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2020, October 7 NU now

NU Alumni careers: I work for Kazzinc

2020, October 7

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We continue a series of interviews with our alumni and their employers. In this interview, we will speak with current employees of “Kazzinc” Ltd, one of the leaders among non-ferrous metal producers. “Kazzinc” is Kazakhstan's largest producer of zinc, copper, lead, and precious metals. The company is an important player in the country’s economy and pays great attention not only to the production of high-quality products but is also generously engaged in corporate patronage and environmental care.

Amongst its priorities “Kazzinc” leadership lists comprehensive development and support of personnel, implementation of new technologies into work processes, as well as environmental protection.

The heroes of this interview are working at the metal and mining company “Kazzinc” Ltd. Mr. Andrey Lazarev, the Executive director of Administration. Alumni from the NU School of Mining and GeosciencesBakytzhan Osserbay, Meiirkhan Zhalel, and Aibek Alipov. And their Line managers: Yerassyl Ualikhanov,  Head of Mine Planning; Pavel Zaichkin, Head of Mine Planning, Mine Condition and Activities Monitoring and Accounting; Alzhan Torybayev, Head of RSM Mine Planning.

Mr. Andrey Lazarev, ED of Administration.

Who is a successful employee in your company? What qualities are important for professional success at “Kazzinc”?

-I do not think that “Kazzinc” is fundamentally different from other companies in this respect. The company welcomes goal-oriented people, the ones who “care”, who want to build a career and make themselves and the company better. We are particularly interested in students who have ready-to-implement proposals, and this can be considered as their first successful step in our team. The “fresh look” of young specialists helps to simplify our business processes and make them safer and more effective.

The HR culture of the company is designed to recognize and support those who will give a new impetus to the development of “Kazzinc”.

We offer young and promising people various opportunities and tools, e.g. talent management programs to help them demonstrate their skills, try their hands as foremen, mine overseers, heads of units and departments.

How would you characterize a company's corporate culture?

- One of "Kazzinc" features is its flexibility. There are few companies in the world that can produce 18 items of metals. Our company can quickly gear up the manufacture of a new item; change its focus or organizational structure. Whilst many other companies cannot adapt to changes. I believe that is why we could overcome the quarantine period without any losses. Development and changes are in our team’s DNA. Therefore prospective ‘kazzincers” need to be ready, as our employees are dynamic, ambitious and rugged.

What results do you expect from a new employee during the probation period?

 -Speaking about Nazarbayev University, we know that they are the best students, and cutting-edge technologies are studied there under the direction of top-notch professors. We expect that graduates would successfully practice theoretical knowledge gained at the University. Therefore, a newcomer along with demonstrating his/her skills and knowledge would continue learning, asking questions, and offering solutions at the same time. The three months’ probation period tends to pass quickly. As a rule, we also continue to carefully monitor a young specialist’s work during the first year.

Which employees are your success stories? What qualities are important for good work and promotion in the company?

-We are always glad to have active, goal-oriented, and hard-working people among us. Moreover, the company always supports those who demonstrate leadership and encourages them.

Today the youth is very active, but it is crucial to strike a balance between “action for the sake of action” and “action aimed for the result”. My advice is to put yourself in the employer’s shoes and ask yourself: “What kind of employee is up to your team?”

Yerassyl Ualikhanov, Head of Mine Planning, Bakhytzhan’s supervisor.

 What does the company do for new employees, students, and graduates?

 -We greatly appreciate students and graduates. “Kazzinc” actively collaborates with tech universities. I joined the team as a result of such a collaboration program about 10 years ago. Annually we admit hundreds of students from different universities to internships. We share our experiences and learn from them. Once the students leave us many of them dream to come back after graduation.  “Kazzinc” warmly welcomes newcomers and has an effective program of adaptation and mentorship for the new employees.

What skills and abilities are needed for career growth?

-From a professional perspective, it is important to know how to use special software for mining.  This is one requirement for my team members.  Besides such professional skills, a good work ethic and the ability to collaborate effectively are very important because we solve many issues together and there are a lot of team projects.  For career advancement, therefore, it is necessary to be a  good team player.

Pavel Zaichkin, Head of Mine Planning, Mine Condition and Activities Monitoring and Accounting, Meiirkhans Line manager.

 What skills and abilities are needed for career growth?

