EU4EU Host Organization experience: GEINNOVA


Rome, 31 August 2022

The EU4EU – Erasmus+ program includes not only consortia universities and all university students, but also European companies, which each year choose their trainees from among the many young people seeking work experience in Europe. Among these dynamic and international European companies is GEINNOVA.

Here is how EU Project Manager Milagros Barrios answered our questions.

1 – What does your company do?

In Geinnova we operate in different areas:

• We develop and execute of European Projects, as well as regional and national projects. We make sure to develop and implement efficiently different projects aimed at diverse target groups, as it can be, the empowerment of migrant women, climate change based projects, youth empowerment and rights, migrants rights, etc.

• We offer consulting services, redaction, support, quality control, administrative formalities, search for calls, financial justification for public and private entities. Another important part of our company is the experience we have in online and face-to-face training. We develop customized training courses accompanied with E-learning platforms with the corporate image of our clients. With the help of our experts, we also develop specific courses on precise topics, based on the client’s demand making sure we create innovative and interesting offers in order to guarantee a high satisfaction rate.

2 – Why did you decide to join the EU4EU program?

We are a company that likes to evolve, learn, and improve and we believe that the EU4EU program is the perfect opportunity to accomplish this. We have extensive experience working and collaborating with interns from different European countries which has shown us repeatedly how beneficial it is both for the intern and for us as it allows us to grow personally and professionally in a multicultural and international environment. Furthermore, we are in a period of quite important company growth, which is why we want to give the opportunity to talented people from all over Europe to grow with us, in order to increase the awareness of being a ‘European citizen’. And we believe that this programme selects quality profiles and willing people. Therefore, we need new talents eager to learn about the ERASMUS+ project environment and willing to create a change in someone’s life.

3 – Was it easy to join the program?

It was quite easy for us to register on the platform and take part in the programme as a Host Organisation. In addition, the platform used by the programme is user-friendly, which makes it easier for us to analyse candidate profiles thanks to the filters that can be applied to tailor the Host Organisation choices. In general, it was quite easy for us both from a practical point of view (IT tools used) and from a theoretical point of view (the analysis of the participants’ profiles).

4 – How important do you think it is for a company to work internationally?

In a globalized and increasingly digitalized world, the importance of expanding borders and areas of influence at an international level is crucial for any company, it is necessary to abandon the idea of business that only operates at a local or national level and start looking beyond that. Moreover, we have seen (based on our previous experience working with people from other countries) how the international work environment facilitates inclusion in the area of work development, as well as increases and enhances the openness of workers, who appreciate the continuous learning that goes hand in hand with this type of international environment. That is why at Geinnova we give so much importance to this facet of our company; that is why –  collaborating with projects such as EU4EU – we achieve these goals and why we are constantly looking for ways to improve our working environment.

5 – What are the advantages of working with a European student in your team?

Working with foreign people in the company has shown us several advantages nor only in our professional career but in our personal lives; they provide us with a different point of view. Coming from another country, they can show us other perspectives that we did not know or that we had not considered before. This is of special interest in problem solving since we have seen before how different mindsets and ways of doing have provide unique and effective solutions to different issues arising along the way. It can also bring us new knowledge and techniques that may be unknown here and that creates new working systems that can intensified and promote the evolution of the company. In addition, they contribute to form a multicultural environment, which stimulates creativity and a good working climate, the mix of cultures serves to create synergies that are reflected positively in the work. Additionally, employee’s soft skills have been improved since communication in a multicultural and multilingual environments is of extreme importance.

6 – Based on your experience, how fast the students learn what they have to do?

Based on our previous experience, we have observed how the inclusion and learning of students is a process that does not present extensive difficulty due to different factors such as the provision of a tutor from the first moment of arrival of the student. This individual tutor has the task of facilitating learning and supporting the student in the development of their tasks, thus ensuring the effectiveness of the development of the work and avoid stressful situations for the student. Additionally, we have a program in which we contact the students and provide them with information about housing in Zaragoza to provide an easy inclusion in the city.

7 – How well trainees manage to adapt to the working environment?

The previous trainees have shown a very high level of adaptation to the work environment due to the diversity of them, having had trainees from 8 different countries at the same time. This creates an environment full of possibilities for learning and personal growth. In addition, as mentioned above, we have a tutor program in which each apprentice has the support of a person who oversees facilitating the inclusion in the work environment making sure that is a peaceful and rewarding experience. Additionally, we know how the trainees take this opportunity to create bonds with the rest of the learners, making plans after work and building friendships over the world.

8 – Will you participate in the EU4EU program in the future?

Of course, we will participate in the EU4EU project again. This is mainly due to the good experience we have had. From the first moment the facilities that were put to us were maximum, the willingness to collaborate was noticeable. On the other hand, the experience with foreign students has exceed our expectations making considerable improvements in our working environment and on the company’s growth. Other employees have been very comfortable with them and emphasize their quick adaptation and their willingness to collaborate.

9 – Would you suggest another company to join the EU4EU program? Why?

Absolutely yes. After the amazing experience we have had, we would recommend other companies to participate in this project and host foreign students so that they can enjoy the diverse growth possibilities this program offers. We are sure that any company that decides to participate in this project will be more than satisfied with this experience and that it will exceed all expectations that could have been made, since it offers extensive opportunities for personal and professional lives.