Huawei launches "Seeds for the Future" program

Students from Carleton University and the University of Ottawa will be among 20 Canadian third-year engineering students touring Huawei’s operations in China this spring as part of the “Seeds for the Future” program the company launched Tuesday.

The students will come from seven universities across the country, said Huawei’s vice-president of corporate and government affairs, Scott Bradley.

“To have the opportunity coming out of third-year engineering to get an under-the-cover look, basically, at one of the world’s biggest technology companies, and to see what we do in terms of our global operations and how we make that work, I think gives perspective,” Mr. Bradley said from the World Mobile Congress in Barcelona. “We hope it will give the students more understanding of who Huawei is, but too, an understanding of the opportunities that exist in ICT globally.”

Mr. Bradley said it could also serve as a good talent scouting mission for the telecommunications equipment company, which is based in Shenzhen, China and employs more than 250 people at its local office in Kanata.

Thirdly, he said it will show off the potential of Canada’s ICT industry.

“We want to bring over some great Canadian students so folks at headquarters go, ‘Wow. Canada is on the ball,’” he said.

Students will fill out an internal application at their university, including a 500-word essay on why they want to take the trip. Engineering schools at each university will provide Huawei with a list of their top five applicants, and that list will then be whittled down by a panel of Canadian telecom leaders, Mr. Bradley said.

In mid-May, the selected students will fly to Toronto for a one-day briefing session, before jetting to China for the 17-day journey.

In addition to the tour, they will be split in teams and given a problem they will have to solve based on their knowledge and experiences.

Mr. Bradley said the program will build on the existing partnerships Huawei already has with a number of Canadian universities and will become an annual event.

In addition to the Ottawa universities, students from Polytechnique Montréal, the University of Saskatchewan, the University of Waterloo, the University of British Columbia and the University of Toronto will also attend.