Day 12: Two’s Company?

Today’s first visit was to a company I hadn’t heard of before, Delphi Technologies. Their main focus (at least of what we saw) is in motors and the automobile industry. Anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself.

When we got to the office, we had the chance to take a quick look around before we were ushered into an elevator, where we went up to a meeting room. The manager who spoke to us from the company stood out to me more than the other companies we’ve seen so far; he actually went to Pitt! Of course, he was only there for his doctorate, but his advisor is still the head of the chemical engineering department in the Swanson School, so it was a neat connection to make. After a brief summary of the company and its mission (which is to help reduce emissions and increase the efficiency of both electric and standard car motors) and a Q and A session, we were brought back to the main lobby and split into two groups.

The tour guide led us through their main facility. The first room we went to was basically a garage of the cars they use for testing, but from there it got more interesting. We saw rooms and machinery meant to stress test engines, fabricate new parts, and a lot of stuff I didn’t quite understand. I found it interesting, but the tour was definitely more geared (pun intended) towards mechanical engineers.

We loaded back onto the bus to head to lunch. The food was mostly standard at this point, with a few dishes we hadn’t seen before. One was a sort of fried corn pancake thing, which was actually quite sweet (and tasty). Another interesting thing was a beef (I think?) dish that actually tasted very similar to fajitas.

The second company visit was to the American Chamber of Commerce, or AmCham. This is, as far as I can tell, the way that American businesses get themselves represented in China, within the business world and in government. Their main goal is to build up business between the US and China.

The discussion we had with the AmCham representatives ranged from talking about how the Chamber works, to cybersecurity, to WeChat, to the Chinese populace’s views on America as a whole. Our time there flew by, and before we knew it we had been talking for two hours, at which point we made our exit (but not before another group picture). On our way back to the elevators, we encountered somebody’s very friendly dog, who had been hanging out at his owners office. He was excited to be pet, and I think most of us were happy to pet him. It was a good way to cap off the day’s visits.

Back at the hotel, while waiting for my group to gather to work on our presentation, I played a game called “Code Names” with a few other people. The general idea is this: twenty-five cards with different words on them are laid out in a grid, and two “spy masters” have to give hints to their teams to get them to pick out the right words while avoiding the other team’s words. It was a great game to play with a large group of people, as it required collaboration and a lot of open discussion.

(Side note: the picture is from dim sum that night. Pictured are steamed bun-nies)

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