An initiative unprecedented at the school seeks to develop, remotely, the sharing of knowledge and international experiences between students in a multicultural environment.
In early 2020, Insper was preparing to host a record number of exchange students at its campus. It was the result of activities carried out with more than 90 international partner schools and the creation of initiatives focused on boosting the school’s internationalization strategy.
“With the onset of the new coronavirus pandemic, we were challenged to reinvent and adapt our programs, considering the impacts related to student mobility, safety, health, and well-being in our community. Would it be possible to transform cultural experiences into a remote model with the same quality? Doubts like this were persistent while we were planning our activities”, Ana Paula Fraga, coordinator of Insper’s international area, comments.
It was then that Insper’s International department and Career Center joined forces with Campus B, a Brazilian company specializing in academic exchange for university students. Together, they created the first virtual model of international vacation internship.
The program allows students from different Insper Undergraduate Programs and American universities to work in multidisciplinary groups as consultants to bring solutions to real-world problems of Brazilian companies.
“During the vacation internship, students have the opportunity to put into practice the knowledge acquired in the classroom, complementing their business visions. Besides, they take the first steps towards the job market,” says Carolina Fouad, manager of Insper’s Career Center. “Throughout all learning process stages, they are supervised and guided by mentors from the companies and by an academic mentor,” Fouad adds.
Altogether, 34 students take part in the project — 18 from Insper and 16 from international schools. Among the American institutions are the renowned Texas Tech, the University of Illinois, and the University of Washington.
The search for partner schools considered reference points in technology is a differential. It provides an even richer sharing experience for Business Administration, Economics, and Engineering students. At the Undergraduate Programs, in which course bases are integrated, there is a constant concern in providing activities that allow for the development of an analytical and technically grounded vision. It occurs through courses that complement the different fields of knowledge.
At the internship’s first stage, students attended 6 hours of class sessions on the topic Leadership and Brazilian Market. They were held by Professor Edvalter Holtz, who is an expert in the fields of Leadership and Management.
In the second part of the process, students had been divided into groups to develop projects proposed by partner companies. Among the companies are Leroy-Merlin (construction and DIY equipment), Sidera Consulting, Azul Airlines, Vuxx (logistics platform), Britcham, São José dos Campos Technological Park, SectorMe, LACE Engenharia (energy engineering), and the NGO Litro de Luz.
“All interactions in the internship are online and in English, whether at class sessions and virtual meetings between students or with company representatives. As a result, we promote this experience that integrates cultural aspects, internship opportunities, and networking between students and companies. It happens even if remotely,” says Ana Carolina Souza, Insper International’s specialist.