Student Testimonials

Jessie Cooke 

Jessie CookeI began my Bachelor of Science at UNE in 2006, expecting to finish in 2008 as an Environmental Scientist, however my first class in GEOL110 changed my mind and my life. After that I switched my major to geology and never looked back. I started as a full time internal student before gaining work in the mining industry and was able to continue studying part time externally, coming to Armidale twice a year to complete intensive schools. My grades were not spectacular, but it was reinforced to me by my lecturers, who are also industry leaders, that a good geologist is not necessarily an academic geologist. Completing 4th year Honours in 2012 allowed me to develop complex problem solving and research skills, putting me ahead of other candidates in the industry. Learning geology at UNE has been the single best thing to influence my life, with the hands on and industry ready way the classes are taught I have learnt skills that have allowed me to work in some of the most amazing places in Australia.

I am currently an Underground Mine Geologist at Perilya’s Broken Hill Operations, and have also worked in the state for the NSW Geological Survey and Northparkes Mines in my hometown of Parkes. I have worked on the Nullarbor for Iluka in SA, I have worked in QLD at Texas and Cloncurry, and in WA at Kalgoorlie. I have experienced civil engineering, exploration, open cut and underground mining environments, and had the opportunity to work in state government and copper, gold, lead, zinc, silver and heavy mineral sands. All of this during the past ten years since starting my degree at UNE.

Joshua Leigh

Joshua LeighI have fond memories of my time as an undergraduate at UNE. The teaching staff are friendly, approachable, knowledgeable and they continue to be my mentors today. Studying internally in Armidale is an ideal nursery for apprentice field geoscientists, being situated in the playground for many exploration companies and littered with geological diversity.

When I was offered opportunities to work as an exploration geologist during my GeoScience degree, I was able to continue studying by correspondence whilst working in the field, giving me the best of both worlds and providing me with even more opportunities to practice the critical skills I was being taught.

I've now been working for the past 6 years throughout Queensland as an Exploration Geologist, to places most have never heard of and will likely never see. The course offered by UNE and the people who teach it gave me that opportunity and have given me all the skills I've needed to begin my career.