Last February, five IBM managers came to UNamur to present the new Business Case to the students of the "Service design and Innovation" course. The issue, specific to the company, was: "The war for young talent in the service sector", in a context where the shortage of profiles in the field of technology and services is growing. As a result of the health crisis, many companies are also facing a very high turnover and are experiencing difficulties in recruiting talent.

In addition, this context seems to have had a considerable impact on workers' expectations on several levels. How to attract new talent? How do you ensure that you keep the best people on your team? How to rethink the employee experience? How to attract the attractiveness of the employer? These are the questions that the students had to think about.

On 15 June 2022, after more than four months of reflection and intensive work on this theme and supervised by their teacher Wafa Hammedi and IBM managers, the students were able to deliver their analyses and best solution proposals. The presentation day was introduced by Annick Castiaux, Rector of UNamur.

In total, eight teams of motivated students presented their projects to the jury of six professionals who were present to challenge and evaluate the students:

  • Wafa Hammedi, Professor of Economics at UNamur,
  • Yves Van Seters, IBM University Relations manager,
  • Sonia Diaz Vazquez, IBM Consulting Associates Market Lead Benelux,
  • Jeroen Vandevenne, Head of Operation - IBM Client Innovation Center,
  • Mathilde Drayen, Associate Experience Consultant (Mobile) IBM
  • Vanessa Vyncke, Talent Acquisition Partner IBM.

The students Lida Gjetja, Riccardo Romanò, Filippo Pistochini and Nicholas Variava won the prize for the best "IBM with u" project. The jury members were unanimous in their praise for this project. The winners were invited to present their project at an event at the IBM headquarters in Brussels, where the prize was presented by the CEO of IBM Benelux.

"The experience gave us the opportunity to meet a real company and to interact with industry professionals and put our theoretical knowledge into practice. We are very happy to have had this unique opportunity", explained Lida Gjetja after her presentation.

Other projects nominated for the "IBM Employability Award" and "Business Game Day'-solution" were also praised by the jury members.

Congratulations to all the participating students for their great projects, and thank you to IBM for a very successful ten-year partnership!