Tuesday, March 23, 2010

New Photos Have Been Uploaded

I've finally added photos from Friday and Saturday. Enjoy!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

It's Almost Over

Today we woke early to go on a walking tour of the city. Our guide showed us all the old buildings in the historical part of town as well as the newer part of town (built in the early 19th century). We visited a museum, a Catholic church, walked quickly through the open-air market, and then took a quick bus tour of the rest of the city. Upon our return, we were running behind schedule so we only had 15 minutes to find the restrooms and browse the market. We then boarded another bus with Dean Frohlich to visit a newly opened museum called the Museum of Prehistoric Time and Human History in Krapina (www.mhz.hr). It was very interesting, but we were tired and hungry so the next stop was greatly anticipated. LUNCH. We headed to a hilltop restaurant called Kozjak. This is a very rustic place which made me think it was an old house. The front doors were wooden slats and the whole building was made with