Rome Day 2 and 3

Our final site visit of the trip was a short bus ride away to Johnson and Johnson Medical S.p.A.

J&J had a nice breakfast followed by a well-prepared presentation. We heard about J&J in the world, as well as the Medical SpA Italy component. After a short break, we also heard from some partner companies of J&J, including: ETHICON Energy, ASP, DePuy Synthes Codman Neuro, and Biosense Webster. It was a day packed with information, and an all-around good final site visit.

Later in the evening, the group went out to a final dinner together. We went to a nice Italian place for dinner (when in Rome…).

The academic portion of the trip is officially over, and Friday was a day entirely free to enjoy Rome (or to cram all of your assignments in if you procrastinated). Professor Fusting and I visited the Vatican and a few other sites. The students went all-over-the-place.

Early morning tomorrow, most of us head back to the U.S. This has been a fantastic trip, and we are all sad it is coming to an end.

This will be my last blog post of the trip. I would like to thank everyone who was been following along. Hope to see you next year!

Here are some final pictures of the trip: http://imgur.com/a/IEogi

Rome Day 1

We started at 9am this morning and went straight to the metro. We all miss our cozy bus…

Nine stops and several blocks later, we arrived at the ICE-Italian Trade Commission. This agency promotes the internationalization of Italian companies– they really push the “Made in Italy” brand, and define what that means around the world. They emphasized the 3 F’s of Italy: Fashion, Food, and Furniture. We have visited a fashion company (Frau), and experienced the food first hand– they are definitely promoting a good product!

This was our first government agency visit; it lacked the bells and whistles of some of the other visits, but had surprisingly interesting content.

After the visit, we dispersed and went to lunch or started to sight-see. A little bit into lunch, thunderstorms rolled into the area. We also had some thunderstorms this evening. The rest of the week looks more promising, weather-wise.

Only a couple pictures today because of the fairly short/simple site-visit and the weather. Many more to come: http://imgur.com/a/TUnMY

Travel Day: Verona to Rome

Who’s excited for an 8 hour bus ride? We are!

We left at 8:15 this morning to travel to Masi, an Italian wine company. Masi gave us a nice tour of their wine cellar and wine creation process. Afterwards, they gave us a marketing presentation which described the struggles of creating a standout brand within a very unique group of people: wine drinkers. Their primary focus is to sell higher-end wines to consumers for special occasions, and to restaurants. The individual who “goes to the store to buy a $12 bottle of wine” probably won’t be choosing Masi. Masi operates globally and if you are a wine drinker, chances are you have heard of them!

No wine company tour would be complete without a wine tasting. We tasted a white wine, and two red wines (all ranging from 2006-2012). All were very tasty– but then again, I know nothing about wine (except what we learned today!). Masi was very generous and gave each student a book titled “Amarone: The Making of an Italian Wine Phenomenon.”

After the Masi tour, we embarked on an 8 hour journey to Rome. Italian regulations force the bus driver to take a 15 minute break every 2 hours, so we were stopping quite a bit. We did make it in one piece, said goodbye to our driver Franco, and checked into the hotel around 8:30.

Here are some pictures from the day: http://imgur.com/a/WlVx7

Verona Day 2

Frau was on the agenda today. Frau is an Italian shoe-making company based out of Verona. They are a small-to-medium sized business that specializes in making top-end working/lounging shoes (everything but “night life footwear”). Apparently Italians are known for their leather and footwear products, among other products.

The Frau tour was pretty neat. Everything in the factory is hand made (but they aren’t afraid to use some technology). Each person specializes in a particular part of the shoe, and we saw them from fabric to full-functional-shoe.

After the tour, the students went shopping at the Frau store; if you have been following this blog the past few days and know someone on the trip, I think you now have heightened expectations for souvenirs.

The afternoon was free to enjoy Verona. Around 6pm, we had a mini-iPad-training-session, and at 6:30 the whole group was off to dinner. We met some students from the University of Illonois for dinner. We went to a pizza place in an old church. Everything was quite good!

After dinner, the leaders (and Franco!) went out for coffee near the arena. There was an FC Verona rally going on in the arena tonight; this was a slightly different crowd than the night before.

Pictures from the day can be seen here: http://imgur.com/a/7EMX5

Verona Day 1

We left Innsbruck this morning and were headed only “One Direction”: towards Verona. Which direction was that you might ask? North? South? East? West? None of the above actually.

We arrived in Verona around noon, and were surprised by a massive amount of people everywhere. We headed downtown to discover the band One Direction was playing.

