(5/18/22) I’d like to start this blog off right at midnight. Once I saw the clock strike twelve, I texted one of my brothers “Happy German Birthday”. He is back in the states on Eastern Standard Time, so it was only 6 PM the night before and not his birthday just yet for him. However, I thought it was funny, so I went ahead and did it anyways. I then tried to get a good night’s sleep, as a big day awaited me.
Since our final presentations did not begin until 2 PM, I actually had some time to sleep in (a first for me in almost 2 weeks). I woke up around 9 AM, ate breakfast, and made it to the University around 10 AM to practice my part of the presentation. As a reminder, my company is BMW, and for our presentation, we explored BMW’s slogan of “sheer driving pleasure” and how their image as a luxury sports-car brand will change based off of the automotive market. I had the last part of the presentation, which was exploring BMW’s sustainability initiatives, electric vehicles (EVs), and autonomous driving. I then analyzed how actions by BMW related to these topics will affect that image and that slogan in the future and drew a conclusion for the presentation. Before lunch at 12, the American students in my group (the German students had class :(((() met with another group to practice our presentations and provide feedback. I think that this was very helpful for the both of our groups, for we were able to get in that presenting-mode and point out any spots for potential questions.
At 12, everyone met at the University dining hall, called the Mensa, for lunch. I’ll say it over and over again: Pitt Eats needs to talk to the University of Augsburg, because the Mensa was far better than our dining hall. I got some good food into my system and was fueled up for the presentation. To start, Korbinian, the German TA helping out with the program, randomly chose the order. My group got the third position out of 5, so, while I didn’t get to go first and get it out of the way, I didn’t have to go last. I must say, all of the other presentations were fantastic. Each group was very thorough and gave detailed recommendations and predictions for the future of their company. I really do feel like I learned some great information about these specific companies. When it was my group’s turn to go, I bottled up my stress and nerves and tried to stand up there with confidence. Attempting to ignore the stress, I listened to each of my group members thoroughly and was proud of what we put together in such little time. I had the last part, and when it came time for me to present, the five-minute warning was already given. I feel like I talked at the speed of light, but I said everything that I wanted to say. After our presentation and questions were over, a giant wave of relief rushed over me. While I was glad to be done, I really do feel like this was a wonderful experience that taught me the basics of market analysis, something that I, as an engineering major, did not know about.
After the presentations, we had our goodbye dinner with the Augsburg students and staff. I have to admit, I was really sad to say goodbye to them. With this being my first time out of the country, I had no idea what to expect. These German students welcomed us with open arms and minds, and I could not be more grateful for that. I will most definitely miss them.