Graduation to Vocation: Trevor Setzer is Managing Forest Investments
Trevor Setzer will graduate in December 2021 with a co-master’s degree in forestry and economics. He previously earned a bachelor’s degree in forest management from NC State, with a minor in business administration. Setzer is currently working as an investment analyst at Weyerhaeuser.
We recently spoke with Setzer to learn more about how his time at NC State’s College of Natural Resources prepared him for a career in the forestry sector and to discuss his interest in economics and forest economics.
How has the College of Natural Resources impacted you and prepared you for your future?
The people within the College of Natural Resources have been instrumental in preparing me for the future. Everyone in the college wants to see you succeed, and they take action to give you opportunities or connect you to the right people.
What’s your favorite memory or class from your time at the College of Natural Resources?
Forestry summer camp was the most memorable and important time for me in the College of Natural Resources. We were able to learn theory in the classroom, and subsequently step outside into the field to solidify our understanding. Summer camp also offered personal development opportunities and marked the cohort’s transition from students to professionals. We met a variety of people in diverse disciplines, which helped us navigate our interests, establish relationships and gain exposure to career opportunities.
What is unique about you or your work?
The forest investment space offers a unique opportunity to work across many sectors and disciplines. My concentrations are in portfolio strategy and investment underwriting, which requires business acumen, a working knowledge of finance, economics and field operations, as well as an understanding of land-use alternatives and the value of the environment to various stakeholders such as investors and policymakers. While production forestry is the predominate investment focus of the sector, it is exciting to be a part of an era in which forest investment interests are beginning to diversify and mature.
What motivated you to pursue your work?
My discussions with College of Natural Resources faculty and board members of the NC State Natural Resources Foundation exposed me to the many career paths I could take in forestry. With guidance, I was able to choose a career direction and gain momentum early. The motivation to pursue my work came from the leadership and mentorship of those people, which is still what motivates me today.
What advice would you give students entering your major or field?
Begin networking early in your academic career. Starting conversations and establishing relationships with academia, industry and other entities will expose you to opportunities, help you to navigate your interests, and build your network. The network you build wants to see you succeed, and it will likely lead you in the right path if you show passion and ethic.