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Hamburg

Katie Menning
Sunday, May 25, 2014

Today we took a train to Hamburg Germany. We started off our day in Hamburg by walking to the Ratthaus, also known as city hall. From there we hopped on a double decker bus that toured the city. We learned that the Port of Hamburg and some of the town was destroyed during World War Two. This required Hamburg to rebuild the entire port after the war. We were able to take an hour boat tour of the port. The Port of Hamburg is the largest port in Germany and home for many container ships. We were able to see many of the container ships being loaded and unloaded. Our guide only spoke German but by the looks of it, millions of dollars of goods are loaded and unloaded here.

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Combining what we saw and what I’ve learned in my classes; one container ship takes a tremendous amount of work and coordination to load/unload. We saw at least eight container ships in the port and there were still many docks empty. Not only did the port house container ships but it also housed cruise ships and had dry docks for boat repairs. This brings a large amount of jobs and money into the city.

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The city also has one of the large train stations in Germany. It appeared that many people traveled to the city for the weekend. It is the biggest we saw in Germany and seemed to have the most diverse culture. In the train station and throughout the city we saw many American-based company’s such as: McDonalds, Claire’s, Apple, Pizza Hut, Subway, Delmonte, Dole, Starbucks, H&M, Adidas, Nike, and Exon Mobil. On the boat tour we saw million dollar houses along the lake as well as many homeless people. The city has at least seven old churches and cathedrals in the inner city (with spires visible from just about anywhere in the city) and very modern architecture by the water. Our bus tour guide mentioned how many visitors to the city spent less than 24 hours there and on average spend 100€ a person.  The city appears to benefit very much from tourism.  For many of the students, this was the first port we’ve ever seen. It has helped us see how much work goes into importing and transporting goods. I would image that only a small amount of the goods that come into the port stay in Hamburg, many get transported to other cities in Germany and around the world.

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Overall it was a very educational trip. We also were able to enjoy the beautiful weather and sights of the city.

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Cloppenburg – Bremen

Rebecca Lamb
Saturday, May 24, 2014

To complete the Planes, Trains, and Automobiles portion of our trip, we boarded a train early this morning for a visit to the city of Cloppenburg, Germany. Cloppenburg is a fairly small city, however it is home to the Cloppenburg museum: an outdoor collection of historic buildings from the nearby area, reassembled within the city. The museum has over 50 buildings, including a few windmills and a bakery building that makes and sells fresh bread throughout the day.

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After our time in Cloppenburg, we hopped back on the train and made our way to Bremen. Many people may recognize the name of the city as part of “The Town Musicians of Bremen,” a fairy tale about a traveling donkey, dog, cat, and rooster made famous by the Grimm brothers. The city highlights the story by including a statue of the animals and visitors are encouraged to rub the donkey’s nose or feet for good luck.

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The city center of Bremen is truly a sight to be seen, with a gothic style cathedral, beautiful town hall, and numerous outdoor cafés and shops.

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After taking advantage of some photo opportunities and completing a brief tour of the city center, we broke into smaller groups to enjoy the attractions. The shopping area of Bremen is known for its small shops and even smaller alleyways. Although some of the alleyways were quite tight, we managed to make it through without any problems!

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In the end, the group successfully navigated an early departure, short train connections, and intermittent rain throughout the day, arriving back to the hotel around 10pm. We were all tired but pleased from an exciting day touring two of northern Germany’s picturesque towns.

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Claas

Liz Reybrock
Friday, May 23, 2014

Today we woke up early and were very excited about the breakfast in this hotel. We were told that it was a lot more exquisite than the one in Amsterdam. It definitely lived up to its expectation. There was an assortment of dark bread, cereals, fruits, drinks, eggs, and meat. It was very delicious.

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Next, we got on a bus and headed to Claas, a corporation specializing in manufacturing agricultural machines such as tractors and harvesters. The bus ride was about 40 minutes and we got to look at the German landscapes and the beautiful views.

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When we arrived at Claas, we were welcomed by a few gentlemen and one woman. We looked around at some of their products in the showroom and then were given safety vests, ear phones, and listening radios. After that, we were split up into two groups and given a tour of the plant. It was a massive facility of 600 meters with bicycles used by employees to navigate around the facility. It was very interesting to see the differences between U.S. companies and the companies here. For example, safety regulations are much different. In the facility there were very few workers wearing eye protection and none were wearing ear plugs. We asked our guides many questions about Human Resources related materials, and this was also a difference. Germany has a law of a 35 hour work week, while Claas allows a 35 hour work week with an option of 15 hours per week unpaid but which can be used later for paid holidays.  We learned that German workers, unlike those in the U.S., are entitled to workers’ compensation only if it is found that the employer was at fault.  The last interesting fact about the plant was that there was designated smoking facilities for employees to go during their shift and smoke. It seemed like a hazard, but it must be okay here as they see smoking differently.

