By Rebecca Bykoski
February 28th, 2014 was the date that marked the first time my feet touched European soil! As anyone who was in attendance on the trip to Germany can attest, it was a world-class experience.
We toured over most of southern Germany, beginning in Frankfurt, then spent a day in historic Heidelberg before traveling to Darmstadt and Stuttgart, and ending our Germanic journey in Cologne. We were fortunate enough to be welcomed by many businesses and organizations such as Bayer, the European Central Bank, and Kreissparkasse to see how sustainability is incorporated into their operations and had the unique opportunity to visit Passivhaus, which illustrated how simple it can be to achieve energy efficiency not only in homes, but in businesses as well.
In addition to our business visits, we were taken on personal tours through both Frankfurt and Cologne where we marveled at castles, Roman ruins, and some of the most beautiful churches I have ever seen.
The high points of my trip: The Dom in Cologne, the most majestic structure I have ever had the opportunity to be inside, the trailblazing hike with one of my classmates halfway up a mountain to reach a lookout tower thousands of years old, and the many memories and deep bonds that were formed with my amazing friends and professors.
I thank you, Duquesne University, for this life-changing experience, and I send a personal thanks to Dr. Drake and Professor Nist who took time away from their families and lives to enrich not only our educational experience, but our lives. For them, I am eternally grateful. And, lastly, I cannot wait to return to Europe!
(Rebecca is one of many students who enjoyed their first trip to Europe thanks to the MBA Sustainability program. An experience of a lifetime).