Thanks to Adoption Lab, this year a group of LUISS students had a chance to work with GE Oil & Gas on the Impresa in azione project, offering high school students entrepreneurial training.
Vanessa Balloni, Sara Bertoloni, Alessia Diamanti and Edoardo Dominici participated in a preparation course in the GE Oil & Gas offices in Massa, coordinated by Rossella Bacigalupi, production project manager.
“A typical day at GE,” explains Vanessa Balloni, “is made up of several small steps including activities within the working group as well as conference calls with colleagues in other cities, and often, on different continents. You work individually or with external professionals and suppliers, keeping the company’s objectives and benefits in mind.”
Through a series of class activities, the students worked alongside the General Electric Team to explain to fourth-year students from Istituto I.I.S. Meucci in Massa how companies work and how to start a small business. “It was fun to be on the other side of the classroom for once. Through presentations on business management, marketing, finance and startup definition we were able to interact with the students in a dynamic way, while working to provide clear, simple and – most importantly – interesting examples of our theoretic ideas, adapting our lessons based on their questions and comments.”
The final class project, to create their own business, resulted in JA Techno-Wills, complete with a board of directors and fundraising plan to produce and sell their product: an electric motor for personal shopping carts. “The most interesting part for the high schoolers was the value chain and marketing. They were really interested in the methods they could use to promote their product and increase their profit. Verifying the profitability and commercial value of a product was one of the most debated topics of our lessons.”
The project represented Tuscany in a national business competition for young people, demonstrating the success of collaboration between schools and businesses. “There are several benefits to the project, on both personal and professional levels. We were incredibly lucky to have been able to work with Rosella Bacigalupi and the other professionals we met at GE. We also learned so much from teaching too, seeing the topics we talked about with new eyes and a new perspective. We also grew really fond of the kids and their project. When they brought the victory home, we felt a little bit like winners, too!”