Monday morning, I woke up early for breakfast at the hotel, and I tried some eggs, jam on bread and a pretzel, fruit and coffee. Luckily it was a quick walk to the tram stop, because it was pretty cold out, and we were all glad to make it inside a building at the University of Augsburg. We walked to one of the business buildings, and met the German students in our company groups.
I’m in the SGL group with Esme, Eamonn, and Ravi (the Americans), and Keisha, Maxi, and Anna (the Germans). After we all introduced ourselves, we had an hour and a half to research and put together an introductory presentation about SGL. I left my laptop at the hotel, so when I used Keisha’s laptop to make my slide about the different markets SGL makes products for, it was hard to use the German keyboard, since the “Z” and “Y” keys are switched, and some symbols like apostrophes need shift. We kept on getting distracted by talking about differences between our cultures, like how we have sweet soft pretzels with dips, which the German students found strange. Or how none of the German students had given presentations or worked on a team for a grade since before university, versus how much team building has been stressed in my engineering classes in both high school and college. Despite that, I was surprised at how easily we worked together, and how well we were able to relate to each other. During our presentation I talked about the range of products for different markets SGL makes, and I think we put together a pretty decent presentation despite being from different countries and knowing each other for an hour and a half.
We went to lunch at Mensa, the campus cafeteria, and it was definitely way better than Market back at Pitt. It’s so much more well-lit, and you can sit outside when the weather is nice. I tried assorted things from the salad bar, soup, a bread roll, Mezzo Mix soda and some tasty tiramisu. Afterwards we went on a quick tour of the campus led by the grad students who will be studying at Pitt in the fall, and then we split up into two groups for a scavenger hunt competition.
Our group, named the “Ausgang Buckets,” did pretty well, since we were very creative in our recreation of the statue in front of the Dom, and resourceful by asking locals to help us answer questions we were unsure of. My favorite interaction was when we asked a German student waiting for the tram if he could help us, and the student said “Why don’t we just google it?”
After going to the Dom, Rathausplatz, past some bars to more statues, and another church, we went to Riegele Wirtshaus and tried some non-alcoholic beer. I wasn’t a fan of either one, but I think I liked the wheat one better than the “fruity” one. Since we finished the scavenger hunt much earlier than expected, we spent some extra time in the brewery, but sadly the Ausgang Buckets lost the scavenger hunt by a few points. While we ate our consolation German candy we talked to Christina, gave her tips for when she’s living in Pittsburgh, and even asked her questions from the quiz on German culture and history we took while we were still in Pittsburgh.
We met back up with Arielle and Dr. Feick at Dragone, an Italian restaurant for dinner, where I ordered a Hawaiian pizza. I taught Jeff and Nick how to say numbers in German, which they used to order their pizzas. Some students learned the hard way that pepperoni means peppers in German, and out pepperoni in German is salami. After dinner I ironed my dress shirts for our first company visit the next day.
Today I’m starting a section I’ll try to include in all my blog posts from now on, called “Sign or Design of the Day” where I will talk about a sign or design that I found interesting. Today’s featured sign/design is the store front sign for a store called Norma, which I think is a convenience store/supermarket. I like the block letters, the color scheme that surrounds the text, and the proportions of each color. In the US I think that logo designs are often way more complicated than they need to be, and a lot of brands in Germany have the simplistic qualities that I think look better.