Mediaplanet: What initially drew you to a career in human resources?

Jeremy Woo: Human resources is a growing profession that attempts to align organizational strategy, operational goals, and, of course, people. I’m a firm believer that the most valuable resource is people, and I am intrigued by the opportunity to wrangle all of these elements to create solutions that help organizations become more productive and more profitable.

Whether it’s the thrill of recruiting the perfect candidate for an opening, investing in employee success, or designing total compensation policies that attract and retain top talent, each day is a new, exciting challenge. The allure of this dynamic career path was simply too exhilarating to pass up!

"I feel an instant sense of pride knowing that I’m a part of the industry, even if I work in an office!"

MP: You interned with Tolko during the summers of 2013 and 2014. What drew you to practice in Canada’s forest products industry?

JW: I have interned with Tolko for two summers now, and there are many great reasons that explain why I am returning to the forest products industry. First of all, the forestry sector is environmentally responsible. Trees are a renewable resource, and sustainable forestry practices are engrained in the sector’s operations. It is very fulfilling to know that your hard work and contributions power a business model built on sustainability with a strong commitment to a greener tomorrow – literally.

I also was drawn to the opportunities for building my career. Growing demand for forest products in developing economies is fueling industry expansion, and that’s great news for my career prospects in the future.

MP: What might young Canadians not know about the diverse career opportunities that our forest sector offers?

JW: I didn’t know much about career prospects in forestry when I first joined Tolko in 2013. Thanks to my exposure to recruitment, I learned that the forest product industry requires a diverse array of professionals in many fields, including marketing, finance, international business, information technology, engineering, and trades.

Furthermore, I didn’t know that there was such opportunity for advancement. Some of British Columbia’s largest corporations are in the forestry industry, and there is plenty of room to grow a career and pursue new challenges in your field.

MP: Is there a fulfillment that comes from supporting such a vital Canadian industry?

JW: Definitely! Over hundreds of years, millions of Canadians have relied on forest products to raise their families, create bright futures, and contribute to a better nation. Every time I pass a mill, watch lifts of lumber roll by on a train, or catch a homebuilder using Canadian lumber, I feel an instant sense of pride knowing that I’m a part of the industry, even if I work in an office!

MP: You’ll soon be returning to Vernon. What are you most excited for?

JW: I’m actually looking forward to being closer to family and friends in my hometown. There’s also something to be said for beaches, lakes, endless Okanagan sunshine, fresh fruit at the side of the road, and sunset drives along an orchard-lined highway.

When I first started business school at the University of Calgary, I thought that I had two choices after graduation: move to a big city and build my career, or move back home and put my business career on the backburner. Now I know that I can have both. Whether you’re in Quesnel or Kelowna, Vanderhoof or Vernon, forestry is likely in your British Columbian hometown. You can grow your career right here at home, surrounded by wide open spaces, friends, and family. Thanks to the diverse range of career opportunities in forestry, you can have your career and your lifestyle. Who says you can’t go home?