Innovation Management and Future Mobility were the key focus issues for the week of “International Experience" from October 21 - 28, 2012 where MBA students from the University of Wyoming met MBA students from Pforzheim University. It was the second visit to Pforzheim for UW MBAs. The highlight of the week was the two-day visit of Berlin. At the end of the week students knew about applied methods and approaches of innovation management in major German automotive companies and had an idea about alternative scenarios of future mobility.
Robert Bosch GmbH, Stuttgart-Feuerbach
After a brief introduction of Bosch Group and Feuerbach Plant by Ralph Flaig – head of Technical Function at the Feuerbach plant, there was a guided tour in Manufacturing.
Markus Klausner, Vice President Engineering, talked about E-mobility as innovation challenge and at the end of the day the students were informed on career entry and development prospects by Ms. Partsch of the Human Resources department.
After a presentation on Innovation Management at ZF for Future Mobility by Anja Schmiele, the students went on a guided tour to explore the Research and Development Center of ZF. Afterwards Martin Frick (Head of Employer Branding and Media),who is also an alumnus of Hochschule Pforzheim, talked to the students regarding the career opportunities at ZF and why should the students choose ZF as an employer in their future.
Later, the students went on a guided tour to the Zeppelin Museum in Friedrichshafen. The students viewed a 1936 version of a Zeppelin - a rebuilt version of the LZ 129 ‘Hindenburg’ in the museum. The students also watched a short 3D movie regarding the history of Zeppelins.
The tour of the Sindelfingen plant began with a short video on how a car is assembled. The main tour of the Mercedes Benz C-Class production plant included the body shop or stamping shop, where the parts first take shape; the pressing shop where the robots glue the various parts of the car together and put together the complete body of the car; and, the assembly line where the marriage of the body frame to the chassis and the final finishing takes place.
Students also attended a session on "Doing Business in Germany“ by Prof. Dr. Dirk Wentzel.
MBA students from UW and Pforzheim at Volkswagen, Wolfsburg
Wolfgang Müller-Pietralla, Head of Future Research and Trend Transfer, spoke about “Future Research and Trend Transfer - From the Future to the Present”, which implied autonomous driving and an interconnected car-to-car concept.
A journey through the World of Mobility (Autostadt) followed the presentation: pavilions of VW, Audi, Porsche and Bugatti were explored by the students.
Harald Preissler of the Daimler-Trend Research Society and Technology gave an insight into different future scenarios and presented selected topics of 2012. His conlusion: “Future automobiles will be connected, low carbon, electrified and energy efficient vehicles”.
"Our students had an excellent experience on the company visits and they were invaluable ways for them to get to see professional challenges facing modern corporations. The sightseeing was educational and fun, and the interactions with your students were excellent."
Anne Alexander, Director Office of International Programs, University of Wyoming
"The whole week was a knowledge enriching experience for the students from both the universities. The visits to the four major automobile players gave us a lot of valuable insights, an idea on the future outlook of their markets and most importantly, an opportunity to share multinational business perspectives."
Gopikrishna Badhrinarayanan, third-semester student of Pforzheim University.
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