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Spending Time with the Big Nickel

I grew up in Ontario but left after university. I left for work but I am really happy that I left and had the opportunity to see and experience other parts of Canada. I went west and just continued moving in that direction, one province at a time. Being a mine engineer, I worked in another field for a few years because of the slowdown in the metals and oil market. Then the opportunity to cover a maternity leave contract in my field came across my desk and I jumped at it. I had missed mining and using so many of the skills I had acquired. The one big challenge was that the job was in Ontario and I had roots in Alberta. Roots that couldn’t be uplifted and replanted because of my personal situation. My husband and I made the challenging choice to take the opportunity and do our best to make it work.

That is how I ended up in Sudbury for a year. My year is almost at an end and now I sit looking back. The job really was a great opportunity but it meant a great deal of personal sacrifice. I worked for a mining equipment manufacturing company as an application engineer. The role was a support position for the sales team, helping them to sell equipment by providing numerical backing of our marketing claims as well as helping to apply our equipment to our customers. Every mine is different and has different challenges so a part of my job was helping them overcome those challenges using our equipment. I was able to absorb a lot of information from different sources, learning a ton about equipment and some of the new trends coming into the industry. I also had the opportunity to engage and lead in different aspects of marketing within the business unit. It was a great experience. I saw so much personal growth, especially since I had been out of the industry for two years. And during those two years, I had my baby girl which I really think provided me with some additional confidence. When you realize that you can create a human, bring them into the world and parent them, you realize that business is less complicated by comparison.

Prior to living in Sudbury, I hadn’t spent much time in the area. I visited the city twice in university, once for a field trip and once for the annual mining games. I had seen some of the sites of the city but had been focused on the mining industry in the area rather than on the city. Living there for a year meant that I had the opportunity to experience all the seasons in the city. I was able to walk the paths near the university and near Ramsey Lake. I took the time to try some of the local cuisine. My favorite part was seeing the trees turn red in the fall. It was something I had missed for a decade while out west and none of the gorgeous scenery out west could compete with the red maple trees in Ontario. Don’t get me wrong, the west has become my home and I love seeing the acers of crops and the cattle and horses along the highway and road everywhere you go. But I had missed the red maples trees.

No trip to Sudbury would be complete without a visit and picture with the big nickel. For anyone who hasn’t been to the area, Sudbury has been a mining community for decades, mainly mining nickel and copper. Ironically, I worked at a nickel mine in Manitoba and that is where most of the plating quality nickel that is used in coin making is brought out of the ground. But Sudbury has taken this symbol as a part of their city. Which means my family and I had to take the opportunity to get a picture.



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