In 2016, Coeur Mining decided that they wanted to do more for college students and recent graduates. Scholarships, internships and co-ops are a great start, but they felt that they could do more. From this idea, the Coeur Development Program (CDP) was born. Coeur’s Development Program is designed to grant recent college graduates the opportunity to gain valuable experience in the mining world, while working on important projects at Coeur. Individuals in the CDP have the opportunity to work with industry professionals, tour a variety of mining environments, and expand their professional network.
Rachel DiPiazza is a member of the inaugural CDP class. We had the opportunity to interview her and hear what she has valued the most thus far. See below for our interview.
Coeur (C): Rachel – We’ve had the pleasure of getting to know you over the past few years, but why don’t you tell our followers a little bit about yourself.
Rachel (R): I’m from Chancellor, South Dakota, but am currently live in Sturgis, SD. My family includes: three vibrant nephews that I love spoiling and then returning to my sister and her husband, a brother and his wonderful fiancé, my mother and her husband, and my father. This year started out wonderfully for me because I married my best friend of 5 years! We have 3 bunnies and 2 dogs. So, if anyone needs any animal cuddles, you can achieve that at our place
C: Which school did you attend? And what did you study?
R: I decided to attend the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in Rapid City, SD. I figured SDSMT would help me find a field I am passionate about, and would help me land a career with the ability to provide for my family after graduation. I majored in Geological Engineering and had internships with a civil engineering firm and with Coeur Wharf. Through these internships I discovered that my true career passion lies with the mining industry.
C: You are currently stationed at Coeur Wharf, but the beauty of the Coeur Development Program is that it allows you the opportunity to travel and experience Coeur’s other mine sites. Tell me about the sites you have spent time at and why you think it’s important to see the other sites.
R: Before transferring to Wharf I worked in the Corporate Office in Chicago, IL for three months. I also had the opportunity to travel to Coeur Rochester and Kensington. I think it’s important for people to experience how each site operates and how they differ from each other. As a member of the Project Development team, I think it helped me to become a more well-rounded engineer.
C: That’s great! Plus, you get to travel to some unique locations, which is always fun! How do you feel you’ve benefited from the Coeur Development Program?
R: While I was in the Corporate Office, I worked directly under Nick Lewallan, the director of Project Development. Working and learning under Nick was easily one of the greatest experiences of my life thus far. I was able to see him interact with the project teams at Kensington, Rochester, and Wharf. Not only did I learn a great deal from him and our travels but I also noticed that his teaching skills were helping me develop into a better engineer and always striving to achieve a higher standard.
C: We strive to ensure that our people have the opportunity to grow, and develop, so we’re happy to hear that you’ve had a great experience thus far! As a recent college graduate, what advice would you give to a soon-to-be graduate?
R: Graduating college is a milestone for anyone’s career, you feel on top of the world and think you have learned it all, but that is not the case. Your career is only getting started. My advice for new graduates is to realize that you only know the basics; your company and career path will teach you the rest.
Always strive for a higher standard. Most important, BE PATIENT. There were many times I was frustrated because I didn’t understand the process behind something; don’t be afraid to ask questions or explanations on things. Always be kind, understanding, and honest.
C: We couldn’t have said it better ourselves! Anything else you’d like to include?
R: I want to thank everyone who worked with me at Chicago, Kensington, Rochester, and Wharf and took time out of their busy schedules to help me develop into a more well-rounded engineer. I also want to thank the hardworking HR department for giving me the opportunity to be a part of Coeur’s Graduate Development Program!
C: Rachel - we can easily say that you have been a great addition to the Coeur family, and we are happy to have you! Thanks for all you do and keep up the great work!