Thank you and good-bye
A heartly welcome to my last blog post – our stay in Atlanta will end in two days. Time for a little evaluation, I think.
I have experienced, seen and done unbelievably many things. First of course all the museums that you can visit here in the city. My highlights were the High Museum of Art, the Museum of Papermaking and the whole historical area about Martin Luther King jr.
These seating-accomodations in front of the High Museum of Art
are also part of the artistic atmosphere.
During my stay, I also explored the further South of the US. My goals were Miami (Florida), New Orléans (Louisiana) und Amelia Island (Florida). Sometimes, I went on my own, sometimes my colleagues invited me; I felt integrated from the start within the American culture and society (following the slogan: I can speak German also at home). My new favorite city is definitely New Orléans, the architecture and atmosphere in the French Quarter leave nobody cold. My weekend on Amelia Island was also gorgeous. Four days with only nice people, beach and great food. You just have to do some workout at 7 a.m. in the morning on an almost deserted beach with a view on the ocean. Undescribably!
Impressing architecture in the French Quarter in New Orléans.
The St. Louis Cathedral on Jackson Square in New Orléans.
Besides all the attractions and trips I have naturally also grown personally. Before we came to Atlanta, I was extremely insecure and a little anxious. Will I meet all the expectations? Will I get along with my English? And my biggest problem: How do I get from A to B in a city which sets no great store on public transportation?
Marta stands for Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority
and describes the public train and bus system in Atlanta
(here a snap shot of the not so safe Five Points Station).
I remember how I used to miss all the Marta-busses in the beginning, as they never go on schedule and on the weekends only arrive every 60-90 minutes. You will not believe how many miles I have walked in these three months – together with uncountable pimples. But I (almost) always arrived somehow and last but not least saved myself by going after the position of the sun J Scout’s word of honor!
With a sunset on Amelia Island I’d like to say a metaphorical good-bye
– my time in Atlanta was bright and nice, but is coming to an end.
But this experience will be found and shown within us for a very long time.
My apprenticeship with SREB was perfect, it could not have been better. I have learned and taken a lot with me. Concerning my career, it will be very helpful. The whole stay has made me much more self secure, it would not have happened this way in Germany. Therefore, I would like to officially say “Thank you” again to the Joachim Herz Foundation. All involved have seen to it that our stay goes as comfortably, pleasant and effective as could be. Especially dear Judith always had an open ear for us and put in such efforts for us. Also Dr. Schmidt visited us in Atlanta, to see how things were going for us. I am so thankful that I could be part of the program.
Trip to Nashville
unfortunately, we have less and less time here left in the States, therefore, I thought, I will tell you something about one of the nicest and absolutely lovely places here in the area! Nashville!
From Kennesaw we drove about 3,5h to the center of Tennessee: Not that far. After arriving in Nashville and taking a while to find a parking spot, we found ourselves to be in totally different surroundings. This city, with 600,000 people living here, you can really explore by foot – totally different from Atlanta.
As recommended, we took a quick glance at the best bars and pubs in town, e. g. the Honky Tonk-Bar Tootsies. Striking is that the best club in the city of country music is a blues bar.
The cosy atmosphere is given by live music which you can hear everywhere and fantastic food, like the popular BBQ at Jack’s Barbeque and very much also by the Cumberland River. It is a river which runs right through the city and devides North from East Nashville. The best view on both sides, especially at night, you have from the Pedestrian Bridge which runs right over it.
Prolonged weekend „Memorial Day“ -> Trip to Savannah
As we had a day off on Monday thanks to Memorial Day, we planned a trip to Savannah.
On Saturday, Alex picked Theresa and me up from home and then we all went to pick up Nico and Kilian and the weekend could begin.
After driving about 3-4 hours, we finally arrived in Savannah. As we could not go to our rooms yet, we decided to drive to Tybee Islands as well. There, we walked along the beach and enjoyed the soft sand and the ocean.
In the evening, we drove directly to Savannah City and ate the best pizza that I have eaten here in US. There was a lot going on in the city. On a spot in the middle somebody played live music and the people were in a good mood and danced wildly.
The next day after breakfast, we drove to the Hilton Head Islands. An island full of palm trees, green grass and a lot of golf courts. After searching for a parking lot for about 2,5h, we could finally go to the beach. There, we enjoyed the sun, beach and ocean :)In the evening, we went for dinner in a Seafood und Steak House – it tasted outstandingly good!
And suddenly it was Monday morning again. We had to check out of the hotel at about 11 and head back home.
It was absolutely a great LAST BUT ONE weekend in the US
now it is my turn to write something as I have not written anything yet.
On Monday, 25 May 2015, was Memorial Day.
For this occasion, my host parents and I visited very good friends at the Chikamauga Lake.
