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Seppi Hona - District Inspector

Seppi Hona - District Inspector

What are the main tasks and responsibilities?

District Inspector – Dealing with grant and felling applications, site inspections, taking samples for plant health Dept., dealing with queries from general public & representing the Forest Service at public events from time to time.

Describe a typical day?

Office for 2 hours in the morning, rest of the day on field inspections. I manage my weeks so that I spent minimal time in the office.

What are the main challenges?

Compliance of scheme rules, forest owners lack of knowledge of forestry, appreciation of state aid towards the sector.

What particular skills do you bring to your workplace?

A background of ‘relevant’ experience which I gained in the private sector. Relevant meaning that I worked in all schemes that I now am tasked to assess and regulate. Past experience in all aspects of the sector give a deep insight the regulatory side and the rationale of many policies.

What's cool?

Being able to manage your week according to your workload. Having the freedom of managing office/fieldwork.

What's not so cool?

Various issues encountered from time to time relating to non compliance of licences or scheme rules.

How did you go about getting your current job?

Worked in the private sector for 5 years and built up good experience and reputation. Forest Service advertised Grade 3 competitions and I applied and was eventually offered a job.

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

Completing my two MSc degrees and landing a job within a few months of graduation.

Who are the people who most influenced your career direction?

My father.

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

Yes, I am an outdoors person anyway

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

My science subjects at leaving cert were physics, engineering & chemistry. These topics didn’t influence my career path. I was initially offered a mechanical engineering place at UL but opted for Forestry at UCD after advice from my father.

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

Analytical skills, writing skills, advanced knowledge of specific policy issues due to in depth research during post grads.

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

Being offered a District Inspectors job from the start with the Forest Service.

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

Having a good understanding of the forestry sector having worked in it for five years. Professionalism, being interested in forestry development in Ireland, priding myself in customer service to ensure our clients go away with a positive experience.

What is your dream job?

I enjoy my current job, but it doesn’t pay enough!!

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

Initiative, practical ‘relevant’ experience is essential, excellent customer service skills, postgraduate degree of at least Masters level.

What advice would you give to someone considering this job?

Work in the private sector first to gain essential experience.

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

Working in the private sector and abroad to experience how people do things differently which is vital for critical analysis.

Forestry Careers Ireland