12/06/2017 News

Meet the BEST students sponsored to attend the GSF


Let’s get to know Przemyslaw from Denmark University of Technology, and Vicky from Aristotle University of Technology in Greece. These two members of the Board of European Students of Technology (BEST) were sponsored by Total to attend the 13th Global Student Forum in Kuala Lumpur in November 2017.


So tell us, why are you excited to be at this event? Przemyslaw said that, “The Global Student Forum (GSF) is a great place for us to share our skills and experiences with fellow students from around the world. I think that my biggest expectation is to share knowledge and broaden my network.” Vicky added that, “For me, this event is about meeting people and learning new things. It’s a great opportunity for us to get more experience and knowledge for our future careers. Through BEST, and now here at the GSF, I can combine my passions: teaching and engineering.”


We asked the pair how they prepared for the GSF. Vicky explained that, “We did our background reading, but you always need to anticipate the unknown when it’s a student event! The GSF organizers also proposed me to facilitate a working group which I happily agreed.”


Przemyslaw explains where his interest in engineering education began. “I studied engineering at 3 universities in different countries – a Bachelor’s degree in France and Poland, then a Master’s degree in Denmark. Throughout my studies, I was always involved in promoting students’ voices in the dialogue with universities and in other activities to help students understand their educational opportunities. I wanted to take the best parts of my own experience and share them for the benefit of other students. That’s how I came to be involved with BEST.”


How can big companies help empowering engineering education? Vicky’s view is that, “Total, as a big company, can get involved and help inform university curricula, and ensure that students’ skills are those required by industry. It’s very important that Total is involved with events like the GSF. As I see it, there is currently a big wall between universities and industry.”


“As graduates, we feel that we are in unknown waters, because what we learn during our studies is not necessarily what we will need when we enter the workplace. Therefore, we all need to think about what’s expected from us, what industry needs right now and what it will need in 10 years, then how we can create a dynamic curriculum at universities that also reflects what industry wants.”


Finally, there’s one thing that all engineers have in common, no matter where they’re from, according to Przemyslaw: “As engineers, people always tell us that we don’t talk much, we go straight to the point!”