Grad Earned Her College Dimes with Nickel
With college costs trending ever upward, Karly Armstrong ’10 took her
educational quest in the other direction. To help cover her SUNY Oswego tuition,
she went underground – 4,400 feet or so – into the nickel mines of Sudbury, Ontario.
“It was worth it – even if I hated to go underground and get
that dirty or get up that early,” said Armstrong, who earned her business
administration degree in May.
She picked up her unusual summer job through a lottery at
the company her father retired from. Xstrata operates one of two mines in Armstrong’s
native Sudbury, located roughly 365 miles north
The mines are so popular a summer job destination, the
company does a drawing to decide who gets the seasonal paychecks, Armstrong
The women’s ice hockey center primarily worked in an
underground shop helping assemble mining equipment. After getting suited up in
her safety belt, steel toe boots, reflective gear, gloves and glasses,
Armstrong would take a 15-minute descent on the elevator.
“The first day was probably the only day I was ever really
nervous because I didn’t know what to expect,” she said. Armstrong also logged
some time in a ground-level warehouse.
Nickel is a valuable resource used in more than just
currency, she said. It’s used to craft many metals, including steel.
With her Oswego
degree in hand, Armstrong did get a job in the mining industry – this time a little
higher up. She currently does accounting and administration work for Swick Mining Services.
— Shane M. Liebler
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Karly Armstrong ’10, nickel miner.