Caros amigos do IFSA,

I am Rodrigo, a Brazilian student doing the master’s program in European Forestry at the University of Eastern Finland (Finland) and Transilvania University of Brasov (Romania). At the end of October, I completed my Dare to Explore! Traineeship (DTE) at the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) in Vienna, Austria. After an amazing three months, I can say the letter from IUFRO not only stands for being International but also for innovative, impressive, and inspiring.

I personally felt that my duties were diverse and challenging during my work. I was part of the organization team for the side-event Forest Landscape Restoration Implementation: Progress on the Ground where nine countries from Asia, Africa, and Latin America showed their work at the XXV IUFRO World Congress 2019 held in Curitiba, Brazil. My traineeship sharpened my skills sets and gave me a better understanding of the path in which I wished to pursue my career in. My writing skills were greatly sharpened from working on the research papers I wrote for a broader audience, my social media skills were improved while promoting the side-events where I had to carefully think about the posts to be attractive and informative for the viewers.

Besides work, I interacted with the staff at IUFRO, taught them Portuguese and I too learned a little bit of German ; for example, I explained the meaning of the word rolê that loosely translates to go out with friends and have fun. As IUFRO World Congress was held in Brazil, they wanted to know more about our culture and language.

The traineeship was indeed a great opportunity to broaden my networking skills, learn more about forest policy, restoration and scientific communication. I was also inspired to see so many professionals from different countries working together towards one goal. Alone we will not be able to tackle climate change, we need collaboration and the commitment of all nations. For instance, the Bonn Challenge or Paris Agreement.

Overall, I recommend students and recent graduates to apply for one of the traineeships of the DTE Program or any internship they are interested. The European Forest Institute (EFI), International Forestry Student’s Association (IFSA), and the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) offers great opportunities to anyone who wants to learn more about green jobs, experience the work environment, and how to behave in the workplace.

The Dare to Explore! Traineeship program is an initiative of the joint EFI-IFSA-IUFRO project.