European Week 2022: experiences and lessons learned by CIVICA students
Two CIVICA bachelor students tell their experiences of the European Week 2022, hosted by Bocconi University in Milan last June.
In June, CIVICA undergraduate students from Bocconi University, Sciences Po, Stockholm School of Economics (SSE) and The London School of Economics (LSE) took part in the European Week 2022. The five-day programme is a central element of the CIVICA Engage Track, and the second edition was hosted by Bocconi in Milan. We reached out to and interviewed Sofia Abbadessa from Bocconi University and Timéo Bailluet from Sciences Po.
Why did you decide to take part in the European Week 2022?
Sofia Abbadessa: I was particularly interested about this year’s topic: sport and social impact. Having played tennis for 13 years, I was curious to analyse sport from a different perspective from that of the athlete (the management view) and also because, being part of a Scout Association, I have always been involved in volunteering activities and am used to thinking about the social impact that things I do can have on others. So, this programme appeared to me the perfect fit for my person and my passions.
Timéo Bailluet: There are many reasons why I decided to apply. First of all, the opportunity to follow courses in social sciences with renowned and high-quality speakers, and moreover on a subject that I am passionate about: the social impact of sport. My choice was then guided by the desire to follow a programme with a real social dimension adopting a transnational approach. The European character of the programme was for me a source of motivation because it allows me to make new and enriching encounters and to get out of the national frameworks. The desire to meet students from other European universities was an important source of motivation.
What did you enjoy the most from the event programme?
Sofia: I found the programme super interesting and engaging: alternating companies’ speeches, groupworks, group presentations and visits allowed me to take the most from all these different activities. I would say that the experience I liked the most was the visit to Milano Cortina 2026 at the Allianz tower. This was particularly fascinating both because of the topic and the place that was hosting us. We followed a valuable session on the organisation of one of the biggest sport events in the world: the Winter Olympic games. It was amazing! In addition, being at a conference in the Allianz Tower and having the opportunity to see the offices of one of the highest skyscrapers in Milan is not something you can enjoy every day.
Timéo: If the courses were instructive and allowed to put concepts and words on the field experiences, it is really the numerous meetings (Milano-Cortina 2026 Olympic Games Committee, Fondazione Tavecchio, visit of San Siro, among others) and the exchanges with the speakers that brought an added value to the overall programme, which I found very enriching and well-constructed.
What is your main takeaway from this experience?
Sofia: I would say: “A meaningful change is possible with long-term commitments”. This was a message I grabbed from all the speakers: both Associazione Tavecchio, Bosch and Inter Campus. All of them shared with us the value of long-term projects. For instance, the education programme of Inter Campus is not a one-day, but it is a constant in the children’s daily routine as well as the programme that Bosch is implementing with young students at Italian high schools. Consistency in the long run is fundamental not only for an athlete’s mentality but also for all the environment around the sport sector. To achieve substantial goals and have a meaningful social impact, a long-term view is effective. In addition to this, this experience opened my vision on how you can always make a social impact whatever you do: this is the first thing I would bring to my future professional life.
Timéo: If I had to take only one lesson from this experience, I would probably say the importance of cooperation as well as the need to undertake. Both as a personal endeavour and necessity, entrepreneurship today needs to renew itself and move in a more social, solidarity-based direction. And I believe that this programme has been very instructive on this point because it has made me aware of the enormous social potential that sport can generate.
Why should future students apply and take part to the next European Week?
Sofia: If I had the opportunity, I would participate again to the CIVICA European Week to work on another topic as we did this year. It was a deeply moving experience that I would suggest every student take part in both for the networking experience with peers from all of Europe and for the incredible learning opportunity this programme gives you.
Timéo: Without any hesitation: the European Week is a great opportunity to meet people, to network and to become aware of the importance of social actions. I would even say that it is a necessity today, as there is an urgent need to re-found and re-shape an economy with a social and solidarity-based scope. Too many people think that business has only an economic component when in fact it has a strong social potential. I think that these are the kind of events and programes that contribute to change mentalities. It is also an opportunity to meet partners and people that you wouldn't otherwise meet. So, in my opinion, any student interested in societal issues should take European Week as an opportunity to be empowered.
Written by Tomaso Eridani (Bocconi University) and Anne-laure Henault Renard (Sciences Po)
Photo credits: Bocconi University