My initial plan was to stay in Secunda for 2 years and then go back home, but my passion for mining kept me there. I worked hard, paid attention, got myself a mentor and flourished. I was running my own mine as a Senior Geologist within 3 years of starting work. It did not come easy, and there was blood, sweat and tears. I made sure I was always respectful and kind to the people I met and formed lifelong friendships. I loved going underground, seeing new faces and learning new things, yet after 6 years I had become stuck in the same position. I had mentored junior geologists and found that I was good at it because they flourished too.
At this point I decided to change careers and moved to the business improvement department in mining. I certified as a Lean Six Sigma black belt and made even more friends along the way. I started informally mentoring industrial engineering graduates, worked closely with them too.
After 9 years with Sasol, I decided to spread my wings, and was recruited by a smaller company to work in Delmas at an opencast coal mine. They took me with no prior opencast experience… why?! Because I can learn quickly, and I am incredibly good with people and computers. I stayed there for almost 2 years and the wealth of knowledge I gained there is almost indescribable. I coached contracted graduates into permanent positions.
I had changed lives. And so, I decided, in the heart of a pandemic that this is what I MUST do, I’m made to coach geology and mining professionals into higher positions. I genuinely believe that there are high potential professionals that need me to help them, and I cannot wait to do it!
Until next time, stay safe!