An update from Parth, who traveled to Europe with the Cox Global Leadership Program:
Packed my bags and left for Europe. We will be visiting Frankfurt, Bratislava and London. I am going to talk about the escapades in Frankfurt. The first day in Frankfurt was supposed to be used to rest and get over jetlag, but I wanted to try some German food and experience the local culture. I set off walking around Frankfurt without an agenda. All the people were suited up; I felt so underdressed. I stood in line to grab some local food, which I was craving, and had the same stuff that two people ordered before me. I learned that Germans eat a lot of sausages.
The second day we visited Boehringer Ingelheim, a pharma company that is privately owned. We learned a lot about German work culture and the pharma industry. They are direct with communication, which some interpret as rude, but trust me, they are not.
The evening was special, SMU arranged a bus ride for us to go visit Heidelberg. Later into the night we left to explore the clubs in Frankfurt. However, we were denied entry to a club because we were not suited up, how un-American. But that didn’t spoil our night.
The third day we visited European Central Bank, Deutsche Bourse and Jones Day. ECB was really informative – the most important lesson was that Greece will have to undergo massive budget cuts, and a default is not probable. Just putting it out in case someone wants to buy Greek bonds.
Next we visited Deutsche Bourse and we also got to walk on the trading floor – it was such an experience. This is the only exchange that manages an active trading floor. Jones Day has a few SMU alumni and they were very courteous, and they also help set up a few company visits.
The fourth day was special for me because we visited Kuehne+Nagel, a logistics and warehousing company. I worked on an SAP project for DuPont warehouse, and watching a warehouse in action was amazing.
For people visiting Frankfurt: Pack a few suits, be prepared to have lots of sausages, do not expect people to speak fluent English or smile at you as you cross paths. Business-wise do not try to be too funny, and be on time. And yes – try the wheat beer.