Yes!, What you learn matters!Reading Time: 4 minutes
In my professional career, I’ve passed through several ways to think. The last one, from 2013
At that time I learned the same but for renting an apartment in Geneva area… but that’s another story :).
Past April 2021, I had a great opportunity and I took it. Hoping that my professional experience could help people that are just finishing their studies in Computer Science, I’ve performed a talk for the Escuela de Ingeniería Informática, which belongs to the University of Oviedo.
In this article, I’ll talk about this experience and why I think it’s important that a close collaboration between universities and companies happens. Engage!
One thing the University of Oviedo taught me was: Return on investment. It’s really good to get out of your hometown, explore the world, but it’s also important to share that knowledge with the people that are just starting the journey, people like you at that time. This is something that I’m personally trying really hard lately.
Working in this initiative, I was having a nice conversation, about another topic, with an associate professor from Escuela de Ingeniería Informática, and, at some point, he said: “Marcos, the work and the product on which you are working on nowadays it’s really interesting. It would be great if our students could understand how many things they are learning that, in fact, apply to the real life of a company like Nexthink”. And there it was… again… that spark, the spark that makes me actionate and try to help other people.
From there, I’ve started to move the wires, contacting the person in charge of relationships with companies, and thinking about what I wanted to show.
I remember myself attending some conferences at the University of Oviedo. For example, when Vinton Cerf came to visit us (see also here and here), or people from Solaris, and many others. Outside of school, during my stage at CERN, I had the opportunity to see great speakers, who transmitted a lot of inspiration to me. All of them made an impact on my vision of Computer Science and life.
I’m far, far away from those people, but with that inspiration, I really wanted to make an impact on the students as well. At least a small one.
I wanted to make this experience a bit more international. Also, give more visibility about the structure of a company like Nexthink. Someone that shares the same vision as me for inspiring people. Of course, I could not make it without Daniela Casetta, Engineering Director at Nexthink, my “chief in crime” (Thanks for your support!).
The topics were clear to me and my main goal as well: Break the fear, the barrier, the wall in the north, about “when I finish my studies, am I ready for working in a company?”. How could I convince the students about the fact that the level of formation, provided by the Escuela de Ingeniería Informática, it’s enough for starting in a good company.
I’d like to invest one paragraph describing what, for me, a “good company” means. For me, a good company can be defined by:
- Take care of people
- Make something meaningful, not just make money
- Help you to grow, as professional and human, on your career path, in a way or another
I enjoy using a specific theme or “master line” to follow up in my presentations. On this occasion, I chose Giorgio A. Tsoukalos, also known for the Ancient Aliens meme.
Speaking at a conference, the very first minute is always key for me. My eyes always look very focused, ready to start, showing that I’ll start to talk about something that I believe it’s important, and I wanted to make it clear, useful, and enjoyable.
You can find the video recording at the beginning of this article, I’ll not write too much in detail, but just some highlights.
Somebody appeared a bit late, and started to talk like “hey, I’m here, please checking me out in the list, ok? just in case this goes for the final grade!”. It was really funny. I’ve used Mentimeter tool, for making the session more interactive with the attendees, and I think really made a difference, and it was useful.
There were no questions from the students, unfortunately. But hopefully, it was not so boring for them! (I want to believe). This was expected though, I’ve been in their skin and sometimes we are just shy.
I can tell you I really enjoyed this conference, the feedback was positive, and as good as honest, which is great!
I truly believe Tech companies and the Escuela de Ingeniería Informática should see each other more and more often. By doing so, the students will gain visibility about “what is outside” and the tech companies will invest in their future employees. I can tell you that, if the students get out of the school with some ideas, technologies, and tools that companies use, the hiring process would much more immediate. Also, the companies would not have an “excuse”, like “the students are not prepared”, for hiring recently graduated people.
This approach should happen in both ways, not only the Tech companies knocking on the door of the University. The University should seek as well for good companies (see my definition above), local and for sure international, for inspiring and enhance their students and make them world-class.
Just a sentence for the students reading this
I’d love to have another opportunity like this in the future and try to inspire the students of the University of Oviedo, my home.