Rayleen Wilson - Co-op Q & A

BSc Physical Geography (Geoscience), Earth Sciences Cert 

Co-op Term: Summer & Fall 2021

Where did you work?

I worked for Talisker Resources, a junior resource company specializing in gold exploration. I worked as a geological technician at the Bralorne project, a tiny town north of Pemberton with about 70 residents.

What was your role (what type of work did you do)? What were some of your responsibilities?

My job is to ‘tech’ and cut core. We work with diamond drills that produce core. Each day we tech the core by measuring out each 3-metre run, measure rock quality designation, fracture and vein count, and orient the core. Orientation is done so the geologist can take structural measurements on the core.

In the core processing mill, I cut the core in half using a core saw. Half is kept for reference and the other half is sent to the lab for analysis. The core is divided into different samples, which is then organized into shipment bags. I am in charge of organizing the sample shipments. My duties for shipments are to track which samples are being sent for analysis, the type of analysis, and the meterage of each drill hole being sent.

How did the skills/knowledge developed in the classroom apply to your job? What did you learn?

Structural geology and mineralogy were very useful for this position, also geomorphology. It was helpful to understand how the Bralorne Complex was developed from a series of terrain accretion forming thrust faults, mainly the Cadwallader and Fergusson faults. Knowing the difference between certain minerals and diagnostic features of fractures in rocks helped me excel in this position. Being a geological technician has prepared me for future geology courses as I am learning about hydrothermal mineral deposits, which will benefit me in the classroom as I have seen it in action!

Teamwork is a huge part of this position. We’ve all done group projects and learning how to work as a team is super important in the field. It is a valuable skill to have and improve on in the classroom and the workplace.

Can you share a challenge you faced in your Co-op and how you overcame it?

The biggest challenge is adjusting to living in a remote camp. The township of Bralorne doesn’t have cell service and we have very little Wi-Fi. Being away from home and barely being able to make phone calls while away for weeks at a time was tough. Luckily, all your coworkers are in the same position, and we created a little work family. You find new, fun ways to keep yourself entertained, and it happens to be a mountain paradise.

What was your most memorable Co-op experience?

The after-work activities are the most memorable times of my Co-op experience. Once a week, we leave an hour or two early to go hiking or play baseball at the local ball diamond. We have Bralorne Bootcamp and yoga to keep us active and healthy. I’ve tried dirt biking, fishing, and gone to the shooting range. There’s always a new trail or backcountry cabin to explore. Being stuck at camp isn’t so bad when there’s millions of peaks and no people. My managers really value our mental health and try their hardest to get us out of the workplace and form genuine friendships.

Can’t forget about the wildlife either. I’ve seen 4 grizzlies and 3 cougars during my time in Bralorne!

What advice do you have for future Co-op students?

I know it sounds cliché but don’t give up! I applied for about 100 jobs throughout covid, and I finally found one that I don’t ever want to leave. Don’t get discouraged by the process, it takes time. Apply to every job you can and be willing to try new things. Co-op has helped guide me into positions that I may not see myself doing in the future.