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Stilettos to steel caps 

Monica Joseph’s Story

When she was at university, Monica Joseph, Superintendent Electrical Maintenance Copper Concentrator, couldn’t think of anything less suited to her than a career in mining. Back then, the engineering student had based her notion of the mining industry on what she had seen on TV - people shovelling dirt into oversized trucks. It wasn’t until she took on a six-month work experience stint at a resource sector consultancy firm that she learnt there was far more to mining than mud and machines.

“I loved maths and science at school and I’d always been interested in electronics, so I decided to do a degree in Microelectronic Engineering. At the time, I didn’t really have a clear understanding of where it might lead me but it seemed interesting so as you do when you’re 18, I gave it a go.

While some of my friends at uni discussed their plans to work in the mines after graduation, I was convinced it just wasn’t my style. I grew up in a small country town and had always dreamed of living in the city, working in a high-rise building and climbing the corporate ladder. Then a placement at Kellogg Brown and Root (KBR) changed everything. What I learnt about the resource sector at KBR inspired and excited me—suddenly a career in mining seemed challenging and rewarding. So I applied for a place in the Mount Isa Mines Graduate Program in 2008.

As my flight from Brisbane to Mount Isa was preparing to land, I remember looking out the window, seeing the red dust and Spinifex and thinking, ‘What on earth am I doing’? I was struck with this sudden realisation that I was leaving behind all those big city plans I’d had for so long to live in a country town thousands of kilometres from home. I was terrified! But within weeks I knew I had made the right decision. My colleagues made me feel so welcome, and Mount Isa has such a strong, supportive community. I only planned to stay here for the two years, but I’m already working on my ninth year.

When I started out I wanted to get as much experience as possible in different areas of mining, and I’ve since had the opportunity to work in the underground environment, in our surface operations, and for both copper and zinc commodity business units. That’s why I chose to work for a Glencore company; because it was an international and diverse company, a company that has supported me in achieving my goals throughout my career.”

"I like the variety of projects at work, and that my job allows me to get involved in valuable industry initiatives... like improving member services for engineers in remote areas..."