EUTOPIA TeamWork Project

From Working on a Sustainable Sourcing Viability Report to Presenting it at the Air France HQ

EUTOPIA TeamWork Air France 2023
The UPF students group that took part at the EUTOPIA TeamWork Porgramme last year. / Photo: UPF

Jimena Tinoco, a GNMI third-year student, shares her impressions on the participation in the EUTOPIA TeamWork 2023, which took her to Ljubljana and gave her the opportunity to present her project at Air France Headquarters. The call for this year's edition is open until March 22.

The EUTOPIA TeamWork programme is a virtual international experience that offers the opportunity to form part of a team of bachelor’s and master’s students from partner universities to embark on presenting an innovative solution to an organization or company’s real-life project.

Over the course of four weeks, I was able to collaborate with students of completely different majors like Biology and Mathematics, who attend universities like the University of Warwick in the UK, Ca’ Foscari in Venice, the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia, and CY Cergy in Paris, among others. Between just a few students, we represented 6 partner universities and even more cultures. Among more than 20 options for both companies and projects to apply to, I got the chance to work on a sustainability project for Air France’s procurement department.

Essentially, it was like forming part of an international specialized consulting group deployed to investigate a multitude of different EU-based sustainable suppliers, gather data and quotes, define incoterms and calculate shipping costs in order to create a viability report on a transition to sustainable, environmentally-friendly sourcing.

Our weekly team meetings consisted of dividing tasks, updating each other on progress and innovating new ideas for sourcing and potential extensions of the project, all with the guidance of an Air France procurement specialist who aided us with briefings and investigation techniques and helped us elevate our viability report. Rushed but excited, we presented our viability report to the procurement and sustainability department, who were ecstatic about the findings and innovative solutions we proposed.

In September, at the TeamWork 2023 closing event, I was able to meet my teammates in person in Ljubljana, Slovenia, where we participated in a video skills and brainstorming session with the other TeamWork ‘23 student teams and the administrators from partner universities who make it all happen. It felt surreal coming up with ideas for future versions of TeamWork and touristing the city with the team members I had only known through a screen. In addition to this, I was able to be inspired by other UPF students who, under normal circumstances, I would have never even met.

Just when I thought my experience with our sustainable procurement viability report and Air France had come to an end, I was invited by my EUTOPIA team coordinator and mentor at Air France to present our viability report at the Air France Headquarters at the Charles-de-Gaulle Airport in Paris, France.

Air France TeamWork

Coincidentally, I was on an Erasmus in Paris, studying at ESSEC Business School, and was able to attend the Annual Air France Procurement Forum to discuss our Sustainable Procurement Viability Report, and spinoff innovation pitch, to the head of AF Sustainability and CSR in person. It was amazing to see all of the projects and involvement that AF has with local and international universities, organizations, and start-ups, as well as the intricate strategy and logistics that AF has been implementing for decades when it comes to sustainability and environmentally-friendly policy.

Air France is a pioneer in sustainable practices, long before any other airlines have invested in CSR. I’ve since been inspired to continue my education in procurement and logistics, as well as seek a career path in the aviation industry; something I had never considered before. It is amazing how much inspiration you can find with experiences you’d never even dreamed of.

From this experience, I’ve learned spontaneous and virtual collaboration, high-value procurement strategies and skills, innovative ways of thinking, as well as a priceless experience, and friendships that will last a lifetime. I’m truly grateful for the opportunity that TeamWork EUTOPIA has given me, and I hope to be able to share the program with more passionate and dedicated students. Without a doubt, I definitely recommend that all students get involved in a mind-opening experience like TeamWork.

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