News Story

College Team Wins Italia Innovation Competition

Groups of students meet with Italian Research Institute Director Serafina Hager and CEOs of two Italian companies at a competitive workshop

March 22, 2018 — We are happy to announce that three College students — Caroline Cosovich, Oluseyi Osobamiro, and Dante Esqueda — won summer internships offered by Italian furnishing company Zordan in last weekend’s Innovation Solutions to Business Challenges Workshop.

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. The program brings well-known and established Italian companies to campus and serves as a bridge between business and academia.

This year the two participating companies were Zordan,, a home furnishing company, and Eni, S.p.A., an oil and gas company. Zordan presented a challenge related to its activities in the United States and its Michigan-based subsidiary, Woodways.  Eni presented a challenge related to how new energy resources can influence the world’s industrial, economic and political structure.

Gianni Di Giovanni, Chairman of Eni, S.p.A. Petroleum & Chairman of Eni USA and Maurizio Zordan, President and CEO of Zordan,, 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 of the Department of Economics served as a mentor to competitors, and Prof. Donatella Melucci of the Department of Italian also assisted in the competition.

“Our students showed genuine interest in the project,” said Serafina Hager, Director of the Italian Institute. “Their superb performance, in the limited time they were assigned, and their impressive and professional presentations demonstrated their excellent analytical skills, innovative solutions, and team work. 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.”

Cosovich, Osobamiro, and Esqueda were one of three winning teams selected — two by Eni and one by Zordan. They will spend two weeks this summer at Zordan’s headquarters in Valdagno, Italy, as well as one week in Michigan and Illinois at the Woodways Company, a subsidiary of Zordan. All expenses, including travel, are included.

Special thanks to Mr. Gianni Di Giovanni, Mr. Maurizio Zordan, Dr. Franco Peracchi, and Dr. Donatella Melucci.

Zordan logo

Zordan, 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, the company purchased Michigan-based firm Woodways in order to provide a better service to customers in the American market.

Eni logo

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