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A Conversation with Jessica Dickman

July, 2011

Congratulations to Jessica Dickman, our Exchange Visitor of the Month. We recently caught up with Jessica to learn more about her J-1 visa experience.


How’s your training going so far?

So far it’s been really good. Such a unique and wonderful experience! Just being in the mining industry in general is interesting. Knowing how the company gives toward the economy and also to the community is great! They’re very family oriented and support charities. They take the time to do extra stuff on top of the day to day work.

Tell me about yourself?

From Saskatchewan Canada born and raised. Parents are in NM and got this internship through them. One of my greatest passions is to serve and help people. I went to Bible school in Florida. Through different circumstances I left the school and studied to become a teacher and then changed over to studying to be an accountant. Outside education I love getting involved and helping people and being in the warm weather so NM is awesome for that. The culture here is very laid back and relaxed and everyone here is very nice. Everything gets done at very different pace. I’m trying to incorporate more of that relaxation into my life! This has been just such an enjoyable summer.

What’s your favorite thing to do outside of training?

I love going to museums and seeing live music bands. I did go bowling and skeet shooting and it was the first time I ever held a gun. The next day my arms were extremely sore! I went to the caverns in NM which is something that everybody has to see.

How would you describe NM?

NM is the furthest state from my country. The culture is very laid back. Where I am (Carlsbad) there’s only about 30,000 people and it’s great for young families. There are palm trees here and it’s like a little oasis in the desert. Everyone seems to drive a truck around here!! This community is really based around the mines and Intrepid realizes it and takes care of them. The food is incredible you should like spicy foods or at least be able to try them. You don’t need to know Spanish to live here. People are really friendly and welcoming.

Any surprises about life in the US?

The food was a surprise and the biggest shock would be just the culture and how far apart things here are.  I’m surprised that the people here are as laid back as they are!

Any favorite foods in NM?
Every Saturday morning we go to a place called Junior Burritos which is a little white truck and I order a breakfast burrito and it’s unbelievably spicy! The burritos are fabulous! I’ve never encountered a place like this.

Favorite thing about the training?

Through school I didn’t have a lot of experience with computers. So one of the greatest assets of doing this internship is learning the different programs like Microsoft Excel. I just finished a variance presentation that holds all of the information/data/head count/labor/budget for all three mines. My task was to go into the presentation and organize that data and that let me experience now ways of using computer programs that are valuable pieces of information that I can take with me to my next job.

Any advice?

One of the best things that I could tell someone is that they need to always be open to suggestions or criticism. Go into it with the expectation that you will grow and change and be challenged. There’s nothing wrong with that. You need to be challenged in order to grow as a person. The point of the internship is to expand who you are and your character and to expand your knowledge. You need to realize that the company doesn’t need you but they want to help you and want to give you the knowledge and make you better in whatever profession you might be in.