Sunday, May 20, 2012

Departure Time

It started with with Paul, Sarah, Katie and Lindsey, followed by Jillian, Kasey, Craig and Joylynn, continuing with Brian, Alec, and Chris (Paris Bound!), and will soon include Jimmy, Charles, Jerrod and Ryan, the group is on their way home or other various destinations.  Only Alexa and I will be left behind, and that will change soon as Alexa is off to Berlin and I to Amsterdam.  Great experience for all and safe travels to all.

Signing out from German Business & Culture + Global Negotiation 2012.

Dr. E.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

More Negotiating & Cultural Presentations

Today is a holiday in Germany so we get a break from our intense week.  It has been a very productive and fun week, and we have definitely earned our day off.  Here are some more photos from the week.

 The Thailand Group after their presentation.  Verena, Chris, Lindsey, Katie, Mikael, Angela

Jimmy Marceletti helps us understand business culture in Chile
 The Chile Group: Jillian, Andre, Dorin, Elena, Craig & Jimmy

The Lebanon Group: Alec, Julian, Kasey, Eduard, Verena & Jerrod

 Verena discusses the business culture in Lebanon

The Portugal Group: Sarah, Julia, Ryan, Kerstin, Laura & Paul

 Teams work together to prepare their cases

 Verena Ballat and Brian Samson Negotiate a deal (a creative one too!)

 Ryan and Dorin try to find common ground

Jerrod and Helena (front) struggle to make the numbers work, while Jimmy and Verena work out a deal.

The Sweden Group: Joylyn, Nataliya, Mustafa, Laura, Verena, and Brain

The Philippines Group: Maggie, Maria, Alexa, Charles, Natalia, & Helena

Monday, May 14, 2012

Game On!

The students have spent the morning in lecture learning about negotiation preparation.  Now they are negotiating case #1 versus a Uni Paderborn student.  So not only are they learning more about negotiation they are having an inter-cultural experience simultaneously.  Ah such fun!  We will be getting back together soon to debrief the case and jump right into case #2.

 Alec and Helena chose an outdoor setting for their bargaining session
 Jerrod and Angela hammer out the details of the deal
Sarah and Elvira are focused on getting the best deal.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

German Business & Culture is over, Global Negotiation begins!

We had a wonderful final celebration in Koeln last night just steps away from the famous Koelner Dom (Cologne Cathedral).  Then today we said good bye to Dr. Stacey, Tom, Erica and Jaquelyn and the rest of us boarded IC 2359 and zipped off to Uni Paderborn for Global Negotiation.  Students are spending the night working on their negotiation case and meeting with their presentation teams.  We begin in earnest tomorrow morning at 9am!  Above is the final (almost) group photo with the Koelner Dom in the background. 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Scavenger Hunt has begun.....

The teams were announced and they are off in Koeln and Bonn doing their assigned tasks, hopefully with a high level of creativity!  I worked on my own end of trip project: a collage of pictures from the trip.  Enjoy!

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Absolutely Perfect Rhein!!

We are safely in Koeln (Cologne) now and will have a group dinner soon.  But to catch up.....

We left Paderborn on Wednesday morning and by 2pm we were on the K-D boat heading up the Rhein to Bacharach.  The journey is filled with castle viewing and good times.  We arrived in Bacharach and were geeted by Dirk and Ellen Scherschlicht at the Bacheracher Hof Hotel and they ensured we had a fantastic experience in Bacharach.  Visit them at 

Wednesday night we had a great dinner made by our hosts that included my Rhein favorite: Sauerbraten!  Thursday we had a wonderful day of visits and hiking and this morning the group selected their own itinerary and some of the choices included biking the Rhein, hiking, visiting Rheinfels ruins (castle) and just relaxing in the beautiful weather.

Words don't do the whole Rhein experience justice so I will let the photos do it! 

Case Competition Follow-Up

We had a wonderful case competition and below is a photo of the winning team and the group photo at our celebration at the Paderborner Brauhaus.