We started the day quite relaxing and because it was a beautiful day, we decided to walk down to the water. They took the boat and I took the Jet Ski and off we went …
After cruising for about an hour, we had to prepare for BBQ at the house.
After another hour it was done and the guests had already arrived. So turn on the music and the good mood and empty the BBQ.
After that we all sat down and talked while we had something to drink.
Unfortunately, thunderstorms ended this cosy atmosphere and all went home.
Already at the beginning of my stay here in Atlanta, I noticed that the Americans celebrate everything that can possibly be celebrated. This you realize when you walk through a supermarket and compared to Germany see such a huge variety of congratulation cards for every possible event in all kinds of shapes and colors, balloons, flowers, decorations and other party supplies – it is just overwhelming.
I was lucky last week and could be part of a „Baby Shower“. A colleague and his wife expect a child pretty soon and his wife was therefore invited to the office. We decorated the conference room for this reason accordingly.
There was a cake (of course all absolutely American style, very colorful and insanely sweet), presents and we played all sorts of parlour games which all had to do with “baby” to some respect. For example, everyone of us had to write and paint all kinds of funny slogans on a diaper to make the nightly diaper changes more fun.
Another game was the „Baby-ABC“ – every player had to find the proper baby article for every letter in the alphabet. As you can imagine, for me as a German without the necessary vocabulary it was not the easiest task to fulfill. Nevertheless, it was very much fun!
In comparison to Germany, here are much more public holidays like mother’s and father’s day just to say thank you to certain people. Like for example:
Administrative Professionals‘ Day (Secretaries‘ Day) – On 22 April the colleagues honor all secretaries for their work with a little present and nice postcards. The same, but vice versa, is done on Bosses‘ Day in October.
Besides, there are days for grandparents, brothers and sisters, mother in law, best friends etc. … and of course, not to forget, the German-American-Day on 6 October 🙂
We are already almost two months in Atlanta – unbelievable!
since I am in the US since almost two months already and have not had the time to write a blog, it is absolutely about time to do so now!
I live directly in Midtown with a very nice lady. I do not take the car as I would at home, here, I take the bike. As public transportation is not the best in Atlanta, I am happy to live in the center that I can reach everything by bike 🙂
With my colleague in Tennessee at the Wacker Factory Tour!
Visit of the Georgia State Capitol
As you have surely read, we were the first two weeks in College. I was at the Gwinnett Technical College with Theresa, Nico und Hagen.
For seven weeks now, I have worked at the GACC (German American Chamber of Commerce). I really like the work here a lot and my colleagues are all very nice! Recently, I could join in for an Event at the Wacker Institut which was very interesting. It was a Factory Tour which we organized for our clients (members of the GACC).
Florida – Panama City Beach 🙂
At the weekend, we azubis spend a lot of time together and try to see and do many different things.
At the end of March we went to Florida, Panama City Beach. We also went to Stone Mountain, the Aquarium or last weekend we made a tour to the Smoky Mountains in Maggie Valley with ten people where we rented a cabin etc. – it does not get boring!! 😀
The first few weeks it was kind of chilly for Atlanta conditions, but meanwhile the temperature during the day is about 86-95° Fahrenheit.
Stone Mountain 🙂
That’s it for the beginning. See you and greetings from Atlanta!
Hot Hot Wings
what would such a stay in the US be without a real food challenge? As it is some kind of national sport and you find a Wall of Fame in most restaurants, I thought I could try the Blazin‘ Challenge.
Now you might ask yourself what this is. Well, it is quite easy: 12 brutally hot wings, six minutes time and a an announcer.
It was hot, but I made it. 💪
The Tiny Differences
Since already nine weeks we are here in the US. I think I can speak in the name of all when I say that time has just flown by. We have experienced so many new things and got to know so much about living in the US. There are many tiny differences that are absolutely usual for Americans, but for us Germans, especially Bavarians, it takes getting used to. I would like to describe some of the many differences more in detail so that you can get a feeling of what I am trying say. If it is good or bad is up to everyone‘s own judgement.
- You can go (grocery) shopping 24/7 and nobody has to think about if it is past 8 p. m or Sunday. In the largest supermarket, the Walmart,
you will find absolutely everything from groceries over bicycles, electrical devices to furniture. So if decide that you do not like your couch anymore at 3 a. m., you just go to the supermarket and buy a new one. Only liquors are not allowed to be sold on sundays.
- The most supermarkets have price tags showing the price without tax, therefore you never really exacly know what you will have to pay.
- On the invoice in a restaurant the tax is shown and added, but not the tip. It is common to pay the waiter/waitress a tip of 15-20%. The personnel is dependent on this tip as a waiter/waitress on average only earns a very tiny amount an hour.
- For Americans it might seem normal, but for us Europeans, the large spaces at the toilet doors in public toilets are very hard to get used to. You can practically wave at the people outside your booth.
