DC alumni share wisdom at Alumni in the Pit

Two of Durham College’s (DC) most successful young graduates, Russ Montague and Ian Ball, visited the Oshawa campus on April 3 as part of the college’s Alumni in the Pit event.

Hosted by the college’s I heart DC Committee, the event enabled Montague and Ball to pass on pieces of wisdom to current students pertaining to both their time at DC and after graduation.

Montague, a graduate of the Advertising and Marketing Communications program, is a young entrepreneur who took his passion for pop culture and created the successful flash retail website, ShirtPunch. The website sells a popular culture-themed shirt for a 24-hour period, capitalizing on its ability to create exclusive content and ramping up the exclusivity of the design while selling it for the low price of $10.

The impressive sales results from ShirtPunch then allowed Montague to create the subscription-based company Nerd Block which delivers a monthly package filled with popular culture collectibles, toys and an exclusive shirt to subscribers.

Ball, the president of McEwen Mining and one of the youngest presidents on Bay Street at just 32, found his success after completing the college’s Business Administration – Marketing program.

One of the youngest-ever vice-presidents of a publicly traded Canadian company by the age of 22, Ball was discovered by well-known businessman Robert McEwen who, after a chance meeting and vigorous follow-up, agreed to take Ball under his wing.

With McEwen’s guidance, Ball  flourished, acting as head of Investor Relations at Goldcorp Inc.; successfully completed a number of corporate mergers and acquisitions; and playing a critical role in the creation of McEwen.

During his ascent, he has used unconventional methods in the discovery of silver mine El Gallo 2 and assisted with the development of gold and silver mine El Gallo 1, achieving the build under budget and on schedule, a rare feat in mining construction. Ball now oversees the operation of mines around the globe including in Nevada, Mexico and Argentina.

The two alumni took questions from an audience of students, faculty and staff in the Gordon Willey building at the Oshawa campus and via Twitter, providing tips on subjects such as the benefits of a heavy workload, pursuing your passion and handling success. As well, all those in attendance were provided the opportunity to touch and pose with a real bar of gold valued at approximately $600,000, provided by McEwen Mining for the event.