In my previous column I spoke about how impressed I was with the support that the industry provided students of geophysics. I would like to reiterate that notion by telling you about the UofC Earth Science Squash Tournament.
The idea came to me when I was playing in the CSPG tournament. I knew that some students usually organized a small tournament once a year for people in the faculty and I thought it would be fun to become involved. My plan was to generate a few sponsorship dollars by approaching companies and asking if they would like to participate. Little did I know that my little idea would turn into a fully fledged squash tournament followed by a student/industry mixer!
I began by meeting with my known contacts in the industry, asking for advice and possibly a few bucks to help with the tournament. The response was overwhelming. Emails came in on a daily basis from companies offering to help. There were even some unaffiliated personal sponsorships and we achieved three times our sponsorship goal! With such great feedback I decided to organize a mixer after the tournament which would bring industry professionals and students together to socialize under informal conditions. I knew from experience that it was difficult for most students to approach professionals and I figured this would be a perfect opportunity for said student to network, ask questions and possibly make friends.
The tournament came together on April 8th and 9th 2011 at the squash courts on the UofC campus. We had fifty entrants with a healthy turnout of professionals to add to the mix. Food and drinks were provided during the tournament as well as prizes for the winners. Some companies donated prizes, so under the advice of my co-organizer Colin Rowell, an “Industry Challenge” was held where students could challenge professionals to get a shot at some of the hats and t-shirts. We really wanted to promote the coming together of the two groups and it turned out quite well. Over the whole weekend, I saw nothing but smiles and laughter combined with a healthy dose of competition.
On the evening of the 9th all of the participants headed to the mixer where all of the food and drink was provided, as well as a few door prizes. The professionals that attended were completely open to student interaction, and at times acted as instigators of conversation. As I watched the mixer progress, that old familiar feeling of excitement came over me. I thought to myself, theses people really care about newcomers. They have a genuine interest in the future of their industry and I am part of it!
I was also impressed by the students. Each one conducted themselves with professionalism and embraced the purpose of what we were trying to achieve. At one point, while I was out getting some “fresh air”, a student approached me and thanked me for organizing the mixer and that it had truly inspired him to get out there and meet people. Mission accomplished!
None of this would have been possible without the support of our gracious sponsors, in order of involvement:
- Geotir Inc.
- Earth Signal Processing Ltd.
- Edge Technologies Inc.
- Sensor Geophysical Ltd.
- Terra-Sine Resources Ltd
- CSPG Student Outreach
- Sigma Exploration Inc.
- Apoterra Seismic Processing
- Domi Diaz
- Ray ?...
And a special thank you to my co-organizer: Colin Rowell.