- It is well-known that the Americans are proud of their country, but I would not have expected so many flags waving outside houses, schools, cars, parcs etc.
- Also it is very unusual for us Germans to have small talks with foreigners on a bus. While the most people in Germany sit with their head phones in their ears as “protection” for not being spoken to, here foreigners talk with each other for hours about all kinds of things. On the bus I have already learned a lot about chameleons, the hotel business, raising kids or personal stuff. Not that I asked about it, but nevertheless, it was interesting.
Two weeks ago, I, Stephanie, packed my suitcase and went to New York.
New York City
Myself on the Brooklyn Bridge. In the background you see the skyline of New York 🙂
Before I get to what I did in New York, I will tell you a little about myself, my host company Green Festivals and my work here in the US: As already mentioned above, my name is Stephanie. In Germany, I am educated to become an event management assistant in Munich. My education company “PLAN B events” organizes mostly sports events in the field of trail running and racing bikes. The Joachim Herz Foundation gave me the chance to get to know also another event area. My host firm in the US, Green Festivals, plans the five largest and longest-standing fairs in the US in the field of green life and sustainability.
Green Festival Expo New York City 2015
The Green Festivals expositions have two Spring Shows and three Autumn Shows. The first Spring Show was in April in New York City and the second one will be in Washington DC in June. The three autumn expos will take place on the westcoast, in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Portland.
The office of Green Festivals is in Asheville, North Carolina, a small artists‘ village
My field of duty at Green Festivals is everything that has to do with Social Media and marketing. Therefore, I already had some bigger projects, like e. g. the marketing of the Green Festival Community Awards. Non-profit organizations can apply for this award and get $5,000 if they are lucky.
For the fair in NYC, we awaited about 20,000 visitors. About 200 exhibitors presented and sold their products.
I was responsible for the visitor survey. I would like to say “thank you” to the whole Green Team and my boss who try to make my apprenticeship nicer every day and who shower me with work so it does not get boring. Thank you also to Mrs. Herz and the whole team of the Joachim Herz Foundation!
The (almost) complete Green Team 🙂
Many greetings from Asheville,
Road Trip – Smokey Mountains
To get away for a short while from the American every-day-life, we decided to make a trip to the Smokey Mountains. The biggest challenge was to coordinate ten people with two rental cars.
After everything was settled, the joint adventure could begin.
Atlanta – Smokey Mountains Maggie Valley
Almost 300 miles (in the US „no big deal“).
Housing took place in a gorgeous log cabin exactly like you would imagine it to be. We ended the day in the whirlpool of the cabin.
On the second day, we did a little hike. Our goal was a waterfall close by which we had googled beforehand. After GPS and all the signs did not help us, we finally found it after asking numerous people passing by.
Already after a relatively short descent, we arrived at the Soco Waterfall.
We had enough food and drinks with us, so we stayed a while and enjoyed the view.
When we got back to our cabin, we had a BBQ and began the evening by grilling marshmellows.
On Sunday, we went home in the afternoon.
In the name of all of us, I can say that we had a one-time weekend in the mountains and that the next road trip can come very soon.
Mission: Education to all!
I would like to tell you a little bit about my apprenticeship in Atlanta with SREB (Southern Regional Education Board) – the main reason why we are all here.
„What is SREB and how do I fit in as a future agent for digital and print media?“ This was my very first question. Well, SREB is a non-profit organization whose main goal is to improve the education in the Southern States of the US. Here comes a little historical excurse: In 1947 President Harry Truman declared that the biggest problem lies in the Southern US. To improve economic strength, governors and legislatives from the Southern States founded SREB in 1948 as they identified the connection between trained and well-educated workers and cost-effectiveness.
There are 16 member states in this organization today.
The 16 member states; the headquarter is in Midtown Atlanta.
SREB acts as a consultant for the states and develops programs for kindergarten, schools, colleges and universities.
The organization publishes many newsletters, brochures, manuals and flyers to update their members or to promote a program. And this is where the “German intern“ joins: I get to know different layout and graphic design programs at SREB which I use for layouting and designing online newsletter, manuals and flyers.
My work here is very diverse and a lot of fun. Every now and then I work together with the communications department which is responsible for the whole extern communication and has asked me for a research on the social media platform “LinkedIn”. For the personnel department as well as the „Green team“, I design flyers where the employees are playfully asked to e. g. use sun protection on a regular basis. I also write smaller articles for intern newsletters – of course, I am perfect in English grammar :). Chance would be a fine thing, but it is harder than I thought.
You need two monitors to layout: On the one you can design and on the other you have the template (please clap your hands for my extra tidied desk – thanks!)
My biggest project will be a presentation about „Education in Germany“ which even will be recorded and broadcasted live to the sales agents. Will it turn out well? The significant differences to Germany are the missing training system and that not everybody can get education as colleges are very expensive.
