Canadian Mining Journal


DOING SOME DIGGING – Melanie Pilon, Goldcorp’s “apprentice”

Melanie Pilon has the best job in Canada. She has won a position at GOLDCORP as the "apprentice" to president and C...

Melanie Pilon has the best job in Canada. She has won a position at GOLDCORP as the “apprentice” to president and CEO Ian Telfer.

Reportedly, Telfer is a fan of Donald Trump’s “The Apprentice” reality TV show. So he approached his alma mater, the University of Ottawa, with the idea of finding his own apprentice among this year’s graduates of the school’s MBA program.

The selection process began by asking applicants to write a letter outlining their interests, experience and why they might want to apprentice themselves in the gold mining industry. Six were selected for interviews with Telfer, who met them in Ottawa. His choice was Pilon, a bilingual, 30-year-old native of Cornwall, Ont.

Winning was “a little overwhelming”, Pilon told CMJ in a telephone interview this week. Far from being overwhelmed by her new position, which she took up on Sept. 15, she sounds as if she is a perfect fit for the job. She did her undergraduate degree in communications at the U of O and then worked in a variety of fields including hospitality, international development, environment sustainability and corporate governance (which was the focus of her MBA studies).

As an apprentice at Goldcorp, Pilon’s skills are available to any of the company’s departments. “I’m an extra resource for everyone,” she said. And she has the opportunity to overview all of the company’s workings.

The unique aspect of her job is that she joins Telfer at board meetings, investor presentations, conferences and undertakes research for him. There can be no better way to learn how a successful gold miner stays that way and grows. Her apprenticeship will end next June.

Pilon entered the apprentice contest looking at what it could do for her career, she admitted. “Now I’m hoping to build a future with Goldcorp, but time will tell,” she added.

CMJ offers its congratulations to Pilon and will be cheering for her continued success. We hope that other companies find ways to give upper management experience to business students and recent grads, as this is a great way to attract them to the mining industry.

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