Digging Deeper

The last time we spoke to Andree St-Germain, CFO and VP of finance for Golden Queen Mining, she discussed rising through the ranks and her company’s Soledad Mountain project. Here, we get a more in-depth look at some of her ambitions and passions.

Where did you grow up?
Ottawa, ON, and Gatineau, QC.

University attended and degree earned?
Schulich School of Business, MBA.

Favourite subject in university?
Finance and accounting.

What was your first job?
Cashier at McDonald’s in Whistler, BC.

What did you spend your first paycheck on?
I lived in Whistler then, so probably snowboard gear.

What’s one company you truly admire?
Apple—they chose to not be confined by current reality but to create the reality for themselves and consumers.

What is your biggest strength?
Resilience and adaptability in challenging environments—a product of my investment-banking days.

What is your biggest weakness?

Best advice you ever received (and from whom)?
“I don’t think of work as work and play as play. It’s all living.” It’s a quote from Richard Branson.

Favourite day of the workweek (and why)?
Friday—everyone is always in a good mood.

Biggest pet peeve?
Waiting in line.

Proudest professional achievement?
Ask me the same question in 13 months. The answer will be to have had the opportunity to be part of the team that built the Soledad Mountain gold and silver mine.

Proudest personal achievement?
Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.

Describe yourself in three words:
Driven, dedicated, and curious.

Blog or website that you follow religiously:
The Globe and Mail website.

What’s better: Facebook or Twitter?

How long is your commute?
Fifteen-minute walk.

Favourite sports team?
The Montréal Canadiens.

Favourite movie?
Tie between Raiders of the Lost Ark and Return of the Jedi.

Favourite book?
The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne.

Favourite TV show?
Band of Brothers.

Favourite band and/or album?
The Postal Service.

If you weren’t in your current profession, what profession would you be in (or like to be in)?
Probably mining engineering. I’m seriously passionate about the mining industry.

Your idea of a relaxing weekend?
A sunny weekend by the lake.

Favourite place you’ve travelled to?

What’s your personal motto?
It’s not all about hard work and strong work ethic; you need the insight to see opportunities, and the guts to seize them.

Would your childhood self be surprised at how you’ve turned out?
Not entirely. I used to be infatuated with the cartoon Les Mystérieuses Cités d’or [The Mysterious Cities of Gold], so it’s actually kind of funny that my career is now in the gold-mining industry.