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Mark Selby: Mining Executive


"You don't hit a home run if you don't take a swing.... and if we had not persevered, would not have gotten lucky."


I had a fun conversation with Mark Selby about his varied career and love of mining.


Watch and listen to the conversation here.


Mark Selby is the Chairman and CEO of Canada Nickel, a public company he started in 2019.


He says he's had a "zig zag" career journey, starting out in accounting, moving to various areas such as management consulting, and finally to mining since the early 2000s.


Mark was curious about mining from an early age, and claims he had a magazine subscription to The Northern Miner at the age of nine! He was influenced by his grandfather, who was in the industry, and was for a long time, he was determined to have a career in mining.


Mark attended Queen's University for Mining Engineering, but after not enjoying a summer mining job in northern Manitoba, he switched to Physics, and then to a degree in Commerce, where he decided to focus on Accounting.


He believes "you're not a failure if you change your mind." He adds, "change your plan. Take the chance. Don't have regrets."


When I asked him if it's scary to make educational and career changes, he says "it's exciting. Scary, a bit." But he's never looked back. "Don't sweat it. Go do it if you enjoy doing it."


OTHER HIGHLIGHTS:

  • on being a CEO of a public company? He juggles three things: investors, employees, and the technical day-to-day parts of the job to keep the business moving forward.

  • on work / life balance: "I'm not the best in terms of work / life balance."

  • what does he love about his work? The people component, the different aspects of it, and the technical portion.

TIPS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE:

  • "put your hand up. Take the risk."

  • "if you won the lottery on Friday, what would you wake up and choose to do on Monday or Tuesday? If you can get as close as possible to whatever that is, then go for it!"

  • "there are thousands of jobs out there. Explore. Find out the various dimensions of work and go for it. Try it. Give it a good shot.

  • don't be afraid to move on if it doesn't work out."



This conversation was interesting and I could feel the passion Mark has for his work, and lifestyle (even over Zoom!)



Thank you Mark for sharing your stories and ideas with our audience!


This interview was taped during the COVID19 pandemic, June 2020.

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