Buck Trafford

Harvest Engineer

Key Info

  • Bachelor of Social Sciences with Honours
  • Engineering
  • Geography

Coming from a small rural town north of Gisborne, and fresh out of Gisborne Boys’ High School, Buck Trafford came to the University of Waikato to study social sciences. “Once I found my feet, it was an awesome experience. Waikato University has a well-equipped campus that offers everything at your fingertips.”

He arrived with the intention of completing a bachelors degree followed by a teaching qualification, but instead decided to specialise in Geographical Information Systems (GIS), which took him down a different career path.

Three years after completing his honours degree, Buck is working as a harvest engineer, responsible for planning forestry blocks for harvest with the help of GIS-related tools. “I also supervise road construction and engineering operations. This is my ‘dream job’, as it allows me to spend 2-3 days a week in the forest. My role has a heavy GIS component, so my Waikato degree, with the GIS specialisation, played a big part in securing the position.”

Buck really enjoyed getting the chance to tutor first year classes during his honours year. “It was a huge privilege and was an awesome way to give something back to the University.”

“Studying at Waikato has enabled me to create a network of lifelong friends, who are scattered around the world, enjoying an array of experiences and employment.”

Always looking for ways to further his skills and experience, Buck’s ultimate goal is to establish a forest engineering consulting business, but he is very happy where he is at present.

Buck’s advice to prospective Waikato students? “Don’t hesitate, it's an awesome experience and you won't regret it. Think about where you see yourself in 10 years and put in the work to achieve that goal.”

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