 -Manufacture processes are always connected with problem-solving, task management, and optimizing solutions.  There is no playbook that describes how to manage all possible scenarios at work. It is essential that employees have good self-discipline, and the ability to think quickly on their feet.  Ideally, employees need to be able to react to changes based on their own knowledge and the opinions of other specialists they work with.  Such qualities will help an employee cope with various difficulties, and advance in the company.  Success and achievements are mostly due to the teamwork of specialists and likeminded people.

Alzhan Torybayev, Head of RSM Mine Planning, Aibek Alipov’s Line manager.

Which employees are your success story?

-We clearly understand that theoretical knowledge gained at the university is a good foundation. I personally think that theory combined with the ability to learn fast and an engineering mindset are the best components for a successful career of a young specialist. Another important aspect is to understand the final goal at the beginning of the project. There is no clear direction without having a goal.

 Bakytzhan Osserbay, Senior Mining Planner, Dolinny Mine, Ridder Mining and Concentrating Complex.

 What were your plans for after graduation, and did they coincide with your career?

-My field of research is geomechanics and I devoted my thesis to it. I always wanted to be a geomechanic. This profession demands a high level of eyesight, and due to some health issues, I had to choose another job.  This is why I started working as a planner. Although I later solved the problem with my eyesight, I decided to stay in planning as there were a lot of opportunities for career growth. Knowledge in geomechanics is certainly advantageous for me.  It means that my horizons are broader, and the knowledge helps me to be a good planner: I understand the circuit of development, which means that  I can anticipate dangers and make professional assessments.

What role did the university play in your professional self-realization?

-While at University, I developed a very useful quality, which is key to my daily work today.  I can quickly do a detailed analysis of what is happening around me. I also gained critical thinking skills and the ability to see any problem from different angles.  This helps to anticipate all the possible consequences and to know the best way forward.

In your opinion, what qualities should a student/ graduate have to get a job?

-To be curious- that will help at any stage of life. Learning does not end with a diploma - it is an ongoing process. And a graduate should be open to everything new because the mining industry in Kazakhstan is now moving towards digitalization and automation of all processes. Prior to entering the job, each student has to focus on the study of the automation process and everything related to the chosen job. This knowledge will give the future miner an undeniable advantage.

Did your views on life change after graduation? Were there memorable episodes in your university and postgraduate life that significantly changed your worldview?

-The most memorable moment was the first descent into the mine during the internship in manufacture.  As a student, you do not have a complete understanding of how everything is arranged underground. My first time in the mine determined my future career.

Meiirkhan Zhalel, Senior Mining Planner, Tishinsky Mine, Ridder Mining and Concentrating Complex.

 In your opinion, which specialties will increase in the next 5-10 years, taking into account the development of technology and the market?

- I think that there will be a demand for specialists with knowledge of robotics in the mining industry. Mining is a complex type of production; therefore, the safety of people is extremely important. Underground, robots, and machines will help people to control all processes remotely.

What role did the university play in your professional self-realization?

- In addition to knowledge, the University provided an opportunity to communicate with representatives of various companies. Future employers could reach us at  job fairs that were organized at the university.

In your opinion, what qualities should a student/ graduate have to get a job?

-First, try to get as much practice as possible. Thus, go for internships to those companies where you can use the knowledge gained and understand the field you are going to grow. Second, prior to employment, pay attention to the company's reputation. You might do some background research by talking to other alumni who were hired before you to find out how the company typically behaves.

Aibek Alipov, Rock Mechanical Engineer, Ground Control Monitoring Team, Ridder-Sokolny Mine, Ridder Mining and Concentrating Complex.

In your opinion, which specialties will increase in the next 5-10 years, taking into account the development of technology and the market?

-Engineers will always be in high demand. The mining industry is rapidly developing now, and such work is becoming trendier. New technologies and global best-practices are being implemented in Kazakhstan. In addition, our country has large natural resources, therefore the specialties related to this area will be popular in the industry. I also believe that there will be a certain focus on the creation of artificial intelligence and alternative energy sources.

What role did the university play in your professional self-realization?

-I had access to cutting-edge equipment, the best academic programs, the best professors from all over the world, huge campus with developed infrastructure, etc.  Of course, all this has played a role in my professional self-realization. But I would like to emphasize one of the most important qualities that the university instilled in me is the ability to adapt and learn quickly. Therefore, I am proud to say that the university has laid the most necessary foundation for me.

In your opinion, what qualities should a student/ graduate have to get a job?

- First and foremost, students should look at all the prospects and try to imagine a future where they see themselves. At the beginning of their career, they should gain experience and become specialists in their chosen field. They should not be afraid to ask questions, and they should always try to dig deeper. And only then will they be in demand.

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