Mark Osiecki at the Hemlo mine in Ontario.
In 1986, 18-year-old Mark Osiecki enlisted in the Canadian Armed Forces, following a short stint at a copper mine near his hometown of Manitouwadge, Ontario.
Intrigued by the free education that the Forces offered, he trained as a Combat Engineer and then branched off into Combat Underwater Diving. His duties included being a safety diver for training purposes.
The military taught Osiecki the importance of time management and accountability, which he adheres to this day.
“Timelines and getting stuff done properly were very important in the military,” Osiecki says. “When you were assigned to do something, you had to have it done at a certain time, in a certain way. The standards were really high. And definitely, it helps me in my career today.”
Physical fitness was another trait he picked up, and still practices. He’s currently the president of a fitness club in Manitouwadge.
In 1988, Osiecki was one of five soldiers from his unit that participated in the Special Service Force Ironman Competition. The event included a 54-kilometer cross-country run with a 45-pound rucksack, a 10-kilometer portage with a canoe, and a 10-kilometer paddle down the Ottawa River in Petawawa, Ontario.
“It was quite the race,” Osiecki recalls. He came in 1st for his unit and 10th overall from the roughly 117 competitors.
In late 1989, Osiecki returned home. He had a military driver’s license for big trucks and became a truck driver for a gas company. Shortly after, he retrained as a gas technician. This led him to work at Hemlo as a gas fitter in 1992.
Throughout the years, Osiecki ascended the ranks. In 2012, he became the Plant Maintenance General Foreman at Hemlo. While the military helped shape his habits, Osiecki adds it also taught him how to get along with different people. “You’re always going to have personality clashes, and it doesn’t matter where you move to. You just got to learn to work with everyone.”
Barrick employs hundreds of veterans around the globe. This week during the Invictus Games Toronto 2017, you’ll hear from a number of Barrick veterans on what their military service was like, the defining moments they had, the transition from military to civilian life, and how their service has helped them in their roles at Barrick.
Some also shared their thoughts on the Company’s sponsorship of the Veterans Career Summit.
The Summit aims to connect veterans with potential employers and career counsellors to help them find meaningful employment after the military. It takes place on September 28 and 29.