CSULB-HAW Hamburg German-American International Business Workshop
Twenty students and their lecturer, Prof. Ming Chen, made the journey from California State University Long Beach (CSULB) to Hamburg for the German-American International Business Workshop (GAIW), where they met their 25 German counterparts.
Prior to their arrival in Hamburg, students had already started their collaboration online, working in teams for four weeks. Divided into eight teams, they focused their efforts on this year's pertinent topic, 'Embracing challenges and opportunities in an era of uncertainty: Building a resilient automotive supply chain, a transatlantic perspective.'
The workshop provided students with a unique opportunity to gain insights from industry experts. Their journey began with a factory tour at Airbus, one of the world's largest aircraft producers, offering an immersive experience into the intricate pan-European supply chain that forms the backbone of global aircraft production. Students had the privilege of witnessing the most advanced planes that Airbus has to offer.
Although Hamburg may not be traditionally associated with automotive production, the city is home to several suppliers to the automotive industry. Dr. Georg Ullman, the plant manager at Continental, shed light on this unique perspective by providing detailed insights into the comprehensive reassessment of production and supply cycles prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Complementing the discussion, Jana Höft, an alumni of HAW Hamburg and now a commodity buyer at STILL, shared her research on the supply chain of lithium-ion batteries, a technology that has gained significant prominence in the past decade.
Expanding the scope beyond the automotive industry, Laura Renteria, project manager at Nordex, a leading wind turbine producer, discussed the challenges faced by their global supply chain due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Renteria emphasised the reliance on just-in-time production and the substantial delays experienced by customers. Further enriching the discourse, Prof. Henner Gärtner from the engineering department at HAW Hamburg delivered a captivating presentation showcasing Hamburg-based companies that hold market leadership positions in specific domains.
As a facilitator of international connections between Germany and the United States, Consul General Jason Chue, representing the United States in Hamburg, inspired students to embrace innovative thinking and foster collaborative efforts across borders. Chue's presence and motivational address encouraged students to transcend boundaries and think outside the box as they pursue their goals.
The productive week in Hamburg concluded with a company visit to TOM TAILOR, one of Germany's largest fashion brands. Vanessa Spiegel, the head of logistics, engaged students in fruitful discussions about the distinct supply chain dynamics in the fashion industry, seeking innovative solutions from their young minds. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to all the companies and representatives for their valuable time and exceptional contributions to the workshop.
We also want to congratulate the winners of the best presentation: Hoan Linh Thai, Odalys Garcia-Lopez, Sophia Barwich, Raveena Kakkar, Matias Rodriguez Moran and Samuel Yankyera. We eagerly look forward to our visit to Long Beach in the upcoming winter semester, during which we will continue the fruitful exchange between our institutions.