SGH Students’ American Dream – cooperation with Santander Bank Polska


A grant-funded holiday trip to the USA may sound as a rather unreal dream. But not for SGH students.

This summer, thanks to Santander Bank Polska, four of our students went to New York, Georgetown and Silicon Valley to take part in international development programmes. The students had an opportunity to meet people from all over the world, as well as to acquire valuable knowledge and experience.
So, what kind of people did they return from the USA? Was it worthwhile? What did they learn? Enthusiastic stories of Magda, Karolina, Emilian and Krzysztof are full of adventures, experience, new friendships and precepts for future which hopefully will help them to achieve success and happiness.

More self-assured!

One might think that creating innovations is reserved for geniuses, and managing a company for entrepreneurs by nature. Due to participation in such projects as Trep Camp or workshops in Georgetown, the students could find out for themselves that passion and deep involvement, are key success factors.

The time spent in New York made me more self-assured. I realised that to be an entrepreneur one has to have passion and be involved in what one is doing since there will always be ups and downs. This trip has taught me that the world is full of amazing opportunities, says Magdalena Żylicz.

Capable of solving problems faster

The huge amount of knowledge obtained while studying is not all. The crucial element of becoming successful is the ability to use that knowledge to solve a problem. High speed of work, significant demands and short time available for making things done are just realities of an everyday professional life. The students confronted all those adversities, developing projects which may perhaps make the world better.

To describe my experience in the Silicon Valley in short, I would call it a business hackathon, except for that it continued for the entire month. Nowhere at the University, or during any of the  classes, did I have such a chance to integrate with my peers, such a frequency of working together, developing leader skills and acquiring knowledge from team members as during the TrepCamp Entrepreneurial Simulator in the Silicon Valley, explains Emilian Łyga.

More tolerant towards other cultures

Only companies which respect diversities can achieve global success. The developed solutions which are meant to change the world have to satisfy needs of people originating from various cultures. Such a work environment is diversified; many companies work globally and their teams are multicultural. Therefore, the students worked in multidisciplinary teams composed of people from various parts of the world, for example from Mexico, Brazil, Spain, Poland, etc.

„The TrepCamp programme outgrew my expectations in many ways. First of all, I did not expect that within 3 weeks I would be able to enter into so many international contacts. Some of them I perceive as my future business partners. Some of them are my new friends who I am in touch with. It is due to the people I met and their unique perspective that I have developed as an entrepreneur and a team member,” says Karolina Szweda.

Greater knowledge and the ability to use it in practice
The Santander schilarships focus on expanding competences which will helpful in entering the employment market. The program titled „The Social Innovation and Financial Inclusion in the Digital Age”, for instance, carried out at Georgetown University in Washington focused on solving the problems which South America is trying to cope with. One of the subjects was the millennials’ financial exclusion in Argentina and Chile. The students had not only to obtain knowledge on economic situation, financial products or problems of young people but also use it and design a solution which will improve the world.
Thinking of what I have learned, I find classes depicting the problems of development of South America most valuable for me. I had an opportunity to learn more about the region and to see that the Polish way following democratic reforms proved truly successful. Our idea was to find a tool enabling self-saving through Internet banking (due to the raging inflation, the milennials’ growing expanses and low level of financial knowledge in the region). The idea was simple: an amount to be saved would be entered together with the term, and the application would suggest strategies of self-saving or financing the credit, explains Krzysztof Piestrak.
Let’s start from the beginning
No trip or investment would have been possible without our close cooperation with partners who - to the same extent as we do – support SGH students in their development efforts and moving upward the paths of their careers. The successes of our students and increasingly attractive events which we can recommend to them, are designed much ahead of the moment of handing out the award itself. Santander Bank Polska has been our long-standing partner, member of the Klubu Partnerów SGH, SGH Partners Club. Partnering with the Club, we have already done much both for the students’ community and the academic community. Therefore, we greeted the information on launching another new opportunity, i.e., participation in excellent international programmes, with great enthusiasm. We feel deeply satisfied with the successes of our students, and the successes achieved in cooperation with the SGH Partners Club are doubly satisfying! Hence, we hope that successive programmes will raise unabated interest and the successes will resonate loudly.
What should done to take part in another project?
It is very simple! We encourage everyone to monitor updates posted on the SGH Partners Club website and the posts on the Career service where we provide up-to-date information  about the available opportunities. One can also monitor platforms of our partner: Santander grants and SantanderX, and then ….submit applications!
Should you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us via mail address​​​​​​​ or visit the Santander Universidades outlet in Building A to obtain full information.
The Santander Group, due to its involvement in higher education via Santander Universidades, has been recognised as the company investing most strongly in education in the world (Verkey/UNESCO/Fortune 500 Report), and its contribution to education has become one of its trademarks. Santander Grants is one of the projects addressed to students (and not only them) from all over the world, offering opportnities to visit the best universities and to participate in intensive development projects. Detailed information on the project is available on the website.

PATRYCJA DUTKIEWICZ, Manager for Business Relations, SGH Centre for Corporate Relations.​​​​​​​
AGATA MIKUCKA, Business Development Specialist, Retail Banking Division, Santander Universidades Office.