Meet Erin Colhoun, ’25
Involvement within the Auburn University College of Forestry, Wildlife and Environment (CFWE) student organizations provides the opportunity for students like Erin Colhoun to exercise leadership skills, build relationships with classmates, and foster community between students and professionals in the varying occupations associated with forestry. In her own words, learn how participation in student clubs has positively impacted Erin Colhoun’s experience at Auburn and her career potential after graduation.
Expected Graduation: 2025
Involvement: Forestry club, co-chair of AU Ducks Unlimited, College of Forestry, Wildlife and Environment student ambassador, and YoungLife leader.
What inspired you to choose your current major?
The wide array of career paths within forestry provides a lot of flexibility based on my specific interests. Forestry allows you to spend as much or as little time in the field as you like, depending on which job you take. As a forester, every day is a little bit different. Whether you are buying wood or growing trees, the principles of the job stay the same but the properties and the people you work with change which keeps you challenged and makes each day fun.
What are your career goals?
My goal is to become a registered forester and work in land management and consulting. Whether managing land for a cooperative organization or working for private land owners, I look forward to helping people achieve their goals for their land!
What do you enjoy about being a student in the CFWE?
I love the opportunities of a large university but the feeling of a small college. The forestry community is like a family- my classmates are some of my closest friends. The faculty are intentional about getting to know us students and truly have our best interests in mind. It is incredible to be a part of such a welcoming community.
Who or what has significantly impacted your success in the CFWE?
Dr. Gallagher has had a huge impact on my educational career. He helped me navigate some of the challenges I had getting into the field and has been a huge encouragement as I progressed in the forestry program.
What advice do you have for prospective students interested in joining the CFWE?
My best advice is to get involved!! Chose one organization to get involved with and commit to showing up consistently. The best thing I have done was to get as involved as possible with Ducks Unlimited. At first, it can be intimidating to show up to meetings and not know many people, but I have met some of my best friends and had some of the most impactful experiences from continuing to show up.
Do you have any additional insights or experiences you would like to share about your time in the CFWE or at Auburn University that may be beneficial to prospective students?
Don’t be afraid to explore other majors and talk to professors in the college. I changed my major to forestry halfway through my sophomore year because of conversations I had with my classmates and with professors in the field. I am so much happier with my major now and I never would have considered it without getting to know students and professors outside of my original major!
Interview is lightly edited for clarity.
(Written by Allison Killingsworth)