To some extent, the study of Tropical Forestry at TUD was repetitive for me. I had already had a background in Forestry with B.Sc. in Forest Engineering and experience while working for over 2 years in the forestry sector. Even so, I found some amazing classes such as Culture and Extension and Forest Policy that sparked my interest.
I think, the best strategic decision I made at that time was to invest my free time in learning German (DAAD course was definitely too basic), enjoying Dresden and searching for what the next step would be. I adapted very quickly, met tons of Germans (and foreigner) friends and enjoyed different cultural activities.
In my opinion, DAAD students do not realize fully the benefits of the program. Benefits such as the literature program, financial support for German courses, alumni discussion groups and the Carl-Schmidt Programme (CSP) are just some information among a tsunami of things we have to get used to in the first weeks in Germany. Carl-Schmidt Programme (Line C) is a particularly tricky one, because it is not published on DAAD page, so you have to ask. It gives you a possibility to apply for the top-notch organizations as the World Bank, FAO, etc. That is how I got an internship at FAO.
During the CSP fellowship, I started working with Forest Economics but the position did not really match my previous experience, so when the CSP fellowship ended and I got hired at Forest Monitoring and Assessment team, I kn
ew this one was a dream job. Now I provide technical capacity on forest information systems for developing countries. I travel a lot and work can be difficult sometimes, but I enjoy every minute of it.
My professional secret is: Do not settle for a job you do not love.