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Undergraduate Student

Benjamin T. Poling


Expected Graduation Date: May 2015

I arrived at Virginia Tech in fall 2013 after attending New River Community College for two semesters to take classes that transferred into the forestry degree that I seek. I did not choose forestry at first; it took me years to discover my true passion, and I tried many other fields of interest first. I started my path in the Navy for 8 years working as an electrician and firefighter, where I also learned how to be a machinist. I left the Navy in 2012 to try my hand at timber framing and carpentry while also operating heavy equipment. I have tried and done many things before I ended up pursuing a degree in forestry and I cannot imagine taking any other path!

I chose Virginia Tech because it has a great forestry program, offering vast resources and opportunities. I have always loved trees, timber, and timber products, and the idea that I will get to learn all about these things I am so passionate about thrills me to no end! I have an ultimate goal to buy, sell, and trade timber and timber products internationally, which requires good communication, a good knowledge base, and good leadership abilities. The Leadership Institute captured my attention with the opportunity to better myself and improve my communication and leadership abilities. I look forward to experiencing the opportunities provided by this program to learn more about myself and others. I believe we all should strive to learn something new each and every day, and that will be my intention with my time at Virginia Tech and in the Leadership Institute.

Area of Speciality

  • Forest Resources Management

Honors and Awards

  • Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest REU Internship, summer 2014
  • Xi Sigma Pi (Forestry Honor Society)
  • Dean’s List, four semesters

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