My colleagues take care of me perfectly and make sure that I really learn something new during my apprenticeship. The staff manager Tricia brings me a very tasty lunch from home every day; I think we should absolutely invent this in Germany, too! Furthermore, I do a lot of field trips with my American supervisor. Thus, I can discover more of the culture and history of Atlanta than I could ever have done on my own. Thank you!
A heartily „servus“ and many greetings from Atlanta,
Apprenticeship at “BOS Automotive” in Detroit
after two weeks on the „Georgia Piedmont Technical College“, I took the plane to Detroit where I live with my host parents in Rochester Hills since six weeks, a very nice area. Together with Stephanie, Johannes and Jason, I therefore do not live in Atlanta.
Detroit, also named and known as „Motor City“ belongs to the state of Michigan. Therefore, it is not hard to guess that my company produces something for cars. „BOS Automotive“ is a German firm with many international subsidiaries and its headquarters in Stuttgart. BOS develops, produces and sells innovative systems and components, like sun protection systems or luggage compartment cover systems for almost all auto brands.
At BOS I work in the test lab and workshop where I build test tools for sun protection systems. The work is a lot of fun and it is very interesting to get an insight on which requirements even the smallest and seemingly nonrelevant parts in a car have.
In Detroit, I already visited the GM Renaissance Center, the highest building in Detroit. There, you have a perfect view over the whole city and Canada, which is separated by “Detroit River“.
Also a very big THANK YOU to all people involved for making this project possible!!!
I am looking forward to my last four weeks before I am going home again.
Thank You-Party on 19 April 2015
„Many thanks to all participants“ was said on 19 April 2015 on the terrace roof of the 05 Buckhead building at Buckhead Place.
Before that, however, there was a workshop concerning the exchange of experiences „One month USA“ for us trainees with Dr. Schmidt from the Joachim Herz Foundation. We exchanged our experiences we made in daily every-day-life in college, in the host families, in the host companies or on the weekends with each other by having a talk show.
It was very interesting to get to know the every-day-life and working life of the others and to see the similarities and differences. Some new ideas for weekend activities arouse by this. After the workshop we had some wraps, chips and cookies for lunch and went to the roof top of the Buckhead 05 building after that to celebrate the „Thank you Party“.
Invited were all host families, host companies, college teachers and many other project partners to thank everybody for the support and contribution to our internship. Present were also Mrs. Herz, Ms. Martin and Mr. Müller, the board of the Joachim Herz Foundation and the board of trustees, Dr. Olearius, Prof. Dr. Wagner and Mr. Behrendt.
After the opening speech by Mrs. Herz and Ms. Martin, we trainees said a few words about our stay. Firstly, it was Kilians turn, together with his host parents, Brandon and Anita. They talked about how it is to live in a host family. After that, Pascal spoke about college life at the Kennesaw State University and last, but not least, Steffi told everybody about her work and her duties at Green Festivals in Asheville.
Then, the buffet was opened and many experiences were exchanged and people interested in this project could get information from the Joachim Herz Foundation and the trainees. Also the host companies could exchange their experiences.
I would very much like to say a warm thank you in the name of all trainees to all people involved in this program. Most of all, however, I would like to say thank you to the Joachim Herz Foundation for giving me this once-in-a-lifetime-chance to make this kind of experience and having the best possible start into my future career and personal future.
Different Countries – Different Churches!
Atlanta belongs to the Southern States of the US and therefore to the so called „Bible Belt“. Here, religion plays a very important role. We were told that churches are very entertaining and full of joy and life. As Franziska’s host mom Yasha goes to church regularly, we were glad to accompany her to church one day.
Therefore, Franzi, Alex, Yasha and I went to church which was supposed to start at 12.30 p. m. We arrived a little late at 12.45 p. m. which was no problem at all as mass also started late. Generally, it is common here that the people arrive after mass begins. Very curiously we waited for the mass to start. During the first minutes already, we could not believe that we were sitting in a church. There was only song and dance for the first half hour. A band played on stage and the lyrics were shown on a big screen for everybody to sing along. The songs are not songs like as we know them from German church – no, they just pull you out of your seat and you just can’t stand still. Therefore, we clapped along with the Americans and danced to the music. It was unbelievable how joyful and passionate the locals celebrated mass.
After the „opening“ came the main part of the mass – the sermon held by the priest. Of course, it was not comparable to one held in Germany. This priest held a free speech on special topics – and you could not do anything else but listen. It was so interesting and much more related to reality and it was very interactive. Every churchgoer got a piece of paper with blanks and psalms to fill in during mass.
The two hours of mass just flew by. If I had the chance to go to church again, I would do that for sure.
