 resource team as task leader at monthly meetings

What are the main challenges?

Kevin Power, Resource Manager

Meeting our forecast commitments up to 2020 Maximising the value from the harvest Managing constraints (E.g. forest access issues)

What's cool?

Kevin Power, Resource Manager

As a Coillte employee, I can experience all aspects of forestry and I am not just restricted to one particular aspect. New forest management systems are currently being introduced within Coillte and it is great to be part of this exciting transformation. There are brilliant opportunities within Coillte at the moment.

What's not so cool?

Kevin Power, Resource Manager

Because of the current age structure of Coillte employees, many people are coming to the end of their careers. It is sad to see them leave but it is also sad to see a wealth of knowledge and experience that is hard to replace go with them.

What particular skills do you bring to your workplace?

Kevin Power, Resource Manager

I would describe myself as someone who is capable of leading a team with strong organisational skills, I am innovative and passionate about what I do. I have over 15 years’ experience working across a variety of roles within and outside of Coillte. Key areas in which I worked were Estates management where I resolved long outstanding stakeholder issues and Operations management where I successfully dealt with long-standing legacy sites and developed the Access Routes App. I am currently a Resource manager and manage the timber resource for half of BAU6.

What subjects did you take in school and how have these influenced your career path?

Kevin Power, Resource Manager

I took the regular subjects in school and I had a great interest in Geography and especially in Geology. But I cannot say that any of these subjects influenced my career path. However, after leaving school I worked for various forest harvesting contractors in my locality. It was from them that I developed a love of forestry and for the people who work in forestry. I would advise anybody to get some work experience in an area they hope to pursue in college.

What is your education to date?

Kevin Power, Resource Manager

Certificate in Managing Business Projects (Waterford Institute of Technology) Masters in Business Administration (Waterford Institute of Technology) Bachelor of Agricultural Science (Forestry) (University College Dublin) National Diploma in Science in Forestry (now Bachelor of Science in Forestry, WIT)

What aspects of your education have proven most important for your job?

Kevin Power, Resource Manager

During my time studying forestry at WIT I was introduced to forest mensuration, forest engineering and forest management systems all of which laid the foundations for me to do my current job. But one of the most longstanding lessons I learned from my time there was the importance of meeting “deadlines”.

What have been the most rewarding events in your career so far?

Kevin Power, Resource Manager

I came up with the idea for the access routes app which is a mobile app that helps Coillte employees, graduates and emergency services amongst others to get around the Coillte estate easily and more efficiently. Achieving my MBA while working full-time. I successfully dealt with long-standing legacy sites which had proved very difficult to establish. It was very rewarding seeing each one over the line.

What personal qualities do you have that helps you in your career?

Kevin Power, Resource Manager

I am passionate about forest operations whether it be harvesting or establishment. I am very good at seeing the big picture but I also like to examine processes and ask myself how I could do that in a clearer and easier way.

What is your dream job?

Kevin Power, Resource Manager

To become General Manager of Coillte Forest someday. “Nothing is impossible!”

Does your job allow you to have a lifestyle you are happy with?

Kevin Power, Resource Manager

I find my current job very enjoyable; I work from 9 am to 5 pm Monday to Friday. My job is mostly office based and it is not physical. Not only does this mean that I have time to spend with my wife and three children at evenings and at weekends but it also means that I have the energy to make that time a quality time. While my salary is far from huge it allows us to keep on top of our bills and it allows my wife to be a stay at home mum which works very well for us all.

What advice would you give to someone considering this job?

Kevin Power, Resource Manager

Be flexible and adaptable as sometimes you will be asked to work outside of your comfort zone. Have a good understanding of harvesting and establishment processes before working in this area.

What are the three most important personal characteristics required for the job?

Kevin Power, Resource Manager

1. Have reasonably good commercial and financial acumen 2. Have some experience in managing people 3. Have enough knowledge and experience to promote a safe working environment and be able to ensure compliance with environmental, regulatory and silvicultural standards.

Have you undertaken, or do you plan to undertake any further training as part of your job?

Kevin Power, Resource Manager

Ongoing training is par for the course within Coillte and I am also currently being coached by my line manager as are many of my colleagues within the BAU. I also hope to take part in a short course on leadership externally over the coming year; this is to purely satisfy my own interest in this subject.

What kinds of work experience would provide a good background for this position?

Kevin Power, Resource Manager

Working in a role where forest inventory is being collected. E.g. for a contractor who carries out timber measurement for Coillte or for a sawmill.

What is your current job title?

Kevin Power, Resource Manager

Resource Manager, Coillte.

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