 The Case Competition Group + the Marketing Team from Paderborn.  A great time was had by all at our celebration dinner
The winning team: Joylynn, Chris, Alexa, Jimmy and Angela.  (the final student, Kader, could not make the dinner)

Monday, May 7, 2012

Great Start to our Case Competition

We have started our case competition at Uni Paderborn.  The teams are off working on their case.  The morning involved some official welcoming, followed by a brilliant lecture from Dr. Andreas Eggert where he presented his thoughts and his research findings related to customer value, and finished with Dr. Eckert doing a "Presenting 101" session.  Hopefully the case presentations will involve great ideas gleaned from Dr. Eggert and great presentation techniques gleaned from Dr. Eckert.  The fun restarts at 4pm when the groups come back and present their case solutions.

 Ryan Colbry, representing WMU well, listens as Dr. Andreas Eggert from Uni Paderborn discusses the concept of customer value.

Dr. Eggert presents to a class of Uni Paderborn and WMU students to kick off our day long case competition.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Fat Tire Bike Tour in Berlin

We had another great event today.... pedaling through the streets of Berlin experiencing the city's history, architecture and culture.  On a colder than desired day we still had a great time.  Our guides, Tom and Craig, did a great job shepherding us safely from site to site.  Through in a great lunch where many of the group tried a Flammkuchen, and the day was a smashing success.  Here are a few photos....

Craig, our Aussie tour guide telling us about the history of Alexanderplatz

WMU College of Business Students posing in front of Marx and Engels - love the irony!

Standing on the Berlin Wall .... red shoe is in East Berlin.

Having a little fun posing at Check Point Charlie.  Just a tourist spot now but at one time is was a major part of the cold war.

 The gang in front of the Brandenburger Tor - a place that has a rich and varied history.  Like Napoleon, we were going to try and take the horses home, but then we found out that was frowned upon!

Jaquelyn and her stylish bike "bell"

Craig explaining the Berlin Wall "Death Strips" with a part of the wall in the back ground.

Look, Michigan people on bikes..... fun to get them out of their cars.  We have walked, biked, trained, tramed, subwayed, boated, and did I mention walked..... 

Tom and Craig, our faithful Fat Tire Bike Tour Guides.  The BEST way to see and learn about Berlin and have a whole lot of fun along the way.  Visit them at

Friday, May 4, 2012

Deutsche Bank and the Reichtag

We had a wonderful day in Berlin.  First, the weather stayed great and second the activities were interesting, educational, and fun.  We will conclude our day later with a group dinner at a fun German restaurant.

 Outside Deutsche Bank's Branch of the Future with one of the Berlin Bears.  The bear is the symbol of Berlin and like many cities worldwide the city had these bears decorated by various businesses scattered through the city.  We will see another tomorrow.
 Our tour guide talks to us about how the unique things they do in the branch, things that include a cafe, a retail store and exhibit (coordinated in topic/theme) that vary every 3 months, oh and they have tellers too.  This unique approach has helped them get 12,000 new member since opening in 2005 and has 50% of their foot traffic in the store being non-customers.
We had an excellent visit and we are ready to become Deutsche Bank clients!

 We are SO excited about visiting the Reichtag Building, which is the equal of the US Capital Building. 

 Our tour guide explains the functioning of the Bundestag - which is the equal of the House of Representatives.
 Looking at the grafiit that Russian soldiers left just about exactly 67 years ago when they swept into Berlin at the end of WWII and captured the Reichtag.

I think I have found the cover for next year's trip program!!!!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Wonderful Visit to VW

We got up early and made the trek to VW world headquarters in Wolfsburg today.  I am exhausted so I will simply say: wow!  What a great day, the plant tour, branding lecture and visit to the Autostadt were all top notch.

Here are some photos....

(above and below) We all donned our trip polos and we headed out early (7:05am) to catch a train to Wolfsburg.  We traveled on a ICE train that peaked at 250 kph (bit over 150 mph).  We had a smooth and fun journey.

We arrived at the VW Production Plant and took a couple photos with Robertino, our Italian tour guide.  The first photos is in the corridor leading to the plant, the second in the lobby before we entered and the third is from the trams we rode in that were pulled by a Golf R (sport version of the VW Golf).

After the tour we got a brilliant Brand Management lecture ...... Great stuff.  If we told you all the details, we would have to kill you!  After that we had lunch and visited the Autostadt - a celebration of all things VW - the company which has 8 brands (e.g. VW, Audi, Bulgati, Seat, Skoda, etc.), not just the VW brand.  I forgot to pull out my camera, but it is pretty cool.  Visit it at:

That is all for now..... need sleep!  Great group, great time.  Off to Deutsche Bank and the Reichtag tomorrow!