By Matt Lepri
During the week-long tour of the western Germany with the Duquesne SMBA program, I had the opportunity to try a variety of traditional German food. I attempted to document most of the delicious local cuisines of Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Heidelberg, and Cologne so that the pictures of food and drink would help me remember my great experience.
By Catherine Papp
Our visit to FOM in Cologne perfectly coincided with our topics of study so far in the program. We were honored to have Malgorzate Zmuda of the Krakow University of Economics present her thesis about competition at a macro level and whether or not countries compete similarly to multinational companies on a global scale. This of course sparked lively conversation and debate, making us pause to reconsider what competitiveness means and if it even makes sense in economic theory. One of the questions she posed for us that I’m still pondering is, if there are no winners and losers in trade (comparative advantage for you econ nerds like me), then why compete? Next, Professor Dr. Linda O’Riordan captured our interest with a presentation about research being conducted by the Competence Center for Corporate Social Responsibility at FOM. Many of the concepts were very similar to what we’re learning in the program; in order to move beyond a one-dimension value-creation process, businesses must create new models. When profit is the driver for businesses, external costs are not accounted for. Instead, connecting values with value, specifically shared value, will increase employee motivation, productivity, and innovation. With this model, profit is the result, not the driver. Lastly, Professor Dr. Piotr Zmuda presented us with a useful framework for implementing CSR programs in companies.
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).
Personally, our visit to Bayer at the CHEMPARK in Leverkusen was one of the trip highlights. A few years ago, I had the opportunity to intern at Bayer’s US headquarter in Pittsburgh; therefore, visiting the headquarters in Germany is something that I will never forget.
Our visit to Bayer included a tour of BayKomm and the CHEMPARK. BayKomm, also known as the Bayer Communication Center, is home to both a student laboratory as well as a exhibition rooms. A guide took us through various exhibition rooms to allow our group to learn more about the three business units: Bayer CropScience, Bayer MaterialScience, and Bayer HealthCare. CHEMPARK, an industrial park, is home to Bayer and a variety of other companies. CHEMPARK brings people andsectors together to exchange expertise, to look to the future or simply to do business.
The afternoon closed with a wonderful lunch at “The Casino”, Bayer’s on-campus restaurant.