Europe Study Tour 2016 – Day 9

Written by: Mandeep Narula, Siju Varghese and Paloma Leal (MBA Candidates)

May 10, 2016

Some of us started the day really early listening to Michael Bubble in a romantic café downtown called Bonito.

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Today was a hot morning and we had extra time to ourselves.  Everybody came for late breakfast and we were ready to go by 11 am. Our first destination was the German Parliament (Reichstag) in Berlin.

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We had an amazing lunch followed by a guided tour with MP Dr. Matthias Zimmer.

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During the guided tour, Dr. Zimmer told us how the open architecture, big windows and concrete construction symbolize the transparency and efficiency for parliament.  2% of infrastructure budget must be dedicated to art.

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He showed us the secret tunnel that existed from Goring’s residence to the Reichstag itself. It is through this tunnel that the Nazis are alleged to have entered the building to set fire to it. The Nazis had already blamed the fire on the communists. The hysteria of the Reichstag fire was used to fuel the march toward the Enabling Act and other fascist measures.

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In the discussion panel with Dr. Zimmer we discussed many topics, such as: Syrian refuge crisis, Russian interference in Ukraine, inheritance taxes for family businesses in Germany, and issues faced by EU and NATO.

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The next item on our itinerary was a visit to BMW’s motorcycle manufacturing plant.  Since the dress code was casual most of us went back to the hotel to change. However a group of very adventurous people went to get gelato, got lost on the wrong train and finally had to take a taxi to BMW’s plant to make it on time for the guided tour.

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The BMW plant tour started with the opportunity to see and take pictures with some BMW bikes followed by a short presentation about the company overview. We were then divided in two groups for the tour of the manufacturing plant that lasted 95 minutes. During this tour we were not allowed to take any pictures.  Our tour guides showed us and educated us about quality check stations, assembly lines, BMW culture, employee hiring and training process, health and safety measures and the strategic partnership with TVS India to manufacture bikes below 300cc, and new bike models designed to capture different market segments.

We went to Alt-Spandau, an amazing and romantic Croatian restaurant, for the farewell to Berlin Dinner.

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At the end of the night some of us went on an adventure to say goodbye and thank you to Berlin, an amazing city that will bring to our minds incredible memories. We said our goodbyes with some drinks. We will never forget the laughs and friendships we have built.

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