Some information at this point: In the US there is no church tax. Everything concerning church is financed by high donations or heritage of the members. Therefore, all problems are taken more seriously. It is not uncommon that the church donates money if a member cannot pay his or her physician bills. Also the kindergarten is financed by the revenues. Furthermore, all church services are basically voluntary.
„Each day is God’s gift. It’s all you get in exchange for the hard work of staying alive. Make the most of each one! Whatever turns up, grab it and do it. And heartily! It’s worth it!”
– In this spirit, cheers!
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As the weather was perfect on Saturday (although the weather forecast had promised differently) , we wanted to see the Inmanpark-Festival und its unique parade. Therefore, Alex, Kathi and I got on our way on time to be there when the parade was to begin at 2 p. m. But, unfortunately and following murphys law, the traffic came inbetween. Never trust the traffic in Atlanta! We finally arrived about an hour late when the parade had just finished. Nevertheless, we spent the rest of the day on the festival. On the streets around the park there were several stalls, mostly handiwork. You could find everything from 70-year-old-Bonsai trees, over scented candles made from liquor to unusual art work. You could also take a look at the houses of the residents (who organized the festival).
Alex and a painting showing his „real self“ 🙂
After buying some souvenirs for our friends and family in Germany,
Many greetings from Atlanta,
Client Visit at Wewalka
Last week I was honored to go on client visit with two of my colleagues. Since three weeks already, I work at my host firm „IK Hofmann USA, Inc.“ in Atlanta.
It is a German private job placement agency. It was founded in 1985 by Ingrid Hofmann and today already has about 20,000 employees. In over 80 affiliates in Germany and subsidiary companies in Austria, England, Czech Republic or here in the US, Hofmann Services help companies recruiting new employees. So also at our client: Wewalka from Austria.
Wewalka produces and distributes refrigerated fresh dough and pastry goods and established itself in 2014 in the US in Atlanta. At the beginning of January three new American employees, recruited by Hofmann Services, started working there. In the beginning, they were allowed to visit Wewalka in Austria and started their on-the-job training there. Meanwhile, every one of them have their own workplace at Wewalka in the US. After a few months, we wanted to take the opportunity to visit them. We had lunch together and they told us how much they like working there and how much fun they have.
Also the Austrian employees only speak absolutely positively about them and everybody seems to be very satisfied. After lunch they showed us their multideck cabinet where the fresh doughs are stored. Even in very warm jackets, we felt like being in the deepest winter in Germany.
As a farewell present, we all got a set of Wewalka products, including thick and thin pizza dough, puff pastry and pastry for crossiants. Now we’ll see if we are good at baking. It was very interesting to visit a client and nice to see that everyone seems happy with his/her job and new colleagues.
Many greetings from Atlanta, Katharina
International Pillowfight Day
Already two weeks ago, I attended the „International Pillowfight-Day“ in Atlanta and would like to tell you about it. It took place on Saturday, 4 April 2015 in about 70 cities all over the world, like e. g. Amsterdam, Berlin, Hong Kong, London and New York. Therefore, Michael, Franziska, Alexander, Pascal und I took our pillows with us and went to Grant Park in Atlanta. Upon arrival we could not wait anymore and started our „fight“ right away. About 200 people used the opportunity to lash about themselves. Very easy and very funny. And a safe way to let out any aggressions you may have. Everybody from young to old was actively joining in. People where running at each other and then again taking it more slowly and after a while getting at each other again. Drinks and ice-cream were available. But it was not comparable with Berlin and no feathers flew around as feather-pillows were not allowed. We ended the day with a dinner together.
Many greetings from Atlanta,
City Of Refuge – WHERE GOOD WORKS
„City Of Refuge“ is a charitable organization in Atlanta which helps people in need. People who live on the breadline or have suffered hard strokes of fate in life can find help here. The goal of this organization is to offer help for those who are ready to work hard for a change in life. They try to offer the best chances of success for a new and better way of living. The focus of this association is to empower, enlighten and bring hope into the life of all who need it.
On Saturday, a guided tour gave us an insight on the life and community of the „City“ and showed us the variety of the programs for those in need.
Since 2005 homeless or endangered women and children find shelter here to get on the right track in life again. The occupants are not allowed to leave the building during their stay to be protected from negative influences or contacts by which they could lose track again. This is probably the reason why the whole indoor area looks like a village – there are street lights, trees and park benches on the hallways in front of the rooms, The women in Eden Village find accommodations and all kind of help for up to three months. We were allowed to have a look at the life by making a tour through the building. The women as well as the children have lots of spare time activities, such as volley ball, bicycling up to visiting the library or an indoor playground. During the day, the children go to school and are taken care of afterwards.
There is also a canteen, the „180° Kitchen“. All occupants eat fresh and healthy food there every day, the vegetables come from their own little garden.
