from September 19, 2022 to October 31, 2022
Published on September 19, 2022 Updated on September 26, 2022

TeamWork: a look back on a EUTOPIA summer programme for innovation

TeamWork students BXL
TeamWork students BXL

EUTOPIA TeamWork was a virtual international experience programme taking place part-time, for four weeks between the end of June and the middle of August 2022. TeamWork involved teams of up to 8 students from EUTOPIA universities working together online on different projects from partner organizations of the alliance.

There were thirteen organisations proposing projects. Among the projects were:

  • two put forward by Eurostar, the train company that operates the international railway below the English Channel between France, Belgium, and the south of England, one of which focused on price sensitivity of customers;
  • the marketing and communications campaign of Virtual and Augmented Reality (XR) for healthcare use in the UK, for the company Syn Tech;
  • market research and study of regulations in the smoke extraction market to identify differences between CE and national norms, and check for opportunities of exporting products to countries where norms are compatible, for the french company MADICOB;

… among others.

TeamWork aimed to give students an international and intercultural experience, as well as virtual cooperation skills to enhance employability. The programme was open to students from all year groups, from Undergraduate and Postgraduate courses, from all degree disciplines… Prior knowledge or experience of a specific topic or sector was not necessary to apply, which meant that everybody stood a chance of being selected, for any project.

On September 01-02 at the start of the academic year, the students of TeamWork were invited to participate in a physical event taking place at the VUB’s facilities in Brussels, as a way to reward them for their work and engagement first, but also so that the staff of TeamWork could meet and learn from this first experience and improve on it for next year’s edition.

During the event the students were treated to a guest lecture by Professor Nicolay Dentchev on Social Entrepreneurship, during which the student workshopped and pitched “Innovative and social micro-companies”. While in Brussels they also had the opportunity to visit the European Parliament, the Parlamentarium, and the House of European History, as well as to have some free time for themselves to meet, discuss, and network.

At the end of the event the EUTOPIA Staff organised a brainstorming session with the students to assess the good and the less good of the programme, and wrote a list of takeaways from the 2022 edition and of things to improve for the next edition.

  • Paul-Adrien Viala, 1st year Master student in French-German Law at CY Cergy Paris Université

I enjoyed the TeamWork challenge because it allowed me to work with people from different cultures. It is an exceptional opportunity.

The biggest positive point is the meeting with all the students in Brussels. The seminar organised was instructive and the exchanges with the members of the different universities of the alliance were very rich. The visit of the European institutions and the meals together strengthened our cohesion.

I think that this presential meeting should be repeated next year.
"
 

  • Saranya Kethees, 2nd year student in a double bachelor’s degree in engineering and architecture at CY Cergy Paris Université
"TeamWork was an opportunity for european students to work together within the framework of challenges or 'missions' set by private companies. It was above all a taste of what it is to do team-working in a professional setting, and a chance to develop our own networks of contacts.

I worked for the French company MADICOB, and I had the chance to test my scientific skills as well as my English. We had to study the regulations, norms and protocols that the company had to follow to be able to export their products in the rest of the EU, which was really interesting for me because I was already familiar with the smoke-extracting equipment of MADICOB thanks to my background in architecture and engineering.

Through TeamWork, EUTOPIA was able to create teams of students from all levels and fields of study, and from different countries and cultures, united in their difference. By assembling us at the VUB in Brussels, we were able to cross the barrier of the screens, to finally meet each other. We were able to exchange and solidify our cohesion as a team.
"
 
  • Louise Declerq, 2nd year Master student in Commercial Engineering, at the Solvay Business School (VUB) - Via Linkedin
"I had the opportunity to participate in the Eutopia TeamWork 2022 experience. In this virtual internship, I worked with other students from international universities on a project to install a network of green hydrogen refuelling stations in East Anglia, UK.

I have a passion for sustainability so I was immediately excited to be able to work on this topic��. The transport sector is a major emitter today, so investigating how a change could be made was a very exciting task. In addition, the European Comission is counting on hydrogen technology to reach the climate targets, which made this project very interesting and worthwhile.

It was a very educational experience where I learned a lot about the benefits of working in interdisciplinary teams! I take a lot away from it and I am very happy to have met my fellow teammembers LídiaAya and Matilda. I would also like to thank again the organisers, EUTOPIA EUROPEAN UNIVERSITY, and especially Nigel Austin for his support and guidance in this project.
"
  • Eva Nadales, 4th year undergraduate degree of Commerce, Digital Marketing, Project Management, at the UPF

Teamwork students
Teamwork students