Goodbye Germany! (reflection)

Traveling to Germany was one of the greatest experiences ever. I have learned so much on this trip from business concepts to traveling tips to cultural history. However, one of the greatest parts of the experience was the friendships I made. It is crazy to think that 2 weeks ago I was getting on a plane with 18 other students that I barely knew. At that point, we were still learning each other’s names, but now I can call these people my best friends!

My main two goals for this trip were to make lifelong connections and learn from a new perspective. I can say I accomplished both of these goals. During the company tours, many of the speakers mentioned internships and jobs available abroad. Our guide at GROB specifically mentioned if you brought his name up, you would have a great chance of getting a job there. These are incredible opportunities I was exposed to on this trip and allowed me to build smaller connections with the companies. I also made great connections with the students and professors at the University of Augsburg. I really enjoyed the time we spent with the students. They helped us navigate around the city and I learned so much from them. I got to practice my German and learn a lot about their culture. Some students are even coming to Pittsburgh next semester and I can’t wait for us to be able to show them around our school!

This trip also allowed me to see many concepts from a new perspective. It was really interesting to see the factories and the thought processes behind each company. The current time we are living in, with the shift to e-mobility, is making a huge impact on many of these companies. Most companies make a large profit from parts that are used in gas-powered cars. It was interesting to see a company like Faurecia start investing money towards research in Hydrogen fueled cars when their products are not related to that. Also, most of the companies were on the lower end of the supply chain. As an engineer, I never thought about the beginning of the supply chain. It was interesting to see the large impact they have on the automobile industry, even though they may only make gears for engines.

As I mentioned many times already, this trip has taught me so much. All of our traveling issues on the airplane and trains taught me how to adapt to situations under pressure. The factory tours allowed me to see many engineering concepts in action. The presentations taught me a lot of business concepts that I might have to use in the future. Traveling with a group of random people I just met taught me I can adjust to a new environment on my own. I could keep the list going and talk about the trip forever, but I am sure my parents are ready for me to finally stop. In the end, this trip was an amazing experience, but some things must come to an end. I am going to miss everyone involved in the trip and Germany. I had a great time and hopefully, I will see you all later!

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