In addition to the „Eden Village“ there are several other programs who help people in need, such as „Kindred Spirit Home“. There, teenagers are supported during and after pregnancy. Furthermore, there is the „Napa Training Center“. Here, locals receive a six-month-training as motor mechanic to enhance the chances of a job to receive a steady income. It was a very interesting experience to see how such a „shelter“ works. On the other hand, this visit also made me very pensive as I became aware that life in Atlanta can also have downsides for some people and that you can be dependent on charitable help to survive.
International Supply Chain Day
On April 16, 2015, the “International Supply Chain Day”, different firms of the industry, trade and logistic sector open their doors to grant insight into the manifold world of logistics and what goes on behind the scenes. Logistic firms all around the world open their doors and hold presentations or have guided tours to show students and others interested what’s behind the word „logistics“ and „supply chain management“. It is so much more than just transport or storage of goods. This day was initiated by the National Association for logistics (Bundesvereinigung für Logistik – BVL) with help of many organizations and associations.
I was also allowed to be part of this day in my host company BLG Logistics. We visited the affiliates of Kühne + Nagel in Atlanta to get to know their supply chain management. I learned a lot by the versatile presentations from customs clearance to air freight. It was especially interesting for me to compare the differences and similarities to Germany on this topic. Afterwards they showed us the offices and the very modern warehouse of the firm.
A Container Goes Around the World
since almost three weeks, I am privileged to work in my host firm „Kühne und Nagel“ in Atlanta. I really like the work as I have been fully involved from the beginning and this week I will already substitute for a colleague.
This year, “Kühne und Nagel” celebrates its 125th anniversary. For this reason, one container starts its journey around the whole world to different affiliates of the firm. Only few knew what was in the container and therefore the excitement was even bigger as this container arrived on April 9, 2015 at „Commerce Drive 4100“ in Atlanta. It was celebrated for two whole days. Also our premises were decorated in K+N-style as we awaited some customers for visit.
But, what was in those containers that stood in front of our doors over night?
A historical guided tour with pictures and movie material from the beginning of the firm until today as well as interesting information about values and happenings that have influenced the firm over these years.
And at the end, there was a camera for a short feedback where all staff could say something about him-/herself and its firm Kühne und Nagel.
I am very much looking forward to the rest of my stay with my host company K+N.
Jobsite Eagle Bendet (Magna)
Published by Michael Walser on the 15th of April 2015
During my stay in the US, I am interning with the company – INP. North American engineering & services –
As part of my internship I travelled to a jobsite in Clinton, Tennessee. For 7 days my colleagues and I stayed at a hotel and we drove every day to a nearby factory in “Eagle Bendet”. The factory is owned by an Austrian-Canadian corporation named “Magna”. At the factory they produce automotive supplies. For example they produce pillars and frames for well-known car brands, like BMW, VW and Mercedes.
At the factory we were working on a PLC, which is a programmable logic controller. A PLC is usually used for controlling automatic machinery and process cycles.
The PLC mentioned above is a camera control, which is being used to expand two production chains. The corresponding program was prepared on the INP. company notebooks and then transferred to the PLC at the jobsite.
In order for the software to function properly it is necessary to make the different versions of the PLC compatible with one another. For those of you who are not an electrician: it is comparable to putting the car door of an Audi A8 into the frame of an Audi A6.
After we transferred the new software on to the PLC, we had to test the system thoroughly to ensure that safety and proper function were guaranteed.
Happy Easter: egg hunt and rib-eye-Steaks
Published by Iris Müller on the 5th of April 2015
Today I am posting a short report on the American Easter traditions that I witnessed.
Two weeks ago I joined eight women from the neighborhood to fill plastic Easter eggs with toys, candy and stickers.
We hid the eggs on the Saturday before Easter in the garden behind our house. Shortly after hiding the eggs, several children dressed as Easter bunnies came to find the eggs and put them in their decorated baskets.
The event is funded by a neighborhood organization, which anybody can join for a small membership fee.
I spent Easter Sunday outside of Atlanta with the family of a friend of my host mother’s nephew. Does that sound complicated? Well it is. Yet, this is an example of the famous “southern hospitality”. I had only met this friend once, but he didn’t hesitate to invite Brian (nephew) and me to the house of his sister. This is not something unusual, but rather most people in the Atlanta area would invite a stranger to their home just out of a sense of hospitality.
Upon arrival we were treated to a meal of rib-eye-steak, mashed potatoes, salads and bread pudding (I even helped make the bread pudding). It was absolutely delicious and I desperately want to have the bread pudding recipe.
Also, have you ever wanted to look like an Easter egg? Well, then you should come here, because it is another Easter tradition to get dressed up in bright colors in order to look like an Easter egg.
