Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Speaking of Workforce Development

Subtitle: Just because I have an office on campus does not mean that I can conjure qualified students out of thin air.

Someone from my office just stopped by my cubical. Their sub-project needs to find a student intern by Friday. (The student doesn't need to start on Friday, just be found by Friday.) A student who is a skilled coder with experience with both R and OpenMP. Even better if the student is from an under-represented group.

And here we have the war between different parts of my personality. Part of me wants to be passive-aggressive and not put any effort into finding an intern. You tell me on Tuesday that you need to find someone with specialized skills by Friday? Next time, plan ahead. But, on the other hand, I do like saving the day. But if someone asks me on Tuesday to find an intern by Friday, do they have any sense of the difficulty of this? Would they truly appreciate my saving the day?

And should I put my selfish pettiness aside and think of the good of the project? How much more science can get done and how much more workforce would be developed if I dropped everything that I had thought was important to do this week to hunt down the perfect intern?