Young people and companies: a connection driven by dreams

Susana Osorio and David Andrés Moreno two university students from Medellín who, thanks to the program of the University-Company-Government Committee (abbreviated CUEE in Spanish), found out that companies can be allies in the endeavor of fulfilling their dreams.

“I used to believe that companies were cold, gray, very rigid places where people did the same thing over and over, but, after being part of the CUEE program and getting to know Compañía de Galletas Noel, I understood that companies are filled with people who paint such companies with a thousand colors,” says Susana Osorio, student from the Audiovisual Production Program at the Débora Arango Technological Superior School of Arts.

The CUEE is an alliance of nine higher education institutions located in Medellín, 87 emerging and consolidated companies, Medellín Mayor’s Office and Antioquia Governor’s Office. Its mission is to bring students closer to the companies through one-week internships focused on overcoming open innovation challenges, business traineeships and, ultimately, incorporating them into their staff teams.

“The companies explained to us what they work on, what processes they have in place, what they do for our society, their inner workings and what they can offer to us. I enjoyed the experience a lot because I feel that the organizations I had the chance to get to know can help me to grow both as a professional and as a person,” says David Andrés Moreno, student from the Industrial Chemistry Program at the Metropolitan Technological Institute (ITM).

This bridge built between companies and young people connects expectations with realities. Companies share their mission and purpose with the aim of integrating new talents and offering development opportunities, and students start seeing them as environments where they can contribute their ideas and knowledge and, at the same time, find support to accomplish their goals. “With the CUEE program I understood that there are people who need you to make their dreams come true and, in the same way, they can help you to realize your dreams,” says Susana.

In 2020, the internship stage of the CUEE was held via digital means, with the participation of 898 students, who gained such a valuable experience. In its second stage, the open innovation phase, 15 challenges were formulated, and 75 solutions were achieved for such challenges. Grupo Nutresa is one of the companies proactively involved in this initiative that has brought students and companies together for 15 years. In addition to sharing their processes and challenges with the students, Alberto Hoyos, Compañía de Galletas Noel’s CEO, leads the program’s Human Resources Task Force.

I believe that someday I will be able to fill one of the job positions they told us about, maybe even one with more responsibilities. This internship of the University-Company-Government Committee inspired me to follow my dreams and to accomplish what I want to achieve.”

David Andrés Moreno, student from the ITM.

“All students should know about this project. It represents the possibility to connect your work with the work of a company that provides services or products to thousands of people, and you are contributing a little seed that helps in allowing that process to work out.”

Susana Osorio, student at the Débora Arango Technological Superior School of Arts.

“I liked the fact that all of the companies that I got to know made a presentation about what each one of them have to offer to people with disabilities and how important we are in those environments.”

David Andrés Moreno, student from the Industrial Chemistry Program at the Metropolitan Technological Institute (ITM).