Role: Legal Counsel
Company: BHP Billiton
Why consider a career in the minerals industry?
I think looking at the minerals and energy industry is an excellent thing to do because of the fact that it is ever growing and ever changing. The opportunities for those with a science background, even a business background, are extensive. The minerals and energy industry is sometimes undersold so if you do that further investigation you'll find that the opportunities are really endless, and the type of work can be very diverse.
What should Year 10 students do to enable them get to where you are today?
Well prior to choosing the Year 11 and 12 subjects you have to think about what you want to do. Do you want to go to university and if so what course interests you? I sat down and thought that I was interested in practising law and perhaps picking up another more general degree. So I looked at what the pre-requisites were to study law and commerce at university and made sure I picked up those subjects in Year 11 and 12. I was also trying to pick subjects and a course of study that would keep my options open.
What do you see as the key skills & personal qualities that young people need to be successful in the Minerals Industry?
I think that the key things that you need to succeed in the minerals and energy industry are a high level of enthusiasm for what you're doing and a real willingness to learn. If you've got those things then it will really take you a long way because they are the foundations for you developing as an individual and contributing back to the organisation.
How relevant do you see the Minerals Industry to young people, and/or everyday life?
When you think about it the minerals industry is an integral part of our lives:- we turn on lights that use electricity; we drive cars that use petroleum; we wear jewellery made from diamonds and gold and silver; and we buy titanium watches and the like. It's entirely relevant to our day to day lives.
What do you like most about your job?
I think the great diversity of the work that I do at BHP Billiton is the most exciting thing. It's a moving feast. You're always learning something new and you're always using your skills in a proactive way to find solutions to legal issues.