This year, for the first time, an unprecedented collaboration has been set up within the Engineering & Management Major between EPF and Agorize as part of the major’s projects.
An innovative company that creates bridges between companies and students
Agorize is the first platform for online innovation challenges that can effectively engage communities with high added value. This crowdsourcing website gives users the opportunity to participate in challenges submitted by companies. Participants are rewarded with prizes, internship opportunities or job offers. More specifically, Agorize allows major companies to offer challenges to different communities (students, engineers, startups ...), to tackle their challenges. Founded in 2012, the company was an immediate success, thanks to its unique business model and being a pioneer in its sector. Today, Agorize's customers include fortune 500 companies, including Google, Microsoft and Bank of America to name a few.
Multiculturality and maximization of project skills acquisition
The aim of this collaboration is to maximize the learning of competences "To be able to manage a project or a complex client problem" in 4th year, thanks to the major’s project which isn’t carried out within an intra-school framework, but in competing with other major engineering and business schools, as well as some universities, in France but also abroad.
The topics submitted by these major companies are diverse and varied, the topic’s selection is made based on the pedagogical proximity of the topic with the key competences necessary for the major, as well as the compatibility of the milestones of the proposed projects with the calendar of the major. Indeed, before proceeding with the enrollment of the teams, the supervising teachers ensure upstream that the proposed topics are at the level of studies of the students who will take up the challenge, (master cycle students), but also, the level of skills to acquire throughout the major.
Educational innovation + sharp supervision = motivated students and performance at the key!
Since the beginning of this collaboration, the students of EPF have been able to work on two projects. The first project was a challenge launched by one of Canada’s largest financial services organizations, TD Insurance: "How can IoT and Big Data help better serve policyholders?"
Out of 266 international student teams, including more than 150 engineering schools, 3 groups of E & M students reached the semi-finals out of 20 semi-finalists and 1 group of Engineering & Management (E & M) students flew to Montreal to the client's headquarters with 2 other finalists. The students in question are: Pauline ANTOINE, Eloi BLOT, Mélissa BOULARIAH, Youcef KEDJAR and Emilie TRÉMOUREUX.
The second project: "Imagine the highway of tomorrow by 2030" is a challenge that was launched by Vinci Autoroutes.
Out of 249 international student teams, including more than 150 engineering schools, 3 groups of E & M students reached the semi-finals out of 20 semi-finalists, with a final scheduled for September 2018.
"An exceptional performance, never seen before!" according to Agorize. A record that would not have been possible without the support of the supervising teachers of the major’s project: Daniel Besnard professor and speaker in project and risk management and Léandra Muller-Segard, head of the major Engineering & Management. These two professionals accompany the students in a continuous and evolving manner, through support sessions, coaching groups and ad hoc support just before client deliverables.
Complex and up-to-date topics that contribute to the acquisition of macro-competence of contextualisation of the master cycle
Léandra Muller-Segard, head of the Engineering & Management major, explains: "Agorize's dynamic and professional team has been able to offer us a very innovative tool for project-based teaching. Thus, making it possible to provide solution to up-to-date issues that companies are facing or key players in their sectors of activity, and this is essential! The context of employment and working environment of engineering students in companies is multicultural and open, so it is relevant to immerse them in real life at the earliest. If in one hand, we are given every year by our partner companies, topics for our students to work on, on the other hand, Agorize completes this process and allows us to have access to a wide range of alternative projects, just as rich in experiences".
According to Agorize, "It is a pleasure to collaborate with EPF because the students are invested. They are accompanied by Léandra, a federator head of major and a truly committed coach." It is a pleasure to intervene in this school, moreover when the students stand out by succeeding in passing the most selective stages of the challenges. This collaboration confirms that Agorize can boost student-business relationships and help to identify talents. "
For their part, the students, first concerned by this new initiative, added: "It is a collaboration absolutely compatible with the educational objectives of the 4th year project and it contributes not only to the notoriety of our school, but also to ours as an individual: we become even more visible as future engineers for potential employers. "
We cannot better illustrate a win-win partnership for the 3 stakeholders.
We are confident that this adventure will grow bigger in the coming years!