2018 One-Day Student-Centered Workshop on Innovative Solutions to Business Challenges Leading to Paid Internships

Saturday, March 17, 2018 
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Bakers Scholars Conference Room
Regents Hall 550, Georgetown University

This is the third year the Georgetown University Italian Research Institute, in partnership with the Italia Innovation Program, sponsored a full-day student-centered workshop on Innovative Solutions to Business Challenges. This is an exciting program that brings to campus well-known and established Italian companies and serves as a bridge between business and academia. This year the two participating companies were Eni, S.p.A and Zordan, S.rl.sb.

Dr. Franco Peracchi, Professor of the Practice in the Department of Economics at Georgetown will provide students with advice and guidance during the workshop.

The Workshop will serve as a bridge between business and academia and offers students a great opportunity to be intellectually engaged in finding solutions to challenges confronting the business world.  ​We are limiting the number of participants to 50 students. Lunch will be served.

Event Summary

On Saturday, March 17, 2018, the Georgetown University Italian Research Institute, in collaboration with the Italia Innovation Program, sponsored a One-Day Student Workshop on “Innovative Solutions to Business Challenges.” Mr. Gianni Di Giovanni, Chairman of Eni , S.p.A. Petroleum & Chairman of Eni USA and Mr. Maurizio Zordan, President and CEO of Zordan, S.rl.sb,  presented the challenge to 36 Georgetown University students from the College, the School of Foreign Service, and the McDonough School of Business who participated in the event. Prof. Franco Peracchi from the Georgetown University Department of Economics served as a mentor. Our students showed genuine interest in the project. Their superb performance, in the limited time they were assigned, and their impressive and professional presentations demonstrated their excellent analytical skills, innovative solutions, and teamwork. Given the high quality of the presentations selecting the winning teams was not an easy task, nonetheless, we were happy to provide such an extraordinary experience to our talented students.

Three winning teams were selected.  Eni selected two teams and Zordan selected one team. Each member of the Eni winning team will receive a paid internship in their new office in Washington, DC. The Zordan team will spend 2 weeks in Valdagno, Italy visiting Zordan headquarters and 1 week in Michigan and Illinois at the Woodways Company. All expenses, including travel, are included.

Special thanks to Mr. Gianni Di Giovanni, Mr. Maurizio Zordan, Dr. Franco Peracchi, and Dr. Donatella Melucci. Dr. Franco Peracchi, Professor of the Practice in the Department of Economics at Georgetown provided students advice and guidance during the workshop and Prof. Donatella Melucci from the Department of Italian who teaches a Business course also assisted students.

Participating Companies

Zordan Logo

Zordan S.r.l.sb

Zordan S.r.l.sb, founded in 1965 by Attilio Zordan, is a luxury family business that manufactures furnishings for the stores of the best-known brands and for private luxury homes.  Zordan has built an international reputation as a partner for high-end interior design projects. Recently they purchased an American company Woodways, in Michigan to provide a better service to customers in the USA market.


Zordan presented a challenge related to “its activities in USA and its controlled Company in Michigan, Woodways.”

Workshop Materials

Student Presentations

Team 1 Presentation
Maya Hiraki
Elinor Walker
Amanda Hu
Jacky Liu
Filippo Fabrini

Team 2: Facing Change: American Market Presence and Woodways’ Expansion
Chiara Lewis
Kathryn Blanco
Samantha Steinberg
Samuel Oswald

Team 3: Business Challenge 2018 [Winning Team]
Caroline Cosovich
Oluseyi Osobamiro
Melissa Zheng
Dante Esqueda

Team 4 Presentation
Emilio Joubert
Akshat Kumar
Katelyn Focella
Morgan Callwood

Eni Logo

Eni S.p.A.
Italian Multinational Oil & Gas Company

Eni S.p.A., an Italian multinational oil and gas company headquartered in Rome with an office in Washington, DC is once again participating in the event. Eni has operations in 80 countries and is currently the world’s 6th most relevant oil and gas international company.


How new energy resources – like old ones – can influence the world’s industrial, economic and political structure.

Workshop Materials

Student Presentations

Team 1: Countering Instability in Global Energy Markets [Winning Team]
Peter Giannino
Robert Cesar
Sam Denney
Misha Rindisbacher

Team 2: Mitigating the Effects of Oil Price Volatility
Megan Carey
Isabelle Hupez
Caroline LaGumina

Team 3: A Tangible Solution to Mitigating Oil Price Volatility [Winning Team]
Christine Xiao
Alexander Jaros
Bryce Tsai
Parker Malarkey

Team 4: A U.S. Government Approach
Nour Laswi
Lionel Simm
Bilva Chandra
Suraag Srinivas

Team 5 Presentation
Gabriella Scipione
Emily Xue
Franz Sandil
Teddy Higgins