Recent graduate Zach Leners checks in

Photo courtesy of Zach Leners
Photo courtesy of Zach Leners

This semester, we're catching up with recent Fisheries and Wildlife graduate Zach Leners.

Q. What degree(s) did you earn from UNL and in what year(s)?

2018: Bachelors of science in biology and fisheries and wildlife management

Q. How do you feel your SNR education prepared you for your career?

I think that SNR did a pretty good job of preparing me for my current career. I learned a lot about potential jobs and opportunities after graduation and was able to gain a lot of valuable experience and information about potential careers and career paths.

Q. Who were some of your favorite (or most memorable) professors and classes?

Dr. Eric North and Dendrology. I use most of the information I learned in this class on a daily basis, and I really enjoyed the way the information was presented and the interactive teaching style of the class. It was also refreshing to participate in a lab that allowed you to spend time outside!

Q. Describe your non-academic activities during your time at the university. For example, were you involved in any SNR-related student groups? Did you study abroad?

I participated in study abroad trips to China, Canada, France and Spain. I was a Senior Counselor in the Nebraska Human Resources Institute (NHRI). I also worked as a Student Mentor for the William H. Thompson Scholars for two years.

Q. What position do you currently hold? What do you most enjoy about it and what do you find most challenging?

I am currently a Plant Healthcare Technician with The Davey Tree Expert Co. One aspect of my current job that I enjoy is the amount of independence I am given. Typically I work by myself, and I work through a route of residential homes and businesses providing plant-health care, such as fertilizations, pest management, and disease management for trees and shrubs. One of the most challenging parts of my day is dealing with time management; I have a route I need to complete, and it can be difficult to plan out my day in a way that is efficient.

Q. Would you change anything about or take anything back from your time at SNR?

I would probably try out a wider variety of internships or try to gain a bit more field experience while I was in school or over the summer. But for the most part, I really enjoyed my experience within SNR, and I would not change much.

Q. What advice would you give to current SNR students who aren’t sure or don’t feel confident about their postgraduate future?

Keep an open mind and have an understanding and vision of where you want to end up. Just remember that you might not travel down a conventional path to get where you want to go.