May 2006

Student-industry luncheon

The Toronto Branch of CIM held its annual “Students Meet Industry” event this past February 16 at the Ontario Club. Instead of the dinner held in past years, this year the event was changed to reflect the normal monthly meeting format with a luncheon and a guest speaker, followed by a networking seminar held for the students.

The response was fantastic with 90 students from 16 different universities and colleges attending; they were paired with 87 industry members. This was by far the best response the branch has ever had at its annual event.

The luncheon was preceded by a reception, sponsored by Sandvik. The Toronto Branch is very grateful to Sandvik for its ongoing support of these activities, especially in supporting this event for the students.

Luncheon guest speaker Eira Thomas, president of Stornoway Diamonds, gave an excellent presentation on diamond exploration in the Canadian Arctic. Thomas tailored her talk to give the students a feel for the challenges and rewards, including the discovery of a diamond at almost the very last moment of the field season.

An impressive moment during the luncheon was when Larry Smith, Inco and chair of the CIM Toronto Branch, read out a list of the 16 schools represented and asked the students from each school to stand, and remain standing, until over half the room was on its feet. He then asked the men to sit and the women to remain standing - still an impressive number.

The luncheon was followed by a networking seminar for the students, with a short presentation from Rick Hutson, C.J. Stafford & Associates and chair of the branch education committee, on the value of networking, participation in associations, attendance at conventions, and other key activities needed to develop their networks and careers. This was followed by other industry representatives sharing short presentations about themselves and how their careers have developed thus far. The afternoon finished with smaller group discussions between the students and the industry representatives. The last people left the hall at 5:30 pm. Subsequent feedback via a survey was very positive on the whole event.

The CIM Toronto Branch would like to thank Sandvik for their sponsorship of the reception and Eira Thomas of Stornoway Diamonds for being a very positive guest speaker. The group would also like to thank those industry representatives who gave of their time and experience during the Networking Seminar.

  • Joe Hinzer, Watts, Griffis & McOuat
  • Terry Bottrill, Bottrill Geological  Services
  • Larry Smith, Inco
  • Teresa Barrett, PDAC
  • Ken Steele, Ontario Geological Survey
  • John Lindsay, SNC-Lavalin
  • Val Spring, Watts, Griffis & McOuat
  • Rick Hutson, C.J. Stafford & Associates

The CIM Toronto Branch will definitely be repeating this event next year and is also looking at having a separate, but similar, event for second-year students in the fall.

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