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After the walk through the plant, we were brought to a room to watch a short video and listen to a presentation by a gentlemen who worked for Claas in Omaha, Nebraska. When we left the company, we were given a gift bag with gummy tractors, energizing candy, and some information about the company.

Following the company tour, we drove the bus to Hocgschule Osnabruck, the University of Applied Sciences. We ate lunch and then went into a classroom and had presentations. We listened to a few hours of information on the recent Europe crisis and how Europe is integrating to become a union.

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We walked back to our hotel and took some pictures with the beautiful buildings and scenery in the city of Osnabruck. This evening, we are invited to go out to dinner with some of the German students.

Osnabrück

Heather Wolf
Thursday, May 22, 2014

Today was the day we started our venture to country number two, Germany. But first, a stop at the Netherlands’ largest small cheese producer, Henri Willig farm. This farm gets about 1 million visitors a year. Once we got to the farm we were taken into a room where we were showed machines they use to make the cheese. These machines have become a lot more automated which allows for more quantity of cheese to be produced while still maintaining the quality of cheese. Henri’s farm has two factories, with one of them using about 40,000 liters of milk a day! The cheese only sits on the factory shelf for 3 weeks and then the cheese is considered naturally matured and ready to be sold. Due to the popularity of these cheeses, Henri now has opened a shop called Cheese & More by Henri Willig, increasing his market. We were able to try multiple cheeses, with cow milk, goat milk, and sheep milk being used in them.

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We boarded the bus for a 4 hour bus ride to Osnabrück and our last trip with our tour guide Simon, who we all came to enjoy stories and information from! Hopefully the next tour guide is just as fun!

We arrived in Osnabrück and the hotel is paradise compared to what we resided in while in Amsterdam! We had some free time to relax, get a bite to eat, and check out the town. Later in the night we had a tour scheduled where we were told about the history of the night watchmen in Germany, taken through two towers that held prisoners; one for the rich and one for the poor and witches, and then we climbed 190 steps to the top of a tower which is part of the St. Mary’s Church.

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I am Amsterdam

Marie Kroehn
Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Today we started off with a delicious breakfast at the hotel. There were many more options than a normal American hotel breakfast but the quality of the food was also much better. We then walked to the Van Gogh museum and got to see many of his paintings. It was very cool to see his earlier styles from school as they are darkly colored and more of people. His later work was very cool to see too, we got to see the famous sunflower painting. He also did a self portrait from when he first started school for art which was again very dark, and then a later one of the exact same pose that was much brighter. We learned that Van Gogh mixed his own paints in the early years but later paints were available to purchase and artists had a wider palette of colors. We also learned that Van Gogh only painted for about 10 years before he died.

After the Van Gogh museum we walked to an “I am Amsterdam” sign and took a group picture. Then we had a three course meal of soup, open face sandwiches, and a dessert. It was very good and different then the food we are used to eating. The meat was thinly sliced salmon or beef, almost raw.

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After lunch we went to see where the Gassen diamond Arecibo. We were given a tour of the place and allowed to see them cutting all of the different diamonds. They were so shiny. We also learned about the 4 C’s of diamonds: carat, color, cut, clarity. We were able to see a 2-carat diamond worth 40,000 euros. It was that expensive because of the clarity, it was perfectly clear. Only a few people bought watches as most of the items were very expensive. After that we stopped at a gift shop to pick up tourist items.

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Next we went on a tour of Heineken, which was very cool. We got to see how the beer was made interactively through a 4D tour. Then we learned how to properly drink a beer and that the foam is good because it help keeps the beer fresh longer. We then all got a coupon for two free beers and a free gift of a Heineken glass that we picked up at another locationwith a large Heineken gift shop..

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After the tour, we broke off into smaller groups to get our own to get dinner and do what we wanted. One group got pizza and ice cream and came back to the hotel to hang out. Another group got Chinese and went to see the red light district in the dark. Over all it was a fun and tiring day. We are sad to leave Amsterdam in the morning, but excited for the next stop on our trip.

Anne Frank Museum

Kelsley Kolb
Tuesday, May 20, 2014

One of the activities we did was walk to see the Anne Frank Museum.  We noticed it on our coat canal tour and were really interested in seeing it. We had to wait in line because they only allow so many people in the museum at once.  The museum was actually part of the Annex where the Frank family hid out until they were discovered. The museum was filled with books, journals, and notes from the Frank family.  We were allowed to walk through each room that they hid in.  Within each room was a display of who stayed in each room and what it was used for.  Later on in the tour, we were told what happened to each of the Franks after they were discovered. Otto Frank was the only one that survived, and Anne died only a month before the United States came to free all of the individuals from concentration camps.

