Interview with Alison Smith

Sales and Planning Analyst

Alison Smith

Case Study

Name: Alison Smith
Position: Sales and Planning Analyst
Company: VicForests
Qualifications: Masters of Forest Ecosystem Science
Age: 28

What does your role entail?
I’m primarily focused on the sale of timber at the moment, as part of the sales team, but typically a sales and planning analyst does a range of tasks for different areas of the business, including tactical planning, forest contracting, customer communication and contract management.

What is a typical day for you?
A typical day for me is quite varied – you’ll never have the same day twice, which is an exciting part of the job!
I could be working on contracts, or working on a specialised project for a customer. I could be out in the field, or I could be working with a completely different team. It’s really diverse and varied. When I’m doing sales related jobs I work with a smaller team on different resource projects.
Why did you choose forestry?
I’ve always enjoyed bush walking and outdoor activities, and got my love for forests is from that. Who wouldn’t want to work in a job where you get the opportunity to work in the place you love!
What’s the best part of your job?
Anything to do with our customers. I really enjoy getting out and visiting them to further understand their business and requirements. Without our customers, we are not here.
And the most challenging?
Having to defend the industry that I work in. I value forestry and it can be frustrating to communicate to people who have very ingrained and incorrect views of the industry.
To what kind of person would you recommend the forestry industry?
The kind of person that forestry would suit would be someone who loves to get out into the field and be in the environment.
Also someone with good negotiation skills - who has an interest in what they’re doing and is passionate about sustainable resources.

We spoke to Alison about her career and what she does day to day. We hope you find this useful and interesting – but please remember, that all jobs are not exactly the same and other roles with the same title may be different in many respects. Confirm all the details of a particular job with the organisation offering it.