1. The Fast Track Program – what is it to you? I see the Fast Track Program as an opportunity to be assigned a large amount of responsibility and to develop a set of managerial skills early on in my career, which will positively impact my development as a professional in the mining industry. There is a well-defined path laid out in front of me that will expose me to key functions within the Business Unit that might provide an opportunity for a quick career advancement within Nordgold, which motivates me to do well in the program. Working in a diverse and multicultural team of exceptional professionals not only allows me to develop professionally, but is also enriching on a personal level due to daily interactions with people who come from a variety of backgrounds and hold different world-views.
2. What are your career expectations for the next 1 to 5 years? The areas on which I want to focus in the near-future are my leadership skills, integration of technical knowledge with management techniques and data science. I plan to make use of every opportunity for my further development in the program and to become very familiar with how the West African Business Units operate. I am a highly driven geologist and I plan to keep increasing my competencies with the aim to find myself in a position of responsibility at a senior, decision-making level within the next 5 years. Even if I do fall short of this target I will be certain to always make informed decisions based on a solid technical background and the best data available. Above all else - whatever I will end up doing I want to do it well.
3. How are your coaches and mentors involved in your projects? In the past, I was extremely lucky to have worked under incredibly knowledgeable and approachable mentors who have helped to guide the early stage of my career. For that reason, the mentorship aspect of the Fast Track Program was a huge draw for me. Currently, the projects which I am leading provide me with flexibility in regards to how I implement changes and the way I approach project and people management. My coaches support me in project implementation by offering day-to-day advice, feedback, and if so required, they help me to reflect on key issues and redirect my focus. On the other hand, the mentoring sessions with an HQ-based industry expert allow for an exchange of professional and personal experiences in an informal setting and focus my growth as a professional.
4. How did you find out about the Fast Track program? I have keenly watched the recruitment for the Fast-Track program in the two years prior to my application. At the time I was not eligible to apply for the position due to a lack of a postgraduate degree and limited work experience. However, following the submission of my Masters’ thesis, job-searching became my full-time occupation and the advertisement for the next intake for the Fast-Track Program was posted soon after. I applied for the position the same day and a number of highly interactive assessment stages later I have been offered a place in the program. I could not wait to begin working at Bissa-Bouly!
5. What are your general impressions about the program and the company? I have joined the Fast Track program mid-pandemic. Considering that the entire world seems to have turned upside-down the transition into the program has been relatively smooth. On my journey thus far, I have been working in Business Systems Nordgold, where I am a project lead on a number of interesting optimisation projects within the Mineral Resources Department, in addition to occasional projects in different functional areas. The end of my first year in the Fast Track Program is rapidly approaching and I am looking forward to the next challenges ahead in Stage 2, where I will be exposed to different Geology sub-functions at Bissa-Bouly.
I am a strong believer in sustainable development of natural resources and that mining companies should promote education, training and inclusion to support local communities and to provide worthwhile work opportunities for the national workforce. Upon my arrival at Bissa, I was happy to see that the company offers such opportunities through various initiatives, such as purchasing vegetables from local farmers, providing vocational training for equipment operators from nearby settlements, or through continuous development of national specialists through ‘PERSPECTIVE’ and ‘STEPS’ leadership programs to help staff members realise their potential.