Thursday, May 14, 2009

We have completed all of our company visits!!!

It was a very packed week with 3 company visits in 3 consecutive days.

We started with Eurocopter. Our bus was a bit late, so we were a little late arriving to Eurocopter; however, once we arrived we got a great presentation with multiple questions from students, a very informative tour of the production floor, and Eurocopter even treated us to lunch. Eurocopter is the leader in civil helicopter production and is working very hard to remain number one in that sector. Eurocopter has not been hit as hard by the economic downturn, but it still has to work to maintain its customer relations and increase sales.

Riegele was a highlight for the students. We went through the entire facility and were exposed to extreme temperatures both hot and cold, but the students were right with our guide asking questions the whole time and we were rewarded with a great dinner at the end of the tour.

We completed our company visits this morning at Fujitsu facility in Augsburg. We got a great presentation on Lead Users and the advantages of open innovation. Fujitsu is making the push to think on a global level but be able to serve its customers locally. The students were also able to tours the production facilities as well as the lab testing facilities. Fujitsu also treated us to a very nice lunch.

The students are working to put together 15 to 20 minute presentations in cooperation with the German students they have been working with throughout our two weeks in Germany.

We are all looking forward to their presentations, which will provide the basis for their final papers and presentations back in Pittsburgh in September.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Neuschwanstein Castle and Nurnberg, Eurocopter company visit tomorrow

We made the approximately 2 hour bus ride out to the Alps and Neuschwanstein castle. We had a great lunch at an outdoor cafe with a view of the Alps.

The walk up the mountain to the castle is a bit difficult, but it is well worth it for the views from the castle and from the bridge that overlooks the castle and a waterfall. It was definately a great day for the students, sunny and warm.

We woke up nice and early for the 9:15 train to Nurnberg this morning. We saw the sites around the city and had a very nice lunch.

We are off to Eurocopter tomorrow, we have 3 company visits this week and some lectures, so it is going to be a very busy week.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Munich Bike tour and Dachau

We had an amazing bike tour around Munich, we were able to see almost the entire city during our 3 and a half hour tour.

It was slow going at first, but with tandum bikes and a really really great biking tour guide we were able to bike through the whole city. It was a beautiful sunny day in Munich.

The weather continued to be great today for our tour of the concentration camp at Dachau. It was a very sombering experience to go through the camp, but we had an extremely knowledgable guide and the students learned a great deal from the experience.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Company visit to AUDI

We all woke up nice and early this morning to take the hour and a half bus ride to Audi's headquarters in Ingolstadt, Germany.

We had a really great tour of the production floor, and then a nice lunch at the Audi cafeteria frequented by customers that come to Ingolstadt to personally pick up their new Audis.

All of the students asked great questions at our meeting with one of their marketing executives.

We finished the day with a tour of the Audi museum.

I think all of the students had good time and learned a lot.

We are off to Munich and the bike tour tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Trip 1 to Munich today, Audi tomorrow

We took our first trip to Munich, we went to the Deutsches Museum, walked around the city and capped off the day with a really great dinner at a Bavarian restaurant.

We are off to our first company visit to Audi tomorrow! We are leaving bright and early at 7:30 AM.

Monday, May 4, 2009

University of Augsburg Day

We took our first trip to the University of Augsburg today and had some good discussions and lectures on the University, Germany, and Germans.

We are going to try some German sausages today and do a fun tour around Augsburg.