Novabase Academy Graduates 2011 Visit Carnegie Mellon University

 Novabase Academy Graduates 2011

From April 9 to April 14, 2011, Luis Lobo, Executive Director of the Novabase Academy, and six Academy graduates visited Carnegie Mellon University to attend classes, explore CMU’s cutting edge research and technologies, and learn more about the Carnegie Mellon Portugal Program.

Novabase Academy is a training program for recent college graduates that offer 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. “It’s rewarding to see the next generation achieve their goals and set themselves up as future leaders in their field,” says Lobo.

This year, 500 trainees were narrowed down to 83 who ultimately received offers of employment from the company. Of those 83, Sandra Botelho Simões, Ana Amorim Duarte, Telmo da Rocha Pereira, Andreas Dieter Mendes Seufert, Ricardo António Nunes Gorrão, and Paulo Alexandre Mareco de Sousa were selected as the top six in their class. The trip to CMU has been offered as a reward for the top graduates for the last three years.

“[We want to] use the relationship with the Carnegie Mellon Portugal Program to market new candidates and create additional awareness within Novabase,” Lobo says.

The visit was comprised of meetings with faculty and staff, attended classes and events, and going on tours of CMU’s facilities. Lobo says that he and the graduates especially enjoyed meeting with Jenna Date, director of the Masters of Human-Computer Interaction (MHCI), as well as touring both the Human-Computer Interaction Institute (HCII) and Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) facilities. He also calls the Novabase reception, held on April 11, a “delightful” opportunity for the Novabase group to engage faculty and students in the Carnegie Mellon Portugal Program.

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“I loved the integration, openness, and diversity,” Lobo says. “Professors affiliated with one department teach classes for another department. [I love the] involvement of classes with corporations.”

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Of particular interest for the Novabase group was their hands-on visit to the HCII class “Rapid Prototyping of Computer Systems,” taught by Daniel Siewiorek, Buhl University Professor of Computer Science and Electrical & Computer Engineering. The class was divided into groups, with the Novabase graduates grouped together. Each group was then given supplies to make model airplanes. Once each group had completed the project, the class went outside to test each group’s design. Lobo notes that the Novabase plane was the only model plane that glided and lasted the longest in the air.

Novabase is a corporate sponsor for the Carnegie Mellon Portugal Program. It is the largest IT company in Portugal. Founded in 1989, it currently employs about 1700 people. According to the company website, Novabase’s vision is “to make life simpler and happier for people and businesses, through technology.” Innovation and entrepreneurship are two of Novabase’s core values. The company encourages its employees to make a difference by providing a stimulating work environment based on professionalism, competence and integrity and by providing professional opportunities which encourage creativity and responsibility.

April 2011