VIDEO: Internships in Mining Engineering

Posted on February 15, 2017

Internships are a great way for engineering students to build job experience, fortify their resumes, and navigate decisions about future career and academic paths. Hear what Queen's mining engineering students Art, Natalie, and Kelly have to say about their internship experiences. It's information that could help you with your own internship choices.

Learn more about the Queen's Undergraduate Internship Program.
Visit The Robert M. Buchan Department of Mining.

  • Video transcript:

    Hi, my name is Art Stokreef. I'm studying pyrometallurgy of copper at the graduate level.

    May name is Natalie Kawun. I am a fifth-year mining engineering student who just came back from a year-long internship.

    Hello, my name is Kelly MacGillis and I'm a 2016 Mining Engineering graduate back here to talk about my wonderful internship experiences throughout my undergraduate degree.

    My job was to go to the processing plant and take samples of the different separation circuits. Then I would analyze the samples that I took in the lab and report on the results to my supervisors.

    We dealt with all the planning, scheduling and everything that was going to happen a year from now and up until almost 30 years from now.

    So, it was a long-range plan. I was out in the field. I was working with operators general foreman, other planners, and I was presenting my plans on a weekly basis to managers, supervisors. Although I was a little bit eyes-wide-open I got right into the swing of things. And the academic background that I received first, second, and third-year; it did prepare me quite well but you're applying what you've learned in school so far.

    An internship opens so many doors for you. It helps you learn what you do enjoy what you don't enjoy. You're there for a set period of time, so if you don't like what you're doing, you don't have to continue doing it after this. If anything you just spend four, eight, 12 months of your time learning that it's something that you don't want to do and that's just as valuable as learning that you do enjoy doing something is what I think.

    So, I don't think you can really lose out by doing an internship. You're going to meet amazing people at the internship there's often really good student communities there. You're going to get amazing work experience that is going to at least firm up your decision to pursue the career that you've chosen. I think that knowledge is really important.

    When an employer looks at a resume, when they see that you have that experience, it just puts you in such higher stead because they see that maybe you know what you want. Maybe you have an idea of what you can bring to the table and also what you have already brought to the table.

    I think it's such an invaluable experience to have. Working in the industry and meeting people and learning about all the things you could possibly do was an absolutely amazing experience.

    Queen's has some absolutely amazing alumni in mining. My manager is a Queen's mining alumnus and two of the guys that worked on my team were also Queen's mining alumni and they were very welcoming, very helpful. They talked about their time when they were at Queen's. It was very, it was kind of like family when you go out and you meet someone else who was in mining at Queen's.

    And I also found out that the time that you do on an internship counts towards your professional engineering time. You can do up to a year of pre-graduate experience that counts toward your PEng, so I wasn't set back by doing an internship. If anything, I'm in the exact same place as someone who graduate and has been working for a year already.

    The year of experience, I think, makes your resume look a lot more appealing to employers. Even going to conference and listening to people talk about student jobs, they want to see students with an internship. A lot of them won't hire students without having at least some internship experience.