Planes and Podcasts

Day 10 in the Netherlands started at VU, a local university based in Amsterdam. While at the university we met two tour guides who took us on a short tour of the campus. The tour was similar to a tour that Pitt would give with quick stops at different hot spots on campus. As with most American Universities the concept is an education on the campus and the consumer is those who are on the tour. That is why tour guides must sell and sold the experience to us as students. This is one big concept of business, how to market a product. In this case the university specially selects students to give tours of the campus as well as offering free merch at times. This along with general upkeep of the university acts as marketing to those who are visiting on your. Although we were there as part of a study abroad program we still had the possibility of applying to study abroad at VU. Personally I would not apply to learn at VU for study abroad but I could still see the value of the school for others. 

The second site visit of the day was Schipol airport which is the main airport for Amsterdam. Specifically we got a tour of the KLM campus at the airport. This was by far the coolest site visit of the whole trip. The group was able to experience a behind the scenes look of how aircraft are maintained. This was something that I have never experienced and assume that not many people have experienced. Throughout our tour we visited KLM’s offices, plane repair/inspection terminals and their engine testing site. Although the weather was rainy it was still an amazing experience. The group was also able to peak into the cargo packing warehouse which leads to the business concept I was able to take way from this visit, the complexity of the supply chain. Throughout the tour it became apparent the complexity of the supply chain because of how many little details that were explained to us. From testing parts to large inspections there are many activities that occur at an airline that allow for goods and services to be transported around the world. If this part of the supply chain were to breakdown then the whole chain would disintegrate. On our tour we were able to walk through a plane that was being gutted and having parts replaced which was a surreal experience. 

To end the day the group was part of a live audience for a sustainable cities podcast in Amsterdam. The experience of being in alive audience was interesting but the panelists seemed to be a bit naive on the state of human nature and forgetful of their not so distant history. One panelist claimed that war was a capitalist symptom as countries destroy stuff only to rebuild it. This Dutch man must have forgotten the joint United States and English invasion of Nazi occupied Holland which was done for the freedom of the Dutch people and downfall of the National Socialist regime not 80 years ago. This in my eyes was not done for capitalist gain but for the common good of the world. One business concept I did take from this, however, is the idea of power. In an organizational behaviors sense those on the panel have expert power as they are referred to and introduced as such. Through this power they are able to make wild claims such as war is waged for capitalist gain. After a long day I hope to get some good sleep. 

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