Meet the Miners: Elie Mitshiabo from DR Congo
As one of the world’s leading chemical companies with a footprint in almost every country in the world, BASF offers its employees many unique development opportunities. In this article, we caught up with Elie (pronounced Ay-lee) Mitshiabo, who transferred in from BASF South Africa for a five-month stint with BASF ANZ, based in Sydney.
At the end of 2021, an opportunity came knocking at Elie Mitshiabo’s door when his manager presented him with an opportunity to exchange his role as Technical Sales Account Manager at BASF South Africa, for a temporary role with BASF Australia.
Elie’s limited exposure to Australia left him with almost zero expectations – but he eagerly grabbed this golden opportunity as he knew this stint, albeit short would help him develop his skills and knowledge in the mining field, while learning about other aspects of BASF especially understanding customers from different regions, providing a learning experience that would thoroughly benefit his career. Excited about what was to come, he began preparing for his temporary relocation from early this year before finally flying to Australia in June this year.
Originally from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Elie had been based in South Africa for 12 years, where he received his bachelor’s degree in Extractive Metallurgy from the University of Johannesburg. As part of the program, Elie went on an internship program with Anglo American, a global mining company that mines a diverse range of products in South Africa, for a year before becoming an acting metallurgist in that organisation.
After working for about two years at Anglo American, Elie yearned for to further his education and so enrolled in a Master’s degree in Hydrometallurgical Engineering at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg Around the same time, he started his career with BASF in 2017 as a Laboratory Technician in South Africa and was later promoted to Technical Sales Account Manager.
As part of his job, Elie has travelled quite extensively, visiting various mining sites in Africa, undertaking a three-month assignment in the United States, and most recently being getting the chance to familiarise himself with the APAC region as part of his secondment in Australia. Since arriving in Australia, Elie found it quite easy to adapt to the position, as there were similarities with his previous position with BASF South Africa, albeit with the benefit of expanding his knowledge of BASF’s product portfolio in a new market.
“It has been five amazing months in Australia, and I feel blessed to have been given this opportunity. BASF is a great organisation to be in as I've gotten to experience related but different aspects of the business in that I work with different customers in a new setting. My colleagues and manager have been very supportive during my tenure here – their help has made the transition seamless so, I have so much to be thankful for."
While Australia is a long way from home, Elie is certain his path will cross with his new BASF colleagues again. “BASF has made the world smaller and the border much shorter, so I shall wait for the time I bump into other colleagues, perhaps in BASF HQ in Germany – or other countries that BASF Mining Solutions operates in. In the meantime, I look forward to keeping in touch with them virtually.”