Tuesday, May 29, 2007


It's that time of year...

It happens gradually, thorough the month of May. A few arrive during the first week, and one hardly notices. More come during the second week, and the third... and by the end of May, the cafeteria is a very different place at lunch time than it was in April.

The summer students are here.

Every year, we get a batch of students, from undergraduates to those about to get PhDs, who arrive by the start of June and stay through some time in August. We have some 8 to 12 weeks to give them useful and interesting work to do, to provide them some training, to advise them on where to take their schooling and careers... and, we hope, to interest them in coming here to work after they graduate.

We usually set up some poster sessions — one to show the students the various projects we're doing here; one to let the students show us their work, both what they're doing with us and what they're studying back at school. At the end of the summer we ask them to give brief seminar presentations, showing us what they've accomplished during their stays. And we set up some social events to make them think (bwa-ha-ha!) that this is a fun place to be.

I'm sure such programs existed when I was in school, but I hadn't heard of them. I wish I had — it would have been far more interesting (and better-paying!) than going home and working at McDonald's for the summers, enriching as that experience was.

And so the average age here in the office has just dropped a bit, for the nonce. It's pretty groovy.

Or it's “teh r0x0rz!!!”

Or however they say it....


Michelle said...


Barry Leiba said...

Well, I'm partly being silly: this is a fun place to work, which is part of the reason I've stayed around for so long. But, you know, we hype it up for the Summies, try to make 'em think it's a big carnival.

    Liiiiife is a carnival, believe it or not.
    Liiiiife is a carnival, two bits a shot.

Polly Poppins said...

I hope we get more posts on the progress of your "summies."

Miss Profe said...

Young people infuse an organization with such vitality. I am glad your workplace provides summer opportunities for them.

Although I am relieved to see the school year end, I do miss the energy of the students on campus.

Anonymous said...

Where abouts are you offices? I visited New York a few weeks ago and saw some massive IBM offices near 5th Avenue.

Barry Leiba said...

The IBM Research offices are in Yorktown and Hawthorne, NY, north of Manhattan. What you saw is probably our 590 Madison Ave office, at 57th and Madison, a block east of 5th.