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Mel Wherry


Well, each have their own stories.

Surprise discovering an unexpected career. Awe working along-side industry specialist engineers. Satisfaction unearthing a new skill. Pride solving an engineer problem. Fun finding new interests exploring life in new places.

To find out more – we asked our graduates their stories:

Mel Wherry

Bachelor of Mining Engineering (Hons), University: UNSW Region, Hunter Valley Coal, NSW Region, Pilbara Iron Ore, Perth Region, Underground Gold, Philippines

What’s been the most rewarding part of being a graduate?

Gaining exposure to a wide variety of different commodities, mines, teams, environments and locations. Having such a wide breadth of exposure has allowed me to see how the industry operates more broadly and has helped me gain an understanding of how, and where, solutions can be applied. This non-stop learning cycle has both been challenging and rewarding.

What value has the development program been to you as a graduate?

For me, the most valuable part of my development has been gaining access to a wide range of resources and, in particular - people across the business. Interacting with past graduates, managers in different areas, and our senior leaders (including the executive committee) has allowed me to change my perspective of how I view my role within Orica and the industry more widely. It’s taken me from a position of feeling like “just a grad” to a valuable member of a world class company.

What’s been the biggest surprise for you on the graduate program?

How much other people within the business care about my professional development and will go out of their way to be able to provide me with valuable experience and assistance despite having a busy work load themselves. The trick is learning that you just need to ask.

Who’s inspired you along the way?

The people I’ve worked closely with. It has made me understand that having such a wide variety of experience and backgrounds really allows for some impressive things to be accomplished. It’s also shown me that there is no “one correct way” to approach my career, which is inspiring and liberating at the same time.

What’s it really been like transitioning from University to work?

Easier than expected. Most people understand the immediate challenges (for example, relocation), and can provide you support… Even if that just entails giving you some extra time to sort things out. I’ve found that people within the company, and indeed the industry, are acutely aware of the massive learning curve that you experience within the first few months of beginning your new role and try their best to ease you into the work environment.

What’s been the best advice you’re received that’s helped you?

What’s important to your manager is important to you. That may seem self-explanatory, but when you really think about it, if you’re spending your time doing things that your manager doesn’t really care about than you’re probably not using your time effectively. Your work is also more likely to be noticed, as if it’s important to your manager, it is probably important to their manager too.

Tell us what you see in your future career?

Good question. The future is dynamic and everchanging that seeing myself in specific roles is hard to do. I will say that in my future I expect to work in some amazing places, on some interesting projects with diverse and hardworking teams.

Has this future career path changed from when you first started with us?

Not particularly, I feel like if I wanted a stagnant, linear career than accepting a role within Orica would have been a poor decision!


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