Stefanini Institute: Transforming Lives in Romania

January 31, 2020 by Silvia Ivanciu

Stefanini might be better known for its work in digital transformation, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity than its efforts in helping disadvantaged young people acquire new skills that prepare them for the working world.

However, while lesser known, the latter is equally important and is perhaps best embodied by the Stefanini Institute, which was set up by Graça and Marco Stefanini in 2001, and has since helped more than 95,000 young people gain skills and build careers.

Stefanini has taken steps to replicate this success with a Stefanini Institute in Romania and has begun scaling this significantly over the last year.

We caught up with Silvia Ivanciu, Project Manager at Stefanini, to hear the latest on how the Stefanini Institute is bringing new opportunities to young people across Romania.

Technical training and soft skills

A team of around 50 of volunteers from Stefanini Romania began collaborating to support the Stefanini Institute’s efforts to improve the life prospects of young people through a training initiative covering technical and soft skills.

The team has so far developed and delivered a training course introducing college students to everything from hardware, software and search engine basics, while also covering more advanced topics around using Windows and troubleshooting network issues.

The training also covers other valuable soft skills for building a career, encompassing everything from how to write a CV, and how to communicate effectively and remain calm and composed during an interview, to how to budget responsibly after receiving a first pay cheque.

The team of volunteers meets twice monthly via Skype, while also communicating via email and project management tools, to ensure efforts are coordinated between the 30 members of the team based in Bucharest and the rest of the team based in Sibiu and Targu Mures, devising training course materials and delivering inspirational sessions.

“The collaboration between our team of Stefanini Romania volunteers has been really impressive. The training courses have been developed not only to equip young people with technical skills that will be directly applicable in a career, but offer softer more general life skills that all too often are taken for granted but can be essential in succeeding in the world of work,” explains Silvia.

Upcoming plans

While the Stefanini Institute’s first training session ends this month, a follow up session is currently being planned, running from May until July, with a further batch of training from September to December.

These sessions will include Microsoft Office training, along with a coding session, which will also explore how to become a programmer and what the role involves.

The team is also planning an initiative that will allow young people who have already joined a training course to stay in touch with the Stefanini Institute, with the ability to discuss skills they want to develop further, or gain support for the jobs or internships they hope to secure.

“I’m so proud of the team here, who have really pulled together to ensure the Stefanini Institute can play a role in making a genuine difference to society. The training sessions so far have offered genuine life skills and transformed perspectives, encouraging young people to understand what’s possible and work towards gaining their dream jobs,” explains Silvia.

“I’d like to thank team members across Romania who have volunteered so enthusiastically and we hope to get even more team members involved in a wide variety of roles over the coming months to truly transform the prospects of young people across the country,” adds Silvia.

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