Day 10: Networking and Nicosia

Today, the start was nice and late at 11 so we decided to get up and go to a crepe place near by. However, when we got there it was closed because it turns out it opens at 4pm. Instead, we just went to a coffee place next door for coffee and pastries. 

Then, we met everyone at the hotel and got on the bus to go to PricewaterhouseCoopers. It was the shortest bus ride yet; I think it took like 10 minutes. We got there about 30 minutes early so we had time to get some coffee or just chill beforehand. They had a barista who was making all kinds of coffee drinks. The space that the event was in was actually really cool. They had a stage on one end that had holograms projected on to it and there were yoga balls in front of it to sit on instead of just regular seats. The event started with a couple of speakers just introducing PWC and outlining the plan for the day. 

Elena on a yoga ball at PWC

The first true speaker was zooming in from Germany. He talked about a study that they had done of many different industries and how well each uses technology, specifically AI, in their supply chains.  Something that I found interesting was that the top two industries were automotive and semiconductors while engineering was second to last. By including AI in their supply chain, companies can make decisions faster. Instead of having to ask your boss every time you want to make a decision, the AI can make it for your after it has been programed for your goals. AI can help to optimized supply chains and minimize costs. 

The next speaker was from a Cyprian home improvement store called Superhome. It is kind of Cyprus’ version of Ikea. He gave us an overview of the company and talked about how COVID effected the company. COVID caused them to start a website which they have continued to run which has helped increase their sales. 

After this speaker, there were a few different stations that we could walk around to and talk to various people from PWC. I started at the Blockchain station because I wanted to learn more about it but, after I introduced myself, the person running the station called someone over to talk to me who had similar interests. I ended up talking to him for the whole time. His story was really interesting. He started as an architect but he ended up not liking it because he wanted to do more and make more changes in the world. Instead of just building a building, he wanted to create buildings that are bio-based or that can help the environment. He was all about thinking of wild ideas and then just getting people to think about them. Even if the original idea is not plausible, just thinking about it might lead to another solution. I told him about how I wanted to do engineering and business which he thought was a good idea because it will give me a wider view rather than just the science side. He was really interesting person to talk to and I am really happy that I got to hear his insight. Once networking was over, we took the short bus ride back to the hotel. 

When we got back, we had a few hours of free time in which we first went to a Cyprian history museum near the hotel. It was really cool because they had so many things from across the entire history of Cyprus. I really liked looking at the ancient ceramics. Then, we got some late lunch at a local street food place that recommended to us yesterday. The food was absolutely amazing and I wish we had found out about it earlier because I would have eaten there so many times. After lunch, we went to the observatory. The observatory is the tallest building in the Old City and you can see all of Nicosia. It was really to see how big the city actually is because when we are walking around it doesn’t feel that big. You could also see the Turkish side of Nicosia which was really interesting. After the observatory, I went back to the room and took a nap.

Some ceramics from the museum
View of one side of Nicosia

Finally, we had our group farewell dinner. It was really good once again but it was a little bitter sweet. Since we have to get up so early on Friday, tonight is kind of our last night in the city which is really sad. However, tomorrow two of our company visits got cancelled so we are getting a few more hours of beach time which is really exciting. Although I thought it would be interesting to go to Exxon Mobil, I do love the Cyprus beaches. 

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