Our third day provided us with the best experiences of the trip. We started the day with a visit to Daimlers Research and Development group in the Potsdam area of Berlin. They gave us a presentation on their methods for predicting trends and forecasting the movement of the business. Their models for analyzing the market have allowed them to thrive during the recent economic turmoil. It was nice to step out of the class room and here about real methodologies being used by a very successful company.
After the visit at Daimler, we had several hours built in to tour Berlin at our own pace before meeting back together for a special tour of the Reichstag. This is the day when stepping out of your comfort zone really becomes important. Sitting in a classroom listening to a lecture in Germany isnt that different from doing the same in the US. Taking your fate into your own hands and wandering around a foreign city in which you dont speak the language provides a thrill that you just cant get from looking at pictures or videos of a destination. After standing in the shadow of the Brandenburg gate we walked a couple miles through a historical part of Berlin as we made our way to Alexanderplatz for some souvenir shopping. Starting our day in the modern business area of Potsdam and ending up walking through some beautiful building that were several hundred years old really allowed us to appreciate fully the dramatic history that this city has.
We were fortunate enough to end the official part of our day at the Reichstag, home of the German Parliament. Due to security concerns it is very hard to get in for a tour, and nearly impossible to get up into the dome. We got a full tour of the entire building, capping the evening off with some beautiful views from the very modern dome atop the building.
Our cultural education continued with visit to a Berlin brauhaus that is famous for its “Beer Exchange.” The prices of the beers were reflective of their demand that evening. Prices were updated every 6 minutes or so, which required careful attention to be paid if you didn’t want to pay too much for a beer. There was even a “crash” where all the beers fell to their lowest prices. What a very German and very memorable economics lesson.
Germany is a wonderful country and it has been a real privilege to spend time here learning about its culture and the way they do business. The experiences thus far will no doubt be valuable as I move forward.