I started the day with my usually hotel breakfast of coffee, a croissant, and a large plate of fried bacon. Some people find it boring to get into a routine but I am actually a big fan. The fried bacon is what motivates me to get up and get downstairs for breakfast. Afterwards, we headed to Faurecia. This trip was unique because it is our first site visit that is here in Augsburg. Instead of hoping on a private bus and all taking a nap during the trip, we were on the streetcars with dozens of other people making their way around town. Once we arrived, we started with a tour through their testing center. On this tour, it was a lot harder to hear the tour guide than on the previous tours. During our past company visits, we had been given headsets to hear the tour guide speak. However, this time, there was one tour guide and twenty-some visitors with no headsets so I feel like I missed a lot of information. What I found most fascinating was the diagnostic tests being run on the computers. It looked as if the computers were receiving real time information from the testing devices and plotting it on a graph. I guess this really shows my engineering side that I found a graph interesting. The tour was followed by a company presentation, complete with complimentary beverages and pretzels. The presentation was going great until it started to feel more like a sales pitch. Towards the end, the presenter proposed a company program for masters students and encouraged us to apply. It sounded interesting at first until it was stated that it was only for European citizens, which applied to only a few people in the room. I’m not exactly sure what the end-goal of the presentation was, but I know the presenters title was Talent Acquisition Manager.
After leaving Faurecia (many of us in confusion), we headed to the University for lunch and politics lecture.
First, we took a stop at the “university store”. This was rather disappointing. I guess I got my hopes up because I expected more of what we have in America, i.e. hats, jackets, tee-shirts. You name it and an American college makes it and slaps their logo on it. We waked in and realized the selection was very small. Only a few shirts and hats with really no common color scheme. As told by the German students, there is no sports culture associated with the school and that’s where a lot of the apparel comes from. But, anyways, we continued on to the Mensa for lunch. I decided to get the pasta again that I had a few days ago along with chicken with a curry sauce and sparkling water. While I was sitting down sipping on my water, I realized that I actually prefer sparkling water over still. I think it is because I drink a lot of La Croix in America which is just flavored sparkling water. After lunch, we had a lecture on German politics by Sebastian Geβler. It was unique to hear politics from a political worker himself. He was certainly a great source and reliable. Afterwards, I stayed at the university to meet briefly with my presentation group and work on blogs. It was great to start discussing what we all took from our company visit and what content we wanted to include in our presentation. Working on blogs at the university actual gave me a very unique feeling. I was in some study area in one of the business buildings with a few other Pitt students and I got this feeling of being at college. It was as if I was in Hillman Library sitting down with classmates to get work done. And then, to add to that feel, Mattias and Freddie walked out of a class and saw us working and came over to say hello. The interaction was similar to so many that I’ve had at Pitt and this one felt so normal. A few minutes later we packed up our stuff and headed to the tram stop on campus and it was then that I first had this realization.
On the walk to the tram, the group had decided that dinner at Vapiano was the best option. Man, do I love Vapiano. Today I got the calzone stuffed with salami (peperoni in America), mushrooms and cheese. It really filled me up and left me fully satisfied. And, to make the night even better, I took a great nap afterwards which left me refreshed and ready to keep taking on Germany!
Highlight of the Day: Dinner at Vapiano again.
Low of the Day: Lack of campus apparel from the University of Augsburg.