Four Universidad de las Américas Puebla students won the VW Challenge, an innovation and imagination competition, where the participants have an opportunity to present their business ideas to Volkswagen executives on the future of mobility, purchasing experience, and other automobile-related aspects of what to expect in 2030.
Derived from their Information Technology in Business class – taught by Fernando Thompson de la Rosa, UDLAP’s IT Director – Laura Raquel Olvera, Elena Maria Horffmann, Alberto Mori, and Gauthier Olivier Romain Larenaudie, the former three Mexican students and the latter an exchange student, created wide-reaching projects to participate in the challenge convened by the German automotive company. “We had the opportunity for our students to work with Volkswagen developing a project to automate industrial innovation. Ours was the first university selected to participate in this Challenge,” shared Thompson de la Rosa.
The UDLAP students presented a project that describes how an automobile will be purchased in 2030 for big cities, how maintenance will be offered in Mexico, and how mobility will change here. “We developed a project on our idea of the future, starting from the trend we see for the next 10 years. Our idea was to develop a leasing-membership program centered on personalization and complete coverage of millennials’ requirements, who will be the new VW customers,” explained Alberto Mori.
Based on their project, the students continued to develop it at the VW Mexico headquarters throughout the semester, having the opportunity to work with the marketing and development team of the company, who added ideas to fine-tune their work; they also received feedback from executives, both at the final presentation as well as during their collaboration throughout the semester. “We are thrilled because we could express our ideas on what we see as the future of mobility in the next 30 years, we were listened to, and they were excited with the ideas we developed,” said Elena Maria Horffmann.
This way, UDLAP continues its effort to offer outreach activities for students in the business world, as well as giving them an opportunity to present projects that open working opportunities for them. It is important to mention that this course is part of the program of the Licenciatura in Business Administration of the School of Business and Economics at UDLAP. “This initiative provides an opening to create new projects, not only at VW, but with other companies. It is an opportunity for students to become involved with the real world from the first semesters” commented Dr. Cecilia Trujillo Reyes, academic director of the Department of Business Administration at Universidad de las Américas Puebla.