After the Anne Frank Museum we headed back to the hotel to check in.  Needless to say, everyone was beyond happy to have some time to relax after the long flight and morning. We had to meet back in the lobby by 5:30 PM to meet Simon and the group r to go out for dinner.  Everyone seemed to be rested.  Simon took us to a restaurant called Restaurant Haesje Claes. We ate a three course meal starting with salad followed by salmon and dessert.  After a long day of traveling this meal was much needed and put everyone in a better mood.

Restaurant Haesje Claes

We continued to tour Amsterdam and even made our way to the Red Light District.  We went a little earlier in the evening, so the festivities had not quite began, but it sure is different from the United States. Bikes have the right away no matter what.  There are more bicycle accidents in Amsterdam than anything else. Instead of having to look both ways for vehicles, we need to look both ways for bikes and mopeds!

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We saw a lot of different architecture in the first day. We cannot wait to see what the rest of the trip has in store for us!

Amsterdam

Shelby Smykal
Monday, May 19, 2014

After picking up our bags from the airport, we met our guide for our stay in Amsterdam. His name was Simon and had set up a bus to take us to Hotel de Filosoof. Since our rooms weren’t ready, we dropped off our bags and headed out for the day. Our first stop was a nice little park where Simon gave us our maps and transit card that we would use for the next two days. After we were ready to take the tram we headed to a huge square where the King’s Palace is located.

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 This is where the King lives while in Amsterdam. He was not in residence now but they do occasionally have meetings there. In front of the palace was a man dressed up as the grim reaper but in order to take a picture you needed to pay. From there we walked to exchange some of our money because it can be a hassle during the week. The exchange rate is about .71 euros to every dollar. Often times the rate is better in Europe than in the U.S.  Once we were done exchanging money we all took a boat tour of the canal.

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There we were able to see the oldest Protestant church in Amsterdam and learned that their water is actually fresh water. Another great thing about getting around with a ferry is that it is actually free for them. Even with all this walking already we were all ready to see the Anne Frank museum which will be talked about in the next post!

Oshkosh to Chicago to Amsterdam

Brooke Maguire
Monday, May 19, 2014

The European Business Travel Seminar group started traveling at 9:30am this morning from Oshkosh to Chicago. The bus ride down to O’Hare was an adventure in itself. Not sure how it felt in the front of the bus, but in the back it felt like the driver thought we were in a NASCAR race; a little crazy but what a great way to start out an unforgettable trip. I was able to get a really nice picture of everyone near the bus grabbing our bags at the airport.

Unloading the school bus at O'Hare.

Unloading the school bus at O’Hare.

All of us made it through security and had a great time getting to know one another while waiting to board the plane. Once 4:00pm rolled around, we were all getting anxious to board the plane. After sitting down in my seat, it finally felt real. We are on our way to Europe!!!

Window view flying to Amsterdam

Window view flying to Amsterdam

The plane ride wasn’t bad at all. We were able to get complimentary drinks (soda, juice, water, wine, and beer) and almonds. About an hour later, we received dinner and had the choices of pasta or beef. Everyone in my row had pasta and we all agreed it was delicious for plane food! After eating dinner, most of us slept until breakfast was served. Within an hour, we were finally in Amsterdam and the beginning of our European adventure was about to finally start.

Internship Spotlight: Jessica Miller, Pinnacle Machine LLC

 

Jessica Miller, Human Resource Major

Jessica Miller, Human Resource Major

 

Company Overview

Currently I am a proud intern at Pinnacle Machine LLC located in Appleton Wisconsin. I work as a Human Resource Manager. This consists of aiding employees with any needs they may have from benefits to scheduling conflicts, designing and implementing recruitment and evaluation processes, modifying the handbook, and overall helping in the development of a Human Resource department for the first time.

Pinnacle Machine began production in 1993 as a small three man shop, including owner Don Miller. Since that time they have grown steadily into a forty-five plus employee operation. Pinnacle Machine specializes in using exotic materials in the engineering, designing and creating of various metal products; a major market being tha

t of hydro plants. Thirty machines varying from mills to lathes to CNCs produce products such as pumps, casings, shafts, and impellers. Pinnacle Machines products may be found around the local Fox Valley area, throughout the United States, and in a few other countries. Pinnacle Machine continues to become a key player in the machining industry and has recently began the acquisition of another plant which will double the size of the organization.

