LeaderIT: visiting Local companiEs to chAnge the stuDents’ pERception of the local IT landscape (2015)

Many universities organize trips to Silicon Valley to visit companies like Google, Cisco or Facebook with the best intentions: to meet with entrepreneurs and innovators, see how such famous companies work, and gain firsthand experience of the enterprises that are revolutionizing global business.

Unfortunately, we have observed that such initiatives often increase the hype around those companies: students often idealize those companies, dream of working there, and consider working in a company in Tirol, Südtirol, or Trentino as some kind of “2nd-class job”. Many students see that we do not have global players such as Twitter or Microsoft and conclude that it is not worth to stay here and move abroad to companies they have heard of.

We want to change this impression: in fact, we *do* have many companies that *are* global players in their specific domain. Yes, it is true, they are not famous in the software world, but in their industrial domain they are often leaders and require software to do so. Students are not aware of that and we think that this is one of the reasons many leave after their studies.

Therefore, we will organize several visits to companies together with students and see how they develop software, which challenges they face, and which skills they look for in Tirol, Südtirol, and Trentino. We will focus on organizations that are not primarily software companies but that are leaders in their domain and use software as a strategic advantage in their business.

Partners: University of Innsbruck and University of Trento

Contact person for the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano: Andrea Janes