“I like to see the progress!”
As Project Controller for Capstone Pinto Valley Mine, Linda Guo spends a lot of her time in the office, working with budget numbers. Her favorite part of the job, however, is going into the field to see the projects in action. The site visits, taken with each project’s Project Manager (PM), serve as “a cross-check for me to get more understanding” of the work being done.
“Every project is different,” says Linda. “It’s pretty exciting to see something built.”
Big Picture Responsibilities:
“I make sure the project is going according to plan, on schedule, on budget,” explains Linda.
She also forecasts future spending, based on spending and scheduling trends to date.
When budget or schedule is off-track, she works with other stakeholders (eg. project management, operations) to explore options for corrective actions.
When capital is being raised for a new project, Linda assesses its impact. Each project has its own goal; Linda looks at the entire capital plan.
“If one project goes over,” says Linda, “I look to see if another project can come in under.”
Day to Day
½ in the office — budget management, forecasting
¼ in the field, seeing progress
¼ communicating with project stakeholders
How did you choose your career?
Linda grew up in southern China; she was always good in math and numbers, but wasn’t interested in engineering. She thought she’d become a banker, and studied accounting. In the United States, she learned that the banking system was very different here than in China.
“I found out that one working in a bank doesn’t make much pay,” she says, “so I got into finance.”
Linda earned a degree in Finance & Accounting at the University of Arizona and began her career with a company that developed mining construction projects. After five years in project cost control and scheduling, she was hired by BHP.
In 2012 she was tapped to participate in the Pinto Valley Restart Phase One. The mine was purchased by Capstone a year later and she has worked there ever since.
Changes in the mining industry?
Linda sees the changes facing the mining industry similar to those “dominating the whole world.”
“Mining is still an old-school field,” she says. “We can use more advanced technology to increase the profitability of the company and also, safety.”
The hottest topic, according to Linda, is robotics. However, this kind of investment is managed at headquarters, outside of Linda’s realm of responsibility.
Do you have any advice for women interested in a mining career today?
“Never stop improving yourself,” Linda advises.
While working full-time for BHP, she earned her MBA from the University of Phoenix.
“It was hard work and difficult,” Linda says, “but I did it.”
She has never felt disrespected in her workplace.
“If I do my job and appreciate what I do, there is no problem with me being female,” she says.
“This is the U.S.,” Linda exclaims, “you have equal opportunity everywhere.”
A traveler, Patti Daley came to Globe in 2016 to face the heat, follow love, and find desert treasure. She writes in many formats and records travel scraps and other musings at daleywriting.com.