Day 2: Pepperoni is not Salami

Today we had to get up extremely early (relative to the times I usually get up) in order to meet up with our friends at the University of Augsburg. I was able to get up at around 730 in order to get ready for the day and have breakfast. While at breakfast, I had the American classic of bacon and eggs. One thing very different about the scrambled eggs compared to America was that they were very tough. Which I was not a big fan of. For the first time, I took an Augsburg streetcar in order to get to the University. While at the University of Augsburg, we all gave ourselves a formal introduction due to the fact that not everyone last night had the chance to talk to everyone else at dinner. What I learned about the German students from our formal introduction was that they were all Global Business Management majors at the University of Augsburg. We then transitioned into working with our groups and preparing our company introduction presentations.

The company I am assigned to study while on Plus3 Germany is SGL, a carbon fiber manufacturer. I found out that the presentation group that I will be working with during these next two weeks is Ravi, Maya, Esme, Maxi, Ana, Kiesha and myself. Maxi, Ana, and Kiesha are students at the University of Augsburg. When working with my project group for our short introduction presentation, I was not only able to learn so much about SGL, but I was also able to learn so much about German culture. For instance, Esme asked Kiesha what was in her pretzel she was eating and Kiesha was so amazed by this question because it is so common in Bavaria to have butter in your pretzel. It is almost like a bagel for us Americans. In addition, I learned about German pop culture thanks to Maxi. This came about due to the fact that one of the primary shareholders in SGL was the richest person in all of Germany. Susanne Klatten, who is also part of one of the most influential families in all of Germany, the Quandt family. I learned from Maxi that the Quandt family are the primary owners of BMW. While also doing my own research about my company SGL, I was able to even find differences between the stock indices in Germany compared to the United States. For example, instead of the Nasdaq, Germany has the MDAX.

After we used our time to prepare for our company presentations, it was finally time to introduce to the rest of the program to SGL. I also got introduced to other companies such as Hirshvogel, Continental, Audi, and Faurecia. I presented to everyone the financial standpoint of SGL such as their stock price, market cap and the primary shareholders of the company. I thought this presentation went well for everyone all around given the time constraints we were under. After every group finished their presentations, all of the students went up to the Mensa (the campus cafeteria) for lunch. This Mensa blows Market Central out of the water. The things I liked most about this cafeteria in comparison to Market was that they had a much more efficient way disposing of waste, there was light coming from outside, and the Mensa had such a wide variety of food. I had some excellent chicken curry for my lunch that I would most definitely appreciate if Market made something like that.

After lunch we took a little tour around the University of Augsburg we began our Augsburg themed scavenger hunt with the University of Augsburg’s graduate business students. They were extremely fun to be around and talk to. An Augsburg graduate student and I had a very in-depth conversation about sneakers like Yeezys and Air Force 1s. On our scavenger hunt around the city, we took the streetcars and walked to places both familiar and new such as the Dom in Augsburg and the Augsburg Football Club stadium which can be seen from the University of Augsburg campus. Our scavenger hunt ended at the Riegele WirtsHaus, where the final clue was in the coolest looking men’s restrooms I have ever seen. Although my team lost the scavenger hunt, I still got a great participation prize that came in the form of a candy. I got to try Kinder Riegel which was my first ever German chocolate bar. I was very impressed by the smoothness of this milk chocolate bar.

After a long day of traveling around the entire city of Augsburg, it was finally dinner time. We went to an Italian restaurant called Dragone where a got a personal pie of Hawaiian pizza and thank goodness, not the pepperoni. What was very different from this Italian place compared to an American restaurant was that pepperoni was not the salami pepperoni us American students were not accustomed to. A pepperoni pizza in this restaurant was a pizza that came with hot peppers. My friends Reid and Nick found this one out the hard way. After dinner, I again felt exhausted and headed straight for bed ready to visit Hirshvogel the next day.

Leave a Reply