Today was our first company visit at Faurecia, which is a global company that supplies automotive parts to automobile companies all over the world. Faurecia is the company that I have to research and present on with my group next week, so it was important that I was on my best behavior.
Faurecia is currently the number one supplier in its three areas of business, which are seating, interiors, and clean mobility. The Augsburg plant specializes in the clean mobility sector, so basically they develop and produce exhaust systems.
On arrival at Faurecia, we were given protective shoe covers and glasses, as well as lab aprons, which made everyone look very official. The visit started with a presentation from and HR representative who talked about what Faurecia does and what they are looking into for future endevors. She also gave us a brief overview of the business side of Faurecia and its finances for the past, present, and future. Then an engineer came into talk to us about some of the specific innovative automobile parts Faurecia is developing, which I found much more interesting. The company visit concluded with a very in-depth tour of the plant. Unfortunately we weren’t allowed to take pictures, but the things we saw inside the Faurecia plant made me very excited to work as an engineer in the future. A lot of the technical information went over my head, but I could see myself working in a place like this once I get more experience. My favorite part of the tour was a room where the engineers would test the sound quality of the exhaust systems. This is very important for German engineering because the loyal customers of automobile companies like BWM pay careful attention to the engine noises when buying a car. The neat thing about this room was that it was fully padded with sound-absorbing material, so none of the sound waves would bounce of the walls of the room. It made it hard to hear someone talking even if they were standing right next to you. The whole thing was very surreal.
At the end of the tour, we thanked the presentors and tour guides with small gifts from Pitt. Right from the Faurecia plant, we headed straight downtown to go on the Luther tour. This started in St. Jakob’s church, and the tour guide took us to several churches throughout town and told us their story once we were inside. Being in these churches was quite an eye-opening experience; the history behind each one could fill books. The Luther tour was a very cool experience, but it ended in a slightly strange way. One of the University’s religion professors talked to us about the history of religion and churches in Augsburg, and at the end of the tour she had us all separate into separate corners of the room based on religion. She also had us announce to the room which religion we consider ourselves to be. This whole process made me uncomfortable, and other American students seemed to feel the same way. I’m sure this professor meant no harm, but I think she just didn’t realize we would never do something like this in a public school in America. It was actually interesting to see how uncomfortable it made some people. I almost feel like we should be more open about our relgious views with people we don’t know that well so that it’s easier to see that not everyone may agree with the same beliefs even if they were raised a certain relgion. Well, anyways, that ended the long day for us and we were free to explore the city on our own for the rest of the night. Looking forward to Hirschvogel tomorrow!