SHIFTer of the Month
I was born and raised in Manitouwadge, ON, and even as a young child I always knew I wanted Northern Ontario to remain my home. For those who live in Manitouwadge, Thunder Bay is the hub of the region, so I always felt like the entire North Shore was my “home”, since we were always travelling in the area for something. Naturally, it was an easy decision to accept my offer of admission to Lakehead University back in 2005.
At Lakehead I completed an Honours Bachelor of Music Degree in Vocal Performance, and a Bachelor of Education. While at school, I had an active role in the music community, participating in several choral ensembles, concert board of directors, and being a church musician as well. I loved my time at LU’s Department of Music and still have a close circle of lifelong friends from that time, including Graeme, who is now my fiancé!
I was given the opportunity to spend several summer terms working as a student at the Hemlo Operations of Barrick Gold where I worked in both the Training Department and Maintenance Planning Department. When my final term at the mine ended, I decided that while my time at university was valuable and well spent, I no longer wanted to pursue music or teaching any further. Mining was such a crucial part of life in Manitouwadge and in some capacity, I wanted to be a part of it. After graduating from teacher’s college, I worked at a small communications company, and went on to become a sales administrator at Superior Propane before finding my way back to the mining industry at Goldcorp Musselwhite Mine, where I have been for the past year.
In my current role, I support the Mine General Manager, manage the office where we have our Thunder Bay operations, and participate in Musselwhite’s community engagements. With our Thunder Bay administration office, and the recent opening of our Integrated Remote Operating Center (IROC), we are establishing a local work force in the city, and that is one of the reasons I initiated a Goldcorp corporate membership with SHIFT—to promote our young professionals within the organization and give them an opportunity to network and foster collaboration with other local young professionals. By being out in the community, we can help encourage more young people to become interested in a career in mining. I feel very privileged to work for an organization that gives so much back to the community, and that strongly promotes diversity and inclusion in our workplace. People truly do matter here.
Although my pathway to get to this point has not been a linear one, I feel like I am where I belong, and where my work can make a difference. I choose to stay in Thunder Bay because I truly love the North and all it has to offer, and I want to continue to help this area flourish. The quality of life here cannot be beat and I’m thankful that my family is close by. My fiancé and I will be getting married next year, and we have no plans to leave Thunder Bay!
My message to young people is this: do not put all your eggs in one basket. Work hard to become a diverse, well-rounded individual and do not be afraid to try new things. Never pass up opportunities to learn and grow—you never know when you will discover a new passion!