Between canvas and calculator – meet Juan Pablo Grimaldi
Juan Pablo Grimaldi is an economics and architecture buff, painter, photographer and marathon runner. He’s also working in Copper Finance as part of the BHP Billiton graduate program.
Juan Pablo Grimaldi grew up surrounded by creativity. His father Giorgio is a talented painter, his twin sister a designer and his brother, a proficient guitarist. Continuing the artistic tradition, Juan takes weekly oil painting workshops to improve his technique and enjoys dabbling in photography in his spare time.
Complementing the constant stream of creativity in his home was the other constant in Juan’s life – his father’s 20-year career in mining.
‘I grew up hearing all about the mining industry and how important it is for Chile’s economy,’ says Juan. ‘It felt like one of the most natural career choices.’
Juan studied at Adolfo Ibañez University, and completing two internships during his time there, including one at a mining company in the early years of his course. Later, he interned at BHP Billiton as part of the Cluster Program, where he involved in a project to develop local mining suppliers.
‘It was there I heard about the BHP Billiton graduate program in Chile,’ Juan explains, ‘and I was absolutely amazed at the opportunities it brought.’
After graduating with a Business Major and Masters of Finance in 2013, Juan worked for one year at LATAM Airlines Group as a financial risk analyst.
Juan says he learned a lot in the role, but remained certain he wanted to be a part of the BHP Billiton graduate program. Eager for an opportunity to return to the Company, he sent in his resume as soon as applications for the program opened.
To Juan’s delight, he secured a role in Copper Finance at Escondida and was soon packing his bag and moving to Antofagasta.
Juan’s first role was as a Specialist in Supply Category Management, where he learned how Escondida negotiates with suppliers. The young graduate’s early experiences in the organisation saw him foster solid working relations with suppliers while also improving commercial agreements. This was an opportunity he doesn’t believe he would have been given anywhere else.
‘I think the Company has an incredible learning culture,’ reflects Juan. ‘Everyone’s willingness to teach has given me the opportunity to learn far more about mining operations than I ever thought I would.’
For the past year, Juan has been part of the Escondida Finance Business Partnership team. Beginning the job as the role of the Business Partner was being redefined, Juan watched how the Company adapted the way it works to add value to the business.
Currently participating in a project to simplify the way Escondida assesses cost results, Juan has been amazed at how such a large company is able to operate so nimbly.
‘One of my first impressions was obviously the magnitude of the Company,’ Juan explains, ‘from the size of the pit and workforce, to the production installations and global network.’
‘But I’ve also seen BHP Billiton and Escondida adapt to market conditions and restructure, focusing on people working simpler and more productively.’
Juan has a number of goals to work towards in the future.
He’s an avid runner and is training for the Santiago Marathon, which he hopes to complete in less than three-and-a-half hours. But even once it’s over, Juan won’t stop and imagines himself running for the rest of his life.
He’ll continue to read extensively on architecture and economics, two of his greatest interests, and develop professionally in order to more closely follow his role models, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and former Apple CEO Steve Jobs.
Juan also hopes the mining industry will continue to be a prominent feature in his life, as it always has been.
‘Considering the challenges the resources industry will face over the next few years, I think being part of it will have a really positive impact on my development as a professional,’ Juan predicts.
‘Finance in BHP Billiton has so many opportunities to support better performance in operations while continuing to achieve great results for shareholders. I really want to feel like I was part of those changes in ten years’ time.’