On the way home, we visited another acquaintance and had another Easter meal. This time we had asparagus, stuffed mushrooms, fried meat and macaroni & cheese.
As you can see, I am enjoying life in Atlanta!
Let me thank Brian, Dave and his family for this wonderful Easter experience.
Wastewater Treatment – Field Trip
Published by Dominik Wohlfahrtsstätter on the 31st of March 2015
Recently, I was able to take a field trip to a wastewater treatment plant with my college class. During my internship I will be working at Atlanta Technical College (ATC) in the bioscience department.
Once all of my classmates were on the mini-bus, he headed towards Johns Creek Environmental Campus (JCAC). Upon arrival we received a very friendly welcome. Then they immediately gave us a presentation on the wastewater treatment plant. The plant was built from 2006-2009 for several million dollars.
Most people don’t think about what happens to the water after you flush the toilet or wash your hands. It just seems natural to us that we have a never ending supply of fresh water coming out of the faucet. Yet, as long as there are people there will be wastewater. Thus, many college students are interested in working at a wastewater treatment plant, because it is a secure workplace.
After the presentation we were able to take a tour of the plant. The treatment procedure takes place under ground in order to prevent the surrounding area from smelling too much. The water is filtered in different steps. Everyday the employees at the plant find smartphones, jewelry, keys and even small animals in the water. In one of the later steps, they use special membrane threads to clean the water. Only water can pass through the threads, which leaves the dirt and bacteria sticking to the threads. These membrane threads cost a small fortune and have only been on the market for a few years. After the threads the water is illuminated with UV light, which kills microorganisms like bacteria and germs, which may have been missed by the membrane threads.
The plant cleans 15 million gallons (1 gallon is 3.8 liters) of water on a daily basis. In comparison: the Georgia Aquarium has 10 million gallons of water in its tanks. Finally, the treated water is diverted to a river, where it can be used again as water supply for the fire department or for flushing the toilet, but it can’t be used for drinking water.
At the end of the tour we were shown a model of the whole procedure. We even got the chance to reenact the procedure with brown colored water 😉
Best wishes from Atlanta!
Some sports in Atlanta
Published by Iris Müller on the 30th of March 2015
Brian (the nephew of my hosting lady Donna) invited me to watch his softball team play a game at Piedmont Park. It sounded like a cool idea.
The whole park was full of adults playing different sports. Everyone was playing hard and doing their best to get some much needed stress reduction. The park offered amazing scenery.
Brian’s team is named “Straight Peppers” and had only been constituted four weeks prior. Thus, they have yet to have had much success in winning games, but more important than winning is having fun. Brian’s team was definitely having fun!
Apparently all of the different sports taking place at the Park are organized by a club – the Atlanta Sports & Social Club. For a small fee you can register with the club and indicate what sport you would like to play. Then they assign you to a specific team. This team could for example play their league games at Piedmont Park every Sunday. I liked the fact that it was not so competitive. All the players were dressed casually and just wanted to play for fun. The only rule was that each player had to wear a t-shirt with the logo of their team, so that you knew who was on what team.
Prior to the game, I participated in the warm-up drills with the “Straight Peppers”. I practiced hitting, throwing and catching the ball. According to some of the teammates, I did a pretty good job :).
Softball seems to me to be a mixture of Brennball (a game you might know from gym class) and baseball. Broadly speaking, the point of the game it to hit a ball with a bat and then after hitting the ball you have to reach a base before the other team gets the ball. Each team has 10 Players.
If I were living in Atlanta long-term (and at least 21 years old) I would join a team right away. I am not sure what sport I would choose: Kickball, softball, soccer, football, volleyball or maybe basketball? Any one of those sports seem like fun.
What sport would you like to Play?
The Owls! – Kennesaw State University
Published by Franziska Schaffner on the 26th of March 2015
Michael, Pascal, Alexander and the two of us (Katherina and Franziska) spent the first two weeks of our stay in the USA at Kennesaw State University (KSU). Our accommodations were at the Blake Apartments, where we shared apartments with American students. The housing was only 5 minutes away from the KSU Campus.
At KSU we attended classes that were tailored to our fields of training. We also had so called “peer-buddies”, who accompanied us to class. Our “peer-buddies” were instrumental in helping us to get adjusted with our new surroundings and undertake activities in our spare time. For example, we visited Coca-Cola World, took a hike on Kennesaw Mountain and played miniature golf and pool. We even experienced a traditional celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. At this point, let me thank our new friends who made those first two weeks so enjoyable!
During our stay at KSU we were also able to participate in a special event – foreign languages day. On that day students set up booths, where they introduced countries from all over the world. For example, students were able to attempt German tongue twisters or Chinese letters. There we also several presentations. We also gave a presentation, where we sang the German “Flieger-Lied” 🙂 At the end of the day, we were even spontaneously invited to give an interview on the radio.
