From classroom Business Games to hiring. Interview with Matteo Amato, coach of the Institute
Today, we are talking about the successful collaboration that has grown in recent years between Solema and JAC | JobsAcademy Foundation, an institute specialized in post-diploma courses in the Business and Technology sector, based in San Paolo D’Argon, a city nearby Bergamo.
How the relationship between Solema and JAC came about?
The first contact between Solema and JAC dates to 2018, the year when Giuseppe Liguori joined our sales division. And it was Giuseppe who led us to the potential of JAC, that he attended before working with us.
This is how our relationship with this remarkable Bergamo’s Institute began. At first, we organized a series of meetings with the students to introduce them to our company and our working methods of both Sales and Production areas.
Soon, we joined the pool of companies selected by JAC that give students the opportunity to attend training internships. Therefore, Solema became one of the referents of the Business Challenge 2020/2021 – a training activity that is the perfect example of "Learning by Doing”.
The Business Challenge
The Business Challenges organized by JAC have the ambition to improve the students’ soft skills, essential to face firsthand the various dynamics of the business environment. Each year different case studies are selected and presented to the students who, split into groups, must analyze the initial requests, and propose a solution plan.
The Business Challenge that had involved Solema took place during the 2020-2021 biennium and was attended by 60 students. The request was as follows: participants had to present ideas to create and promote the production system that would improve the performance of the Moser, an automatic assembling partitions machine.
The challenge was addressed to students enrolled in two specific types of JAC courses: Mechatronics and Digital Marketing.
Future mechatronics had to develop the technical implementation of the afore mentioned system that would have to automatically collect, strap, and palletize bundles of closed partitions assembled by Moser, whilst the request to future marketers was to create a digital marketing business plan for the promotion to our customers.
Among the ideas presented – including very peculiar ones – we are still evaluating some of them. This is the proof of the resourcefulness and great ambition of the participants.
For Solema, the Business Challenge represented an added value to fully understand the expertise and competence of the school. On the other hand, for JAC, the Business challenge was the perfect way to evaluate our company willingness and professionalism.
From theory to practice
The positive collaboration between JAC and Solema was enhanced by the hiring of former students. In fact, in the last three years six talents graduated at JAC joined our team: six young people enriched by a serious and professional course of study, each one hired after a regular six-months period of curricular internship: Giuseppe (sales / marketing), Marco (software dev.), Duccio (r&d dept.), Elia (production planning), Roberto (electrical dept.) and Ricardo (travelling field service engineer).
We met Matteo Amato, one of the institute's coaches and our current contact person.
Good morning, Matteo, tell us a little about JAC: its mission and why it is considered a very successful school in the vast panorama of ITS institutes.
The JAC institute has been active for over 10 years and was one of the first ITS (acronym for 'Istituto Tecnico Superiore', Higher Technical Institute) in Italy and it is currently the one that offers the widest range of courses of study. Our mission is to support the fulfillment of the individual, working on both professional and human growth, creating a close connection between the world of education and the world of business.
JAC's success lies mainly in its high employment rate: 92% of students are hired six months after graduation.
What exactly is your role as a Coach?
First, I would like to point out that, before becoming a Coach, I was a JAC student and therefore I personally experienced the ‘Learning by Doing’ training course.
In JAC as a coach, my task is to supervise and organize individual projects, help students finding the path that would meet at best the needs for their professional future.
Tell us about the courses: who are they targeting?
As I said before, JAC is the largest and most structured ITS present on the national territory, and the numbers speak for themselves: with 13 courses already started, this year we have nearly 1000 students enrolled.
JAC is the only Italian ITS to offer a course in plastics technology.
Our classes are designed for all graduates but also for those who have already got a degree.
At the end of the two-year period, a diploma recognized at European level of the fifth EQS level is acquired, and we were the first to introduce the third year as a supplementary specialization to the two-year diploma. Thanks to the collaboration and partnership with various universities, we can offer a specific three-year degree related to the course attended. For example, our Mechatronics course can be completed with an Engineering degree, and our Digital Marketing course with a degree in Economics or Business Communication.
The purpose is to give our students a professional education not only with lessons and testimonies with professionals who come to talk about their experiences, but above all with 800 hours of internships, workshops, and visits at companies’ premises.
All our training courses are designed to meet the real needs of companies. All the trainers who collaborate with us come from the business world and have a thorough know-how of the companies in which they work and transmit it directly to the students. The ITSs, in fact, distinguish themselves from other post-diploma schools for the specificity and technicality of their paths that are developed through the so-called “Learning by doing”.
Are there any entrance tests in your institution?
Yes, and the selection is quite demanding. The average of candidates who successfully pass the initial test is around 65-70%. In particular, the Marketing course is very selective.
Why such a strict selection?
We create a truly valuable relationship with people. We want to understand first the wishes and needs of each candidate. We submit them to a 360-degree aptitude test, followed by meetings and interviews with the guidance managers and with the representatives who will take care of the matching between student and company to understand their aspirations and skills.
With us, the high school score is not relevant, only the score obtained at the entrance test. At JAC we do not have the need to fill the courses, but we want motivated people to attend our classes.
Do you want to add something more about the Business Challenge involving Solema?
The Business Challenge was a success for both Solema and JAC.
The students were really committed to reach their goal in order to emerge, and the result was a real valuable contribution for Solema: innovative and achievable ideas.
In the case of Solema, unfortunately, everything was complicated due to the pandemic, but we were good at remedying by organizing all the work remotely with periodic checkpoints for updates by videoconference. A truly complete and productive experience, to be repeated.
Thanks Matteo. And enjoy your work.
For more information about Solema write to firstname.lastname@example.org or call +39 035 654111.