Day 2: Presentations Part 1 (May 8)

After my first full night of sleep in what seems like forever, I woke up for my second day in Augsburg.  We got breakfast in the hotel lobby and then headed to the University. Once there, we met the German students we will be working with for the next two weeks.  My team and I (four students from Pitt and three from the University of Augsburg) were assigned the auto parts company Faurecia to give a short introduction about before the larger company analysis presentation we will be giving next week.

Faurecia is an interesting company from my perspective because of the way it is structured.  In America, large companies have different areas that all more or less work with each other.  However, at Faurecia, there are three groups (seating, interior, and clean mobility) that are completely autonomous, each with their own R&D, leadership, and production plants.

The other groups gave presentations on BMW, KUKA, SGL, and Hirschvogel.  All of the companies have something to do with the automotive industry, and are a primary or secondary suppliers with the exception of BMW.  I believe all of the companies listed above are involved somewhere in the supply chain of BMW, so it was very interesting to see how the different players in the supply chain interact with each other during the presentations.  I’m very happy to have picked a program that is so interesting to me.  I really wanted to learn more about the business side of the automotive industry and it looks like I will.  

After the presentations, we got lunch at the university’s cafeteria, Mensa.  Within a minute of stepping in, we could all see what we’ve been missing.  Everything was so clean and vibrant looking compared to what we have at Pitt.  The food was excellent and after twenty minutes we left the building  for our next activity of the day, a scavenger hunt in Augsburg.  We were split up into three groups and had to answer questions about the city with the help of a graduate student who will be studying at Pitt next year.  It took several hours to complete, as we had to walk all across town going into the town hall, churches, and other buildings.  Once we competed all of the questions, we met up with the rest of the group at a beer garden before going out to dinner at Dragone, an Italian restaurant in the city.  

Today was a lot of fun.  I think I’m really getting a feel for the city.  The only bad thing about the trip so far is that the weather has been pretty bad so far.  Also, seltzer is the normal water here??  Look forward to tomorrow’s entry because we will be visiting my group’s company, Faurecia.  Hopefully I will learn a lot about the company so our project will be easier.  Thanks for reading, and see you tomorrow.

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