KSU has its own radio station – “KSU Owl Radio”. It was a great experience for us to see how a real studio functions. The host of the radio show asked us about our background, our goals and what kind of German music we listen to.
The first two weeks at KSU was a unique and wonderful experience that we will never forget! Thank you!
Published by Thomas Müller on the 23rd of March 2015
Despite having to attend classes every day, we do have enough free time to explore our „new home“, Atlanta.
One of the main attractions in Atlanta is the museum “the world of Coca-Cola”. The Coca-Cola Company was founded here in the late nineteenth century. In 2007 the company set itself an impressive monument by opening a museum downtown. The tour of the museum begins with a brief historical overview and an interesting image film. The film is interesting, because you get an insight on the modus operandi of their marketing department.
What does Coca-Cola taste like? How does it feel when you drink it? How does a company become a global brand?
Coca-Cola wants its customers to have a positive connotation of their products. Since, Coca-Cola is sold all over the world everyone has the possibility to enjoy an ice-cold Coke at any given time. During the interactive tour visitors have the chance to learn about the mystery behind their secret formula and facts from the company’s early years. Even though coke is not the healthiest drink, it does have a very positive image. The Coca-Cola marketing department works tirelessly to paint the company in a positive light. The company acts as sponsors at sporting and outdoor events or donates funds for social projects. Towards the end of the tour visitors get the chance to taste the complete range of their products. The differences between a Fanta in Thailand, Germany or Uganda are larger than expected ;). When exiting the museum every visitor receives a special coke can as a memento. Lastly, visitors have the chance to purchase Coca-Cola merchandise at the souvenir shop. I can definitely recommend visiting “the world of Coca-Cola”.
Kind regards from Atlanta
First day of college
Published by Robin Krank on the 17th of March 2015
Today was our first day of college. I was really surprised to find out how many different training professions are being offered Georgia Piedmont Technical College. For example, you can learn to become a technical product designer or a welder or even a nurse. The college also has state of the art equipment and facilities at their disposal. The American students were all very friendly and ready to help if we had any questions. During the next couple of day we will be deepening our knowledge of welding. I am already looking forward to it.
Arrival at college
Published by Iris Müller on the 17th of March 2015
For the first two weeks of our stay in the United States our group has been divided up between four different colleges depending on our type of training. The first two days of college are now behind us. Dominik, Stephanie, Thomas, Kilian und I (Iris) are attending Atlanta Technical College, which lies in the southern part of Atlanta.
We received a very friendly welcome by a group of students from the international club at the College. Almost all the Americans we have gotten to know – students, pedestrians, policemen or professors – are incredibly nice and helpful (in Upper Franconia, where I am from, most people are kind of grumpy, so all of these friendly people were kind of a shock for me – in a good way! :)).
Thomas and I are taking courses on marketing, advertising and entrepreneurship. These classes fit perfectly with the classes we are taking in Germany (we are learning to become print media managers). In our class with Professor Leach we have been discussing the future of the internet as a promotion channel, as well as what a good sales promoter should take into consideration in that context. In the entrepreneurship class we have been working on different business case studies. For example, we pretended to run a restaurant or a marihuana production plan in Colorado.
In general, it can be stated that lessons at an American technical college are quite different from a German university. At Atlanta Tech they offer training for many jobs, like nurses or cooks, or you can also get a haircut from a student learning to become a hairdresser. In Germany the training for these jobs would not be part of the higher education system, but rather part of the dual schooling system. The American students thought it was unbelievable that we were being paid by our training company to complete our education (American colleges are quite expensive).
It seems to me that college is a mixture of a university and an adult education center. Most of the students at Atlanta Tech are older than the trainees in our group. There are a lot of students, who have already been working for years, but came back to school to learn a new trade or deepen their knowledge of their field of study.
The lessons take place in small groups. We are no more than 10 people in every class. Due to the small class size the professors go to great lengths to interact with the students. While the discussions are quite lively, the atmosphere remains friendly. This wonderful atmosphere has been a great experience so far.
There we are!
Published by Johannes Großhauser on the 15th of March
It is already our second day in Atlanta. The weather is great! 24° C and sun shine. As you can see on the photo below, the traffic is Atlanta is exactly the way we Europeans imagine it to be.
There are a lot of lanes on the highway, but that does not prevent the roads from always being congested.
Newspapers – or in this case advertisements – are delivered to your driveway. 🙂
Before I forget, I would like to thank everyone for the warm reception at the airport.
Time to go
Published by Judith Maiers on the 14th of March
At shortly past 6 am we were off to the airport. It had been a short night and we had a long flight ahead of us. Yet, everybody is excited and full of anticipation. The process took seven months – submitting the application, the interview, applying for the visa, English course and preparatory meetings – now finally the time has come to get on the airplane.