On Tuesday 16th of May, the EELISA External Stakeholder Meeting was held via Zoom, where Invited industry collegues joined EELISA members to discuss the improvement of international internships within the Alliance. During the event, seven globally recognised companies (such as Siemens, Airbus and LinkedIn) and associations (e.g. ARILOG) took the opportunity to engage in meaningful discussions with the EELISA community on two vital topics for the Alliance: “Internships and Job Opportunities for Recent Graduates” and “The EELISA European Engineer Model”.
The two panels were guided by Dr. Tobias Klima, the EELISA Team Leader at FAU, who steered the discussions towards meaningful insights. The meeting commenced with warm greetings from Dale Martin, President of EELISA, Sofia Costa D’Aguair, Executive Director of EELISA, and Prof. Dr. Kathrin Möslein, Vice President of FAU.
The conversations revolved around the future of internships and the role EELISA should play, raising questions such as how to deal with internships in the future or the measures EELISA can undertake to assist students in preparing for their future careers.
On this matter, all participating companies emphasised the significance of internships during a student’s early career stages, specially how these experiences foster ongoing relationships between students and companies. They highlighted the role some stundents decide to undertake as ambassadors for the companies they have completed an internship in, as well as the importance of early engagement for talent acquisition and retention.
During the second panel discussion, stakeholders stressed the existing gap amongst today’s students and the development of important skills, particularly in the areas of gaming, metaverse, user interface (UI), robotics, business and cybersecurity. It has been observed that universities are slow to adapt to these new challenges.
EELISA aims to be a game changer in this regard by offering flexible educational programs that equip engineers with these essential skills in an ever-changing landscape. There is a need for agility and swift adaptation to emerging challenges, and EELISA strives to create new educational opportunities for all students, and thus support them in their unique career paths.
Furthermore, stakeholders agreed upon the importance of well-developed multicultural and language skills, a must or “the engineer of the future”. Diversity is key to the future workforce, as all major companies operate globally. However, data still shows a lack of female talent in the engineering sector, which can be attributed to deeply rooted societal factors. EELISA is committed to helping close this gender gap by encouraging and supporting female talent from an early stage.
As a result of the meeting, EELISA will focus on becoming the interface between EELISA students and valued industry partners. By facilitating the posting of internship opportunities on the EELISA website, the organisation aims to create a win-win situation for both students and stakeholders.
The meeting concluded with gratitude towards the active industry representatives for their invaluable contributions, and an optimistic outlook for continued close and trusting cooperation within EELISA, as well as with individual EELISA Alliance members.
EELISA Work Package 6 (Internships, Partnerships & Apprenticeships) Team