I'm penning this note at the beginning of September. The cubicles where our summer student employees sat for three months are empty. The coffee station banter about wild party weekends is over, too. I didn't think I'd miss the "kids" when their jobs finished and they returned to school.

Like many E+P companies, my employer takes in children of employees as well as students preparing for a professional career. Although the temp students are willing to help in any way they can, the company's motivation is more to give them a helping hand; there is no real expectation that they will make a "lasting" contribution.

With the realisation that I really do miss having them around, I'm going to try to figure out WHY. They didn't have high technical skills or a wealth of practical experience, so I'm not missing their brilliance or insight. Their social cares and concerns were frankly puerile. We shared few interests outside the office; I'm middle aged and don't go hang gliding. I'm not missing them because we shared any similarities, that's for sure.

I miss the innocent questions about how I actually go about my role as a seismic interpreter. I miss the opportunity to renew my own interest in a project by explaining the logic to someone who is not management. I miss the naive suggestions that actually impart a twisted insight that leads to progress on a problem. I miss the energy and enthusiasm and excitement with which kids approach a problem that is new to them.

They helped me renew my interest in what has become routine for me. It was surprisingly pleasant to have them around. Their contribution was not tangible in a business sense, but it was stimulating. I wish the summer students a great year at school. Keep coming back; keep being yourselves; you did make a difference.



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