68 students from 33 different countries took part in the digital Summer School of Veolia, which was organized for the 13th time this year. The students were involved in an intensive program on the topic of innovation between June 27 and July 1.The goal of this year's summer university was to show the participants the challenges that companies playing a leading role in the ecological transformation must face. The program allowed them to establish their first international network of contacts from students and environmental management professionals.
Veolia launched its first summer university program in 2010 with more than 500 student participants from all over the world since then. For many of them the summer university played a decisive point in the choice and start of their career.
In the summer of 2022, during five days the students learnt about the solutions that Veolia offered to the challenges, visited production sites, worked in multicultural teams, took part in inspirative meetings with the colleagues of the group.
This summer, the only Hungarian participant, Sarolta Tóth shared her experiences with us:
„At the end of June, I had the chance to participate for a week in an online Summer School program organized by the French team of Veolia. With more than 60 other students from all over the world we had the opportunity to listen to lectures, participate in social events and carry out a week-long project. A summer school day was very busy: we listened to a presentation on how the company works, we participated in workshops providing us information on case studies and on how to set up business plans and we could spend one hour learning more about each other’s culture. The topic of the week was sustainability and ecological transformation; we could learn from specialists of sustainable technologies, even from a record keeper diver, about how to fight against climate change. The corner stone of the week was the project we worked on in 5-person teams all week long. The task was to develop a business offer for a customer, with a focus on different sustainability goals. Every team chose a different topic. My team and me developed an offer for a pharmaceutical company’s decarbonization goals, others focused on waste management, green energy resources or on recycling. The project ended in a 15-minute- presentation; the teams presented the offers to a jury.
Overall, the Summer School provided a perfect opportunity for university students - whether coming from the fields of engineering, business, or communication - to work together on a problem, approaching it from as many perspectives as possible, learn about green solutions and their importance, and last but not least, expand their international networking circle. And do this all in English, which had a positive impact on everybody’s language skills.
As part of the program, I had the opportunity to visit the oldest power plant in Budapest, the Kelenföld Power Plant. Walking through it, I learnt step by step about the processes and equipment used to produce electricity and heat from natural gas and fuel oil.
The Summer School provided me a good opportunity to gain more insight into the current energy production methods, as well as to learn about sustainable technologies."