Ah, a Wednesday in Seeheim.

I watch in amusement as my colleagues enter the classroom, many of them clutching coffees in white-knuckled grips. As the trainer surveys the room, his mouth quirks up.

“I think you all enjoyed Disko Dienstag last night … ja?”

Another presentation, more group work, more flipcharts – this time, we look at real-life examples, from different companies, of different project planning tools. We examine the pros and cons, and explain where we could use them in our own projects. Then we tackle risk assessment:

Let’s talk about risk.

Class ends a little early today to allow some of the IAPs to catch their flights. I say goodbye to Tassos, Heike, Valeria, and Olena – but not before making firm plans to visit Kiev in the spring.

Everyone loves Kiev – IAPs Veronica, Peter, Lena, and Desmond in Ukraine.

At dinner, talk drifts from the Super Bowl (Peter’s 49ers lost), to the weather in South Africa (enviable), to beer (consensus: tasty), to job prospects post-IAP. This is a hot topic for us right now, as we’ll finish the program within the next six months. I hope to find something in Canada, but I may need to look in the USA, or even beyond.

We linger at dinner; no one wants to break up our final meal together. Finally, and reluctantly, we head upstairs to pack and go to bed. As I snuggle up with a book, however, I find my mind drifting.  There’s a visceral loneliness on the last night in Seeheim – everything seems quieter and emptier, and it’s always a bit depressing.

I try to focus on the positives: after a few days in Toronto, I’ll fly to New York to begin a month-long assignment in our regional strategy department. It will be a challenge, but one that I’m excited to meet.

So with a final, wistful look around the room, I reach over and flick off my light. Goodbye, Seeheim. See you in June.