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Interning at Levin Sources: My Experience

Interning at Levin Sources: My Experience

August 3, 2017, by Ella McCorquodale

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We are keen to inspire the next generation of responsible mining, sourcing and mineral sector development changemakers through our internship scheme.

Ella McCorquodale is a Cambridge-based student passionate about waste, the garment industry, and mining. She is currently studying Social Anthropology at the University of Edinburgh and joined us for a month-long internship.

Ella's experience:

There is no straight path to gaining experience in careers related to supply chain due diligence, so when I was put in touch with Kate (who works for Levin Sources), I was really excited. After reading through the website and expressing my continued interest by email, I was able to meet up with Kate. She explained, in greater detail, what Artisanal and Small-scale Mining (ASM) is, the issues that surround it, and the broader work which Levin Sources does. Kate recommended the brilliant articles The Washington Post has written on some of the issues related to mining and sourcing different minerals used in technology. This really sparked a greater interest and passion for the changes Levin Sources is well-known for implementing. 

The team at Levin Sources is devoted to driving change and empowering those trapped by the current systems surrounding mining. The company genuinely values the individuals they work with and for, and this is demonstrated in the person-centred approach to their projects. Integrity and creativity are also highly valued at Levin Sources, which influences the way business is conducted daily with both associates and clients. The team is very open about the importance placed on who is hired to be a part of the Levin Sources team, and the positive and inclusive office atmosphere is credit to the genuine character of every person I worked alongside.

Developing Skills

I was fortunate enough to work on a vast range of tasks during my month here. My two main projects were assisting with scoping research on 13 different minerals and helping manage the company policy documents. For the metal research, I was involved in exciting scoping activities on metals that the company was working on for the first time, so there was lots to discover and contribute.

I have developed my research skills greatly during my time at Levin Sources - working on the research tasks pushed my ability to research far beyond what is required at University level. Everybody made sure I was included at all times, allowing me to listen to and participate in meetings and conference calls. Having never experienced these before, or worked in an office environment, I now feel a greater confidence going into such situations in the future. Finally, I feel that I have developed the skills that can only come from being able to participate in an office environment – such as cohesive communication and feedback, collaborating on projects, and efficiently responding to colleagues’ needs.

Building Knowledge and Relationships

I started my internship with a very basic understanding of the minerals sector, and have had so many opportunities to ask questions and absorb a large amount of new information. My colleagues all took the time to meet with me one-to-one to get to know me and invited me to learn about their role and interests. This has allowed me to understand both how Levin Sources operates and the range of ways that individuals are working to make a difference in this sector. 

I am now even more hopeful that I will be able to find the niche within which I can have an impact. One incredible opportunity I had was to listen to Estelle, the company's founder, present on the mining sector as a whole - from the mines upstream all the way to the consumer. I feel that I learnt a huge amount from that presentation, as well as from my overall time here, and that my passion for change and greater responsibility has soared.

I am inspired that there are companies and offices where people have such integrity in the way they work and interact with one another; I feel very thankful to have had the opportunity to be a part of this team for a short time, and hope to work in companies with similar values in the future.

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