Novabase Academy Sends Its Best
From April 10-15, the Carnegie Mellon Portugal program hosted Paulo Trigo, Novabase Executive Director, and several Novabase Academy students for the Novabase Study Tour 2010.
They attended classes such as Management of Software Development for Technology Executives and met with several Program researchers and professors, including Manuela Veloso, Herbert A. Simon Professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon, and David Garlan, Professor and Director of the Master of Software Engineering Professional Programs (MSE).
Novabase, a corporate sponsor for the Carnegie Mellon Portugal program, is the largest IT company in Portugal. Founded in 1989, it currently employs about 1700 people. Trigo, who has been with Novabase for ten years, is a managing director responsible for the partnership between Novabase and Vodafone, a multinational mobile network operator based in Newbury, England.
Novabase Academy is a training program for recent college graduates that offers a two week intensive training program prior to becoming full time employees at the company. The program consists of courses, projects and team-building exercises, all designed to prepare participants for their work at Novabase. The trip to Carnegie Mellon, the Novabase Academy Study Tour, is a prize that is offered to the "best" students coming out of the Academy. "It’s to engage them," says Trigo. "It’s a good opportunity to have some offsite team-buidling,"
While visiting Carnegie Mellon, Trigo and the students were afforded the opportunity to learn more about the Carnegie Mellon Portugal Program and various university practices. Of particular interest to Novabase, says Trigo is the manner in which Carnegie Mellon emphasizes practical applications into course methodology.
"We felt immediately that we could apply some of the lessons that people brought from here." Trigo says that the academic and practical worlds are not very "connected" in Portugal, and that Novabase stands to benefit from applying practices learned at Carnegie Mellon. He sees the visiting students as ambassadors from Portuguese industry. The company’s hope is that the students who attend the Novabase Academy Study Tour will be able to bring this knowledge back to Portugal with them and propagate it internally. "The Carnegie Mellon Portugal program is very in touch with reality, with the industry," Trigo says. "It’s not some disconnected academic track."