Today was the last official day of company visits! The time really flew by and it made me sad to think that our time in Germany was coming to an end. Our last company was Hörauf & Kohler (shortened to H&K), a company in the plastics industry that focuses on using injection molding to make their products.
This morning we switched things up from our normal routine when it comes to take the tram. Rather than walking to Königsplatz, we crossed the street from our hotel and caught the street-car there! It definitely saved us the time and extra walking. Since the company tour was in Augsburg, we did not have to travel far, either. When we arrived, we were informed that our English-speaking tour guide was out for the day! Fortunately, a translator arrived on-site to translate our German-speaking tour guide into English. It must have been nice for the German students to have a tour in their own language this time. We were given the entire run-down: H&K’s greatest strength is their traditional values and dedication to their customers, their place in the German economy as a Mittelstand (small-to-medium enterprise), and the guarantee of top-of-the-line products for their customers (their biggest one is BMW!). Although this has nothing to do with H&K particularly, one of the highlights of the tour was walking into the warehouse where a box was labeled “FIFO,” or first-in first-out, something I had just learned about a month ago in Financial Accounting; to me, it was pretty cool seeing what I have learned throughout my freshman year in the business school applied to the real-world. It is definitely what makes Plus3 a special program (especially to us business students – sorry, engineers).
Another one of the highlights of the tour was seeing the little group of employees that manufacture air dampeners. Why, you might ask? Well, according to the guide, the only reason the employees are still there is just for their employment – it is actually inefficient for H&K to keep producing them, but they do not want to leave their dedicated employees without jobs, so they are patiently waiting until their retirement, rather than kicking them out. Good for you, H&K!
Soon, our last tour ended. It was a bittersweet moment. However, our work was far from being over. Liam, Kayla, Josh and I decided to have lunch at the mensa at the university and work on our projects there, since we were scheduled to meet Lena and Lucia at 17:30 there. The time flew by, and before we knew it Lena and Lucia arrived, and we finished our presentation in no time! The time came where I needed to ask the question that had been lingering in the back of my mind for quite some time now – were we going to color coordinate our outfits for the presentation tomorrow? Lucia started laughing because she had the same question but did not want to be the one to bring it up! Two great minds think alike. She and I started to egging Josh for a bit, since he was the only one that did not have clothes that matched colors with the rest of ours (he had a teal shirt, of all colors). It was all in jest, however.
Afterwards, we all went to a pizzeria and back to the hotel for the night. I spent a majority of the night working on the introduction and conclusion to the PowerPoint (I was pretty proud of myself, not going to lie). I was planning on going bowling with the rest of the group that night, when someone had mentioned a PEST analysis in their presentation – something our group completely forgot! Liam and I had to miss out on bowling, while Kayla and Josh had to leave prematurely in order to do the complete analysis. It was difficult trying to condense the material and cut the other slides out in order to guarantee our presentation would be kept under 20 minutes. Luckily, Dr. Feick and Arielle arrived in the midst of our crisis and assured us that we would be fine, and it was completely understandable if our presentation did not include PEST. While the rest of my group went to bed, I stayed up to continue memorizing my introduction and conclusion!
P.S. if you are wondering about the title, the website for H&K is hoeko.com.