ACRT is a fantastic place to work, but as with any business, there is room for improvement.
A typical work day for a Consulting Utility Forester consists of driving around in your company vehicle making contact with customers about tree trimming prescriptions or tree removals. As well as mapping out your lines, driving to your assigned work area, patrolling your power lines, identifying different tree species and signing them up for trims or removals. There's also some paperwork that needs to filed once you finish your work packet but most the time you are out of the office and in the field
I learned quite a bit, I do not come from a forestry background like most of my peers, but I was eager to learn. After some practice, I am now able to identify many local tree species and predict their growth rates. I was taught about safety procedures against extreme cold/heat, wild animals such as snakes, bears, etc and domestic animals such as dogs and livestock. I was able to become fluent with many different software programs, such as Microsoft office, word, excel etc, and GIS mapping system.
The experience I had with this management team was quite odd. It's clear that the management is very knowledgeable, but the problem I had was lack of communication. The whole team communicates through texts, group text and phone calls. New comers like me were always encouraged to text or call our supervisors if we had any questions. Unfortunately, when the time came and I actually needed some questions answered, or clarification on a certain aspect of my work, I could not get a response, or if I did it would be hours too late.
On top of that, after the 3 month mark of working there, the supervisor is supposed to give a performance review, advancing me to CUF II (which comes with a dollar raise), so long as my online assessments were completed. I tried many times to make an appointment with my supervisor to get this review done and I ended up waiting for 3 more months, and still nothing. Eventually I had to e-mail the Operations Manager because my supervisor had become unresponsive, which seemed to help because I got my review the next day.
The workplace culture is great. It's very relaxed and you spend a lot of time on your own for the most part but when you go to the office to do research or file paperwork, everyone is in pretty good spirits. Our office was very cohesive and everybody got along real well which was great. Some people would bring in donuts or cupcakes for the whole team. The people working there are some of the nicest people I've ever had the pleasure of meeting.
I think some people would say the hiking around in rough terrain would be the hardest but if you like to hike, like I do, its not so bad. I think the hardest thing for me was that you spend a lot of time on your own. Working by yourself is great at times, but I'm a people person and love to connect with others so that part was really had to get used to.
What I enjoyed most about my job was being outside all the time and the learning! I learned so much about my local community, trees, wildlife and the environment in general. It was really cool and a lot of fun. I'm definitely gonna miss it.
To wrap this up, the job was really great and I would recommend it to anyone, just remember to assert yourself.