May 13th: With our last day for company visits, there was a lot of focus on finishing out the tours strong and also working on presentations for the day.
Starting the day off with a draft pick to separate groups, we went into SGL Carbon taking a lighter note that we have other company tours. I think for most of us, we were ready to have the more serious end of the trip finished and were antsy for the more relaxing days ahead. We started the tour off by hearing an overview of the company, but based on the original presentations, I had a general idea of what they do already. The company created carbon fiber, which is a lighter alternative to resources like steel. This is great for car companies looking for lower weight, but the higher cost is a determinate for deciding to use alternatives to carbon fiber.
What I personally thought was interesting was that two of the people giving speeches had connections to the group already. One of the men had actually done the masters program through the University of Augsburg where he went to Pittsburgh and studied through Katz. Also, one of the other men had known Dr. Feick from the past because he taught him before.
After this we proceed to take a tour of the facilities in the company. Most of the machines I did not understand the purpose, but essentially there were long fibers that stretched a few hundred meters across the factory and went through several different steps. Much like all of the other days, the things that were the most interesting and I payed attention to on the company tour was marketing related. The company had gone through several different branding shifts (four that I could count) where their logo and name was changed. Within the factory, there was not a consistency between what was labeled with the new logo and what was with the old. This was on their machinery, uniforms, and on the shipping packages as well.
When our tour of SGL ended we went back home to the hotel where we met up with our group to work on the group project some more. I wasn’t expecting to be spending so much time working on the project, but after 4 hours of work we had to call it for the day. Since our company tour gave us so little information, we had to do a majority of our presentation through secondary research sources, which were difficult to find as well. With our work done today we were able to finish our research on each of our sections and get a good start on the powerpoint; with work tomorrow we should only have a little bit left to compete before were ready to practice presenting.
Today was Eamonn’s birthday, so the boys went out to dinner as a group and the girls went out to a different restaurant. We went to Enchilada and I got the tacos, which ended up being an amazing meal.
Overall most of the day was spent with a company tour and then directly into working on the project, so it was one of the more exhausting and less fun days. I’m hoping that once we are done presentations the workload will lessen, since I am so drained from the combination of city tours, company visits, and working on the presentation it’s hard to find time to breathe.