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The Huawei ‘Seeds for the Future’ programme is nearing its closing date for applications, with students still able to apply until the 7th of April. After its launch three years ago, the programme is undoubtedly a success. It consists of a two-week work experience scheme in China, offered by Huawei technologies to 15 Belgian students. During their visit, students will receive Huawei training on ICT technologies and solutions, a first-hand work experience at Huawei’s headquarters in Shenzhen, a week of Mandarin language and culture training at a famous university in Beijing, as well as visit and discover some of China’s most amazing landmarks. VUB students Gwenny Nurtantio, Margo Audiens and Wim Vanparijs share last summer’s experiences.
The programme will take place in August and first week of September, and it is aimed at students who have successfully completed their 2nd year at university in ICT, engineering or other related fields. Students should have a strong interest in telecommunications and technology and be fascinated by the development of China. All travel costs (flight ticket, accommodation, food) will be covered by Huawei.
“When I first heard about Seeds for the Future, an extraordinary internship in China, I was really astonished”, tells VUB student Wim Vanparijs. “I could not believe my eyes that such an opportunity would be given to 15 Belgian students. After reading some stories on the website and after contacting some participants of the previous year, I realised that this would become an unbelievable journey and that I wanted to be part of it. Everybody talked with so much love about the project and about the things they did.
After participating myself, I can confirm now that I had a wonderful time. I got the chance to meet a lot of other students from Belgium, but also from other countries like Ethiopia. It was a wonderful experience for me. I would not hesitate to participate again.”
The Seeds for the Future programme is the global flagship corporate social responsibility programme of Huawei Technologies. The purpose of the programme seeks to develop local ICT talent, enhance knowledge transfer, promote a greater understanding of, and interest in, the telecommunications sector, and improve and encourage regional building and participation in the digital community.
It has been implemented in 35 countries worldwide, benefiting over 10,000 students from more than 100 universities. It was launched in Belgium in 2014 as a pilot project with UGent and was expanded in 2015 to include six Belgian universities one of which is the VUB.
VUB Business Engineering student, Gwenny Nurtantio, confirms: “[When I first learnt about] Huawei’s programme, I immediately knew that I wanted to become a part of it. Huawei is indeed a company with a strong vision for innovation, which is fascinating for a Business Engineering student and potential future entrepreneur like me. I wrote my Bachelor thesis about “Smart Cities and the Digitalization of the Retail Sector” and wanted to learn more about Huawei’s vision of a “Better Connected World”. Next to this, this program matched with my willingness to have a cross-border experience, as I have been member of AIESEC, an international student organisation.”
“Moreover, we had the chance to stay in our study domain but already experience a bit of the huge business world that surrounds this domain”, says VUB student Margo Audiens. “The way they select people is also very interesting, first you have to write a motivation letter, the second round exists of presenting yourself in a small movie and last but not least the interview. Going through this procedure you have to be creative and give the best of yourself, it gives you an idea of a real job application.”
Some of the many benefits of the programme
Studying Chinese in Beijing’s Language and Culture University was regarded by the students in previous years a very fulfilling learning experience. The teachers taught lessons about Chinese language, respectful communication in China and gave students a deeper understanding of the Chinese culture. The students also took lessons in Chinese calligraphy and painting and provided further understanding of Chinese artistic tradition. Studying in Beijing was an excellent introduction to the trip as it gave the student delegates an opportunity to understand Chinese culture which is a big part of Huawei’s identity.
Another highlight of the trip was the opportunity for the Belgian Students to network and interact with Seeds for the Future program participants from around the globe.
Margo: “The most important thing I learnt during the internship was the benefit of being connected. Not only in the telecommunication way of speaking but also socially. Knowing people around the world and having the chance to talk to them is so important. Of course, I also learnt a lot about Chinese culture, about the company and about telecommunication.”
How has the ‘Seeds for the Future’ enhanced our students’ lives?
Gwenny: “Travelling to China has not only given a boost to my professional career, but it has also been a re-connection with my roots. My father is Chinese, and it was the first time I visited his homeland. I was very excited to get some basics in Mandarin and discover parts of my culture. When coming back to Belgium, I decided to pursue a master in Business and Technology and to deepen my knowledge of Asian languages. The intensive trainings in ICT inspired me to write my master thesis about the “Internet of Things”, a concept Huawei is strongly focused on. But above all, I feel so lucky I became part of the “Huawei family”, which led me to meet passionate engineering students and employees.”
Wim: “This internship also changed the way that I look to the world. I always wanted to stay in Belgium/Europe, because I know everything here. But now I am considering more and more to go abroad, see other countries and continents. I really want to meet other cultures and see how they get things done….The journey not only widens your horizon, but also teaches you to appreciate other cultures and the differences between theirs and ours. It offers a great start to learn more about a gigantic country, which is so much more than a large spot on the world map.”
Deadline for applications is 7 April 2017.
Please read the 2017 PDF on ‘Seeds for the Future’ programme for details on eligibility, applications, closing dates, the draft agenda, etc.