Summer breaks, for University Students, are opportunities for those who are hands on learners to get out there and absorb as much as they can! My first two summers were spent standing on the side of Manitoba Provincial HWY’s fighting off horse flies with my traffic sign. Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation had hired me as a Civil Engineering Co-op Student.
I highly recommend co-op positions to everyone, whether you choose four months or sixteen months. They provide valuable experience potentially worth more than your schooling. Getting back to mining though, my first mining job… New Gold.
Rainy River, a tiny little border town (a hidden gem if you ask me) nestled deep in the southwestern corner of Ontario. Most people don’t know where it is or what it has to offer, but I do. In fact I spent most of my childhood making memories there on my grandparents farm. Fishing, hunting, swimming, climbing hay bails, collecting rocks along the beach (coincidence?).
I was in my first year of engineering when my grandma first showed me that they were going to be building a mine just north of town (45 mins from the farm to be exact). It was promising for the community, very little was left for industry since the paper mill had closed. I found someone on LinkedIn who worked there and emailed them. It took me almost a month to get a hold of the consultant completing the feasibility study. At that time I was so new to mining, I surely didn’t ask any intelligent questions, I stumbled through a conversation with a very patient and kind gentleman.
After he had completed his work on the project he directed me to Grant Goddard, the General Manager at the time. I spoke with him over the phone a couple of times and told him I would like to work for him one day. Similar to the first engineer I spoke with Grant was very humble.
Finally, I got the call back I had been hoping for, they had approval and budget for two summer students! I was hired as a Mining Engineer Co-op Student. I worked with some of the greatest people, industry professionals and friends I still look up to today. I had fallen IN LOVE with the mining industry.
Fast forward to the end of the summer, I decided I wanted to take a year off and work. They tried to get budget approval for me to stay, unfortunately the job offer came one day too late… I had already committed to a year of fifo in the arctic!