McLeod Mckenzie - My mining career

I’m a graduate Mining Engineer employed by Glencore Coal. I’m currently working at Ulan Surface Operation near Mudgee in NSW. While it varies considerably, I’ll often go for a drive in the pit with my manger first thing of a morning to see how nightshift performed and make a plan for the day. I’ll then return to the office and attend the daily meeting before working on designs/plans for the dragline. At the moment I’m working on gaining practical experience in parallel to my office duties so I spend about quarter of my time operating haul trucks, dozers and other machinery.   

I participated in a four day Summer School run by the School of Mining Engineering. This trip left me with the impression that the school had stronger ties with industry than its competitors. Talking to undergraduates at UNSW Open Days confirmed to that it was the best option available in terms of the education I would receive, career prospects and lifestyle while studying. I was attracted to mining engineering for a number of reasons; including:

  • Diverse range of potential roles
  • Ability to pursue a career in rural areas
  • Opportunity to take on responsibility early in my career
  • The positive impression taken from the UNSW Summer School and Minerals Council dinners

I was fortunate to be awarded a scholarship from Xstrata Coal during my first year. It made a significant difference throughout my time at UNSW. It was a great help in terms of the financial support and more importantly the chance to meet people from the company and undertake vacation employment with them.

Already having the relationship with my scholarship company made gaining a graduate position simpler, and allowed me to focus on my studies in my final year. I found the various field trips we went on great in terms of seeing new things, learning about different mining methods and having a great time with friends. In terms of the unexpected, a trip to South Africa in my third year visiting mining operations was certainly a highlight of my time at UNSW.

Getting a Mining Engineering degree from UNSW laid the foundation in terms of technical knowledge and personal/professional development, and then prepared me to transition seamlessly into an interesting and rewarding career in the minerals industry.  Studying at UNSW was the best decision I made.

Find out more about a Bachelor degree in Mining Engineering