Lachlan escapes his comfort zone and reaps the rewards

Tue 3 April 2018

Two men in professional attire stand in front of a BHP Billiton wall-mounted logo in an office

ECU student Lachlan Burr was looking to get out of his comfort zone when he applied for a Stepping Into internship with mining giant BHP Billiton, and his courage paid off.

The usual summer jobs he’d taken in the past made him feel his career expectations were limited and that his disability was a hindrance, but a positive experience within the supportive environment at BHP turned that around. Now, Lachlan can be excited about what awaits him post-university.

“In a supportive environment, with clear guidelines and careful supervision, I learnt that a strong work ethic and the ability to learn quickly can reward you with good work relationships,” Lachlan said.

Embracing every opportunity to push himself, Lachlan worked within complex team environments, including resource engineering and project management. Travelling to and touring mine sites was a particular highlight of his time at BHP.

An important lesson Lachlan learned early in his internship was that everyone makes mistakes; the key was to see them as an opportunity to develop.

“I wanted to learn and grow from my mistakes and improve, where I could,” he said.

Looking back, Lachlan's proud of the relationships he built during his time with BHP and that he’s made the most of every opportunity it gave him. He’s even joined BHP’s Toastmasters Club as a way of developing his public speaking skills while continuing his studies.

When it comes to options after university, Lachlan’s confident his internship experience will give him the edge he needs. 

“University may give you the theory for working in the real world, but practical work experience will separate you from the many other people”.

Long term, Lachlan has his sights set on a graduate role with BHP, but he’ll also be working to develop his skills within not-for-profit organisations in order to give back to local communities.

His advice to anyone considering a Stepping Into internship: 

“Just do it! Don’t be afraid of failure because you can use it as an opportunity to grow skills, ability and character." 

Find out more about our Stepping Into internship program. 

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