The city was packed with fans waiting for the 8pm show. We grabbed lunch while avoiding the crowd, and while waiting for our walking tour to begin. It was a nice sunny day… until it wasn’t…

After lunch and just before starting the walking tour, rain began to pour. Students ran and bought ponchos, and our tour was ultimately cancelled.

Later in the night, the weather cleared up and everyone was out and about.

Here are some pictures from the day: http://imgur.com/a/aX4d0

Innsbruck Day 2 and 3

The second day of Innsbruck started with a visit to Swarovski Crystal. Swarovski gave us a presentation about their business in general, and then a tour of the history of Swarovski. Afterwards, we went to a Swarovski Crystal World– a museum of sorts. The tour ended in the shop, where the students shopped their hearts out (Swarovski did just fine!).

The afternoon was free to enjoy the city. At 7:30, we started on a lantern hike. The lantern hike was a ~30 minute or so hike up one of the nearby mountains. At the end of the hike was a restaurant with yodelers awaiting us. The yodelers made everyone in the group yodel, and even dance (yes, including Professor Fusting). The whole event was quite crazy! After the eating, singing, and dancing, we headed back down the mountain. The way back was pitch black, so we had lanterns to guide our path (hence the name of the hike).

Day 3 of Innsbruck was a free day to enjoy the city. All of the students went canyoning, while Professor Klink chose to run, and Professor Fusting, our driver Franco, and myself chose to take the lift to the top of the mountain. The top of the mountain was an amazing experience; the view was outstanding! We ended the day with a nice dinner, and are prepared to leave for Verona tomorrow morning.

This blog has run out of space for pictures, so pictures related to this post can be found here: http://imgur.com/a/vBR0x

Innsbruck Day 1

Busy day today, but productive. We departed early morning for Innsbruck. First stop: Riedel Glassworks in Kufstein.

Riedel manufactures premier hand blown glassware. Frederique took us on a tour of the company, including where all the action happens. It as amazingly hot in there– hot enough to melt glass…

After the tour and gift shop, we left Riedel and ventured towards our hotel in Innsbruck. Before checking in, we gathered in a conference room and the Innsbruck Tourist Board presented. The Innsbruck Tourist Board spoke about their marketing strategies aimed at bringing tourists to Innsbruck. The students were engaged in the presentation, and especially enjoyed the videos of the attractions: skydiving, whitewater rafting, canyoning and paragliding.

 

 

Munich Day 3

Today, we ventured out much earlier than on Tuesday: 9:15 instead of 9:30! Our destination? Adobe Systems (you have probably heard of them!).

There was an excellent presentation by some student workers that currently are stationed at the Adobe office in Munich (although they rotate every 3 months to a different Adobe office!). The presentation covered everything from an overview of Munich, to Adobe’s products, to their marketing strategies.

Overall, the presentation was well put-together and enjoyable. The students (both Loyola and Adobe) were engaged in productive conversation throughout. Did I mention they treated us to an excellent lunch??

After visiting Adobe, the afternoon was free to explore Munich. During this time, many of the students went out into the city to see some of the sights.

Here are some pictures from the day. The last one is for all of my fellow “Game of Thrones” geeks:

Munich Day 1 and 2

We arrived in Munich yesterday afternoon. While fighting jet lag, we made it around the city and to a couple of churches. Ended up going to a nice authentic German restaurant for dinner. At the end of the day, everyone finally got to catch up on much needed sleep!

Today, we went to the BMW museum instead of touring the BMW factory (they had to cancel). The museum was an excellent alternative! It was fascinating to see the history of BMW from its origins to current production line. The students seemed to really enjoy the BMW factory, and many were diligently taking notes/pictures on their iPads.

After the BMW museum, we headed out to Dachau. Dachau was the original concentration camp founded during WWII. It was a very powerful place to visit, and you could sense deep reflection among the students as they walked the grounds.

MK348: Ready to Go! – 2013

Pat is unable to attend the trip this year, so I will be going in his place. Who am I? Nick Velich from Technology Services of course! Let’s pick up right where Pat left off:

iPads have been distributed and we are ready to go! Two days remain before heading out to Munich, Innsbruck, Verona and Rome. The students have had little trouble so far with getting their iPads ready for the trip; hopefully that is a good sign for things to come.

There were a few last minute changes in trip agenda. First, we will no longer be touring the BMW factory, and will instead visit the BMW Welt Museum. Second, we will be attempting to replace a visit to SKIN with a visit to ICE Italian Trade Commission.

Anyway, it’s time to start packing…