Humans of OT: Khulan Buriad

This time we interviewed one of our employees - B. Khulan. With the help of her friend, a sign language interpreter, she started off telling her story with an excitement, noting that she was the only employee with a hearing impairment at Oyu Tolgoi LLC. Just with her two hands, she expressed with pride and gratitude about her 13 years’ of story as being a part of this great development of Oyu Tolgoi. Khulan’s story: In 2006, I graduated from Tsakhim Institute as a Graphic Designer. I clearly recall that day when my journey of life has began. One day, when I was a graduate student, I unexpectedly pulled a door and left the message “let me work on the book design, I can type”. A week later, someone from Ivanhoe Mines Inc., offered me a work as a contractor. That particular person was the one and only Garamjav, the great geologist who first found Oyu Tolgoi deposit. To me it was a life-changing turn of event, which I am forever grateful. I clearly recall that day in July 2005. By the way, taking this opportunity, I would like to extend my gratitude to two wise people whom I admire the most, D.Garamjav and Ts.Tserenkhuu, who hired me despite my challenge – a hearing impairment. I was happy to join the Company as an Administrative Assistant, but, sure enough, there were some communication barriers which were not easy, at first. Perhaps, some people did not realise that I had a hearing impairment. Later on I learned that many of my colleagues assumed me as “a conceited newcomer” as I never talked to them. People with hearing impairment are bilingual as their first language is a sign language and the second is their mother tongue. Because there was hardly anyone who knew sign language at work, I tried to communicate with my colleagues in writing – my second language. In 2010, when Ch.Mendsaikhan, later who became my partner at work, joined our team, it was a big change for me at work. Even though she does not know sign language, she was willing to communicate with me using gestures and body languages to say ‘let’s have tea together’. I was so delighted that I even started teaching her sign language which laid the foundation of our friendship. My colleagues were surprised to see us and there were even some people who just started to realise that I couldn’t speak. Mendee learned sign language incredibly fast. I would share ideas and we worked together on many projects. We continued to work together until 2017. She is currently studying in Canada. We have so many great memories together. Actually my skills are not limited to paperwork or typing. I have my dream to contribute to the company with my professional skills and knowledge. Until this day, I had worked on the designs of 13 books. A few days ago, my husband and I had an opportunity to see Oyu Tolgoi’s development with our own eyes and we were absolutely amazed. Without a doubt, Oyu Tolgoi is the leading company in Mongolia. To think that I am a part of this great development, I was so proud and very emotional. I would like to thank you all for having me in the company for 13 years and treating me well. Although I cannot hear, I have special skills, just like you. I take part and volunteer in initiatives for people with hearing impairment. Just like this, I am willing to contribute even more to Oyu Tolgoi.