Diamonds are forever
After graduation, Chris Pichurski (Civil [Co-op] ’09) took on full-time employment as an EIT at the Diavik Diamond Mine 200 km north of Yellowknife, NWT. Pichurski had spent his first Co-op work term at the mine and enjoyed it so much he returned there for every subsequent work term.
Diavik is apparently impressed with Pichurski as well. These days, he is working as a ventilation and services engineer, supplying clean air and providing services like compressed air and water to workers in the mine.
But professional life is still a marked contrast from being a student.
“It is a change of pace in a sense that you can’t judge what you are doing on such short-term goals like you can in school. In school, you hand in your assignments at the end of the week, and when you get them back it’s pretty self-explanatory whether you did well or not,” he said.
In the workplace, as a professional, Pichurski is learning there is not always one right answer to a problem—but several. And he’s thankful for the experience the Co-op program gave him. Having gone through work placements, Pichurski says he has gained the confidence and developed the communications skills that enable him to present a solid case for doing things in a particular way—even if it runs contrary to conventional thought.
Working on a schedule that keeps him at the mine for two weeks at a time, with the following two weeks off, Pichurski is also working towards his master’s degree in mining engineering.