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Company Experience WS 2016/17

Each semester, MBA students have the chance to take part in the company experience module. After having visited Amazon in one of the previous weeks, the new MBA students took off for a two-day excursion. This semester’s destination was the Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region, where we visited Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG, SAP, Daimler and Freudenberger.

On the first day, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG welcomed us at their headquarters in Wiesloch, located just a short drive from the city of Heidelberg. After a welcome session by Dr. Felder, Senior Vice President Global HR, the MBA students received a guided tour through the facilities. The group had the chance to walk through different production halls and to discover several offset printing machines, while Mr. Wittich shared some insights of the world of printing. Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG has been a major provider and reliable partner to the global printing industry for many years. Around 11,500 people worldwide work for the company. After the tour, Mr. Christopher Tapley, Director Marketing EMEA, explained how the company changed their marketing strategy over the past few years.

Our second visit on day one was at SAP’s headquarters in Walldorf. We first walked through the SAP Inspiration Pavilion and received more information on the history of SAP and projects the company was currently working on. The campus tour that followed took us to the company’s own kindergarten and several business buildings. Mrs. Andrea Tvarusko, SAP University Alliances Manager Back Office University Alliances, mentioned different aspects of working for the company, such as company cars and the option of home office, during the tour. In the afternoon, Mrs. Marie-Christine Schwaab, working at Corporate Portfolio and Thought Leadership Marketing, talked about how she started her career with SAP and what her current projects and responsibilities were. One alumni of the Pforzheim MBA, Mr. Kwame Ahiabor, who now works for SAP in the field of education and online learning, gave the current MBA students some advice on how to pursue their future career.

The first day ended with a short city tour through Speyer and a visit to the Christmas market, where the MBA students had their first “Glühwein” (a hot wine with spices, typical for the Christmas season) for this year. We then met at the restaurant “Domhof Speyer” for dinner with German specialties, before taking off to the hostel in Schifferstadt.

On the next morning, we left for Germersheim to visit Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz Global Logistics Center. All spare parts are stored at that facility, which is located on an island. Mr. Jörg Hemberger, Head of workforce- and ideas management, introduced Daimler AG and the warehouse facility in Germersheim. Afterwards, the MBA students could gain their own impressions during a guided tour though the warehouse. A group assignment with a presentation demanded some work from the students but they were rewarded by a joint lunch at Daimler’s cafeteria.

In the afternoon on day two, the Freudenberg Group welcomed us at their headquarters in Weinheim. Dr. Michael Horchler, Head of Corporate Archives Corporate Communications, took us into the world of Freudenberg and revealed detailed information on the company’s history and their products. After that, Mr. Bernd Schmitt, Head of Corporate Human Resources, presented Freudenberg’s talent management and was open towards questions from the MBA students.

During the two days, the current MBA students experienced four different German companies that operate globally and had the chance to dive into the business world of Germany.