May 15th, 2019
Today was the day of our presentations (that are worth 25% of our final grade)! We still had some things to polish up on the presentation, so I got up early to make sure everything was in order. I had a quick breakfast with my team, and we left the hotel for the University of Augsburg.
We met the rest of our team around 10 to go over the presentation. We put some finishing touches on the formatting, corrected any errors, and made sure we had a copy to print and send to Dr. Feick and Arielle. After several run-throughs of the presentation, we felt that we were ready.
Before our presentation, we had to get something to eat since we were all starving. We stopped at the Mensa, and I had a piece of chicken with mushrooms and gravy. They also were serving a very large pastry, which was essentially a large yeast roll with cinnamon and icing. It was fantastic! After we finished eating, we packed up and headed over to the business faculty.
The afternoon was packed with presentations. Faurecia went first, and I thought they did a very good job explaining the company’s complicated situation as a manufacturer of exhaust systems in an industry that is increasingly electrifying. Fortunately, our group presented second (I like to present early). I thought our presentation went well; we had a lot of information to cover, which made it difficult to time it properly. Content-wise, I thought we did a good job analyzing Continental’s present situation in the industry and where they are headed in the future. The next group to present was SGL. Their presentation was very professional and explained how SGL is adapting to produce carbon fiber and other carbon product solutions more cheaply and efficiently. Audi presented next, and I thought their presentation was fantastic. Their analyses of the business and innovation at Audi were not only comprehensive, but presented clearly and concisely. The final group to present was Hirshvogel. Their presentation was great as well; they addressed the company’s strengths and commented about how the company is changing to accommodate electric vehicles that require much more complex parts. Before we knew it, the presentations were finished and it was time for dinner!
The entire group, including the German students, went to the Ratskeller for dinner, which is a restaurant below the town hall in Augsburg. The restaurant was very cool, and it felt authentic. I ordered a dish for dinner that consisted of turkey in a mushroom sauce with Spätzle. It was very heavy and filling, but it was good! I also got to sample some of the Schnitzel, which was supposed to be very good. Brett thought it tasted like a Chicken McNugget (which tastes awesome), and I kind of wished I had gotten that. Matthias was upset with me because I said that I would like to use ketchup on the schnitzel, which is apparently blasphemy to German food.
The Continental group presented Luca, Freddy, and Matthias with their gifts that we had picked up back in Pittsburgh. We gave them each a Pitt t-shirt, and they thought they were very nice. After dinner, we took a group picture before the students broke off to go out for a treat after dinner. I am very thankful to have had the opportunity to work with Luca, Freddy, and Matthias on our project, and I learned a lot from them. Even though the presentations were done, it was a bittersweet feeling to know that our time in Germany is almost over.
Tomorrow, we will be visiting Neuschwanstein Castle after having a traditional Bavarian breakfast of sausage and pretzels. I am excited for the trip so I can brag to my family when we ride Soarin’ in Disney World that I actually got to see the castle in person.
P.S. Car of the day is an Audi RS6 Avant (Euro only).