Campus and Community

Industrial Engineering and Management seminar series are back in the game

After last year's edition was canceled, the EGI seminar series go virtual and bring together participants, companies representatives and professionals from different areas.

This year, the Técnico Career Weeks moved to digital. The Industrial Engineering and Management seminar series (EGI Seminar Series) adapted to this new format and the participants had the opportunity to attend lectures and visit the job fair, using Easyvirtualfair.

The EGI Seminar series were canceled last year due to the pandemic. “This year we couldn’t sit idly. We wanted to provide students with the same experiences as in previous years or even new opportunities, such as a virtual visit to some companies”, says Mafalda Simões, president of NEEGI. “We were able to captivate the attention and interest of the participants by addressing relevant topics within the scope of Industrial Engineering and Management course”, adds the student.

“Learn. Of. Connect.” is the title of the challenges launched to students and can be achieved through the different activities included in the programme: lectures with company representatives, alumni / entrepreneurs panel discussions, debates on crucial issues such as sustainable development, round tables and virtual visits to companies.

Ana Tavares, Head of Communication & Partnerships at Smartex, Pedro Pestana, co-founder and CEO of Neroes, and João Trindade, co-founder of Trash4Goods and Técnico student, were the inaugural keynote speakers of the session “The Rise of Startups – How to Run a Successful Business”, held this Monday, 1st March. The speakers shared how they created their startups, the adversities they had to face and the strategies for overcoming these adversities.

According to Ana Tavares, “the biggest barrier of Smartex in approaching the market is that we are providing cutting edge technology that is often difficult to explain in an industry as traditional and focused on production as the textile industry”. Pedro Pestana agreed and highlighted the difficulty of “implementing the innovation strategy”. “We present products that the market and people don’t know and it is necessary to convince them to change behaviours, but it’s not always easy”, he added.

The co-founder of Neroes also highlighted the pressure that entrepreneurs are subject to “keep the machine rolling”. “We need to find customers, get funding. It takes a lot of dedication, a lot of commitment, and a lot of spirit of sacrifice” he said.

João Trindade agrees with Pedro Pestana, although Trash4Goods is still in a very embryonic stage, so many of these problems are not felt so intensely. “Having strong time-management skills, a strong will and a lot of dedication is very important. We have to give up many things, we spend many hours developing and improving our solution”, said the student. “The process of implementation, innovation and teamwork is a very enriching experience”, added the Técnico student.

Some companies attending the virtual  job fair: Deloitte, Jerónimo Martins, Worten, CTT. During the visit, the students can clarify their doubts with the company representatives in the chat and learn more about the job opportunities or internships.

“Many students attended the networking sessions because they had the opportunity to get in touch with the companies directly by video call, which made conversation more personal and relaxed”, shares the vice president of NEEGI, Maria Terrucha.

“We are happy about what we have achieved: reinventing the different moments of this year’s edition”, share the organisers about the first day of the event. “The circumstances are different and everything around us has changed, but the EGI seminar series continue to make a difference”, says the president of NEEGI.

“This year we managed to reach students from other schools and from different parts of the country. Besides that, the zoom platform allows us to have an unlimited number of participants”, says Mariana Simões, Public Relations coordinator at NEEGI.

The EGI seminar series run until 3rd March, offering diverse and enriching activities to participants and, above all, strengthening the link between students and the job market.