‘At the end of this two year program, any graduate with a proactive, hard working attitude will have the skills and experience that will hold them in excellent stead for the future.’
I’ve been on the Nyrstar graduate program for the past year and a half. My time has been split between Port Pirie in South Australia and Hobart in Tasmania. The most enjoyable aspect of my graduate position has been the flexibility and variety of the roles and projects I’ve been involved in.
At the end of the program I’ll have the expertise and experience to take up many positions – possibly as a plant engineer solving day-to-day, shorter-term issues, or as a project engineer solving longer-term problems that require more detailed planning and analysis. Certainly this program offers you skills that are transferable to most large industries around the world.
The huge variety of materials produced by the Hobart and Port Pirie sites, and the many and varied methods of retrieving the natural resources, was the most exciting element for a novice engineer with little experience of their chosen field. Such a variety of equipment and processes means that no two issues are ever the same, so an engineer’s problem-solving skills are well tested.
Although daunting at first, the opportunity to design and implement solutions that could make a process safer, prevent a loss in production, or save the business millions of dollars, is extremely fulfilling.
Both sites had excellent teachers who passed on much wisdom and many skills, plus a mentor to help me with my work. I especially appreciated the guidance of other graduates who’d gone through the same issues and processes as myself, and were always willing to offer support. By involving myself in the many sporting, cultural or travelling opportunities on offer, I soon became part of the group, as well as the community, and a friendly face was never hard to find.
The first three months of the graduate program is dedicated to a trade appreciation. This gives you practical exposure to engineering that university often fails to deliver. I worked in the field alongside the tradesmen of different maintenance crews. Here I picked up the skills, terminology and confidence to turn my theoretical competence into practice.
Throughout the program I’ve been given plenty of opportunity to undertake training and professional development. Some of those that have aided my growth as an engineer are project management, leadership and communication, root cause analysis, reliability centred maintenance, pumps course and a number of safety focused qualifications.
I am hoping to be offered a permanent role at one of the sites on the completion of my two year program, so that I can continue to develop my talents while adding value and helping Nyrstar achieve its goals.
I would also like to work at one of the company’s overseas mining sites, where I can continue to learn while experiencing different places and people.