 

Obtaining my internship

Previous to being offered the internship at Pinnacle Machine I had worked as an employee for five years doing basic reception work. In that time I developed strong relationships with my supervisors and co-workers, making them aware of my studies and progress throughout my college career. I had discussed with the owner, of whom I often did secretary work for, about the benefits of developing a Human Resource department, especially given the growth planned for the near future. Shortly thereafter I was called into a private meeting with him and two of my other supervisors. At first, I was nervous that I overstepped my boundaries suggesting such a change as a whole additional department; after all I was there to answer phones, not give advice to a man who built a company from scratch before I was even walking. My fears subsided when upon walking into the room he smiled and asked if I was up for a challenge, knowing I was looking for an internship for school; he offered me the opportunity to head in the development of the beginning of a Human Resource department, given I could demonstrate it was beneficial. Needless to say, I jumped at the opportunity as I was already a member of the Pinnacle team and culture, and shortly after began the development of the department to the best of my ability; with him and other management mentoring and supporting my knowledge on the subject.

 

What I learned

I am forever grateful for the opportunity given to me by Pinnacle Machine and its management team, as it has taught me so much about myself, my career choice, and what I can expect as a business professional. I have learned that I can be confident in the education I am receiving as it truly does assist in my daily duties. I have also learned that if I truly am passionate about something and have the motivation I do have the ability to get programs implemented and make a huge difference in the organization as a whole. Perhaps the most important thing about myself that I have learned is that I am now viewed as a professional and can be proud of that. My internship additionally has made me confident in my choice of major and ultimately career. I actually enjoy getting up in the morning, going to work and feeling like I made the workplace a better place that day, or the company a little more efficient. Lastly, I have had the first opportunity to sit in with many of the management team and owners to get an idea of what a life as a business professional entails; things that you cannot read in books.

Inevitably, I also learned and developed many of the skills desirable in a Human Resource position. I was given the opportunity and resources to try new things and the support to implement many of my ideas. This gave me daily practice of a HR professional, only strengthening my experience.

The internship at Pinnacle Machine has been one of the most rewarding adventures of my college career. I was able to be part of a company that let me put all that I was learning in the class room to action and trusted in my education. This gave me the opportunity for hands on experience at both failure and success in an active work environment; allowing me to grow wiser on the subject. Upon completion on the internship at Pinnacle I am hoping to secure a full time position.

Internship Spotlight: Kevin Hockerman, Northwestern Mutual

Company Overview:

I am currently interning at Northwestern Mutual in Menominee Falls. I work as a Financial Representative that consists of providing expert guidance and innovative solutions for the lifetime financial needs of individuals and businesses in the areas of retirement solutions and insurance services.

There are many things that I did not know that Northwestern Mutual did before I started working for the company. Northwestern Mutual conducts fact-finders with their clients to gain an insight on their personal, professional, and financial goals and dreams. This allows them to build a complete plan not only assessing the current things their clients have in place, but also helping build towards future needs. Northwestern Mutual assesses a client’s risk management, then moves to their wealth accumulation, and finally focuses on their wealth preservation and distribution as the client moves from the start of their career all the way through retirement.

Obtaining My Internship:

I obtained my internship by first gathering a list of companies that I wanted to speak with at the career fair. Northwestern Mutual was one of the main companies that I wanted to speak with because of their top 10-ranked internship program. I was initially nervous to talk them but I found them very easy to approach.

After meeting them at the career fair I sent them a thank-you email. They responded saying that they would like me to send them my resume and continued by following up and setting up a phone interview. Through the phone interview, they said they liked me as a candidate and discussed the hiring process with me. To follow-up, I had to take a personality test to see if I was a good fit with their company. Once I passed this test I had to go in for an interview. At the interview, after a few questions about myself, my potential supervisor presented me with a project. The project would give me an insight into the job opportunity. It was a questionnaire to ask my closest friends and family of what they would want out of a financial advisor. They also had me complete a project to see what kind of network I have established. The final interview included me presenting my findings from these projects. I had to show that I had a well-established network, and then present the surveys and questionnaires I had answered. From the surveys and questionnaires, I was able to understand the type of work I would be doing with Northwestern Mutual. This helped give me an insight into the internship and helped me understand that this company was a good fit for me.

What I Learned:

Through my internship at Northwestern Mutual, I have learned a lot. I have gained real world experiences that I could not have learned in class that I can apply towards any career path I choose. I have learned how to interact professionally with clients, building my overall interpersonal skills. I learned how to present myself in a professional manner, both in person and over the phone. The most important personal gain I have taken away from this internship is being able to understand how important motivation is. This internship taught me how to motivate myself and continue to be highly productive while being independent. This alone was very important to me because it helped me understand what I was capable of.

I also gained more skills through my internship. I learned a lot about the financial industry and now have a large understanding of life insurance, health insurance, and retirement planning. I also gained some insight on investments. Overall, I gained further skills in financing and understanding how to properly allocate my money.

This internship has been a very rewarding experience. I was able to work in a professional environment, and work full-time while taking on full-time responsibilities. This was a great experience to be able to have these types of responsibilities while only being an intern. All of the skills I gathered from this internship will be ones I can implement throughout my career. I highly recommend this internship as it is extremely beneficial and a very rewarding experience.


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