Three students from Gladstone were among swarms of people attending the Minerals Roundup Day, a full day event aimed at helping people of all ages explore the plethora of potential careers in the mining industry. The students attending got their own crash course attending the Student Career Exploration, which included a guided tour, guest speakers for different jobs in the industry and a map and booklet of the conference booths.
For Gladstone student Karen Lee, it was a new and fascinating experience.
"Coming into this event I didn't know what to expect. I didn't have much prior knowledge of the mining industry so what I information I did gleam from the people I interviewed was fascinating to me," she said.
Lee said for her, a highlight was getting to listen to Donald McInnes, the Vice Chairman of Alterra Power Corporation, whose career trajectory from an arts student in university to running a power company was inspiring.
Lee says she would wholeheartedly recommend the Round Up to other students saying that even though she arrived with zero knowledge about mining, she walked away with many new ideas about where her career path might take her.
"From someone who attended the event on a whim and wasn't interested beforehand of the mining industry nor had had any real thought of a career in that industry, I've learned more than I guessed I would and enjoyed it more than I thought I would," she said.
Gladstone student Sobikshna Sivapalan agrees with Lee saying that the experience was truly inspirational. She says that while she has been thinking for years about a career in geology, her time at the round up provided additional motivation to work hard so that one day she could be "as prosperous as the people I have met."
For Sivapalan, the highlight of the day was a ray gun miners and geologists use to find specific elements in a soil or rock sample. The gun, with just a click of button, detects which elements are in the sample and it details how much of the element, the sample contains.
For Gladstone student Ernest Liew, the best part of the event wasn't a ray gun but the opportunity to pan for gold and to hear from guest speakers about their business backgrounds.
"I found the Mineral Roundup was quite an interesting event. There was quite a lot of people, especially those who were dressed up in formal wear. The excitement was definitely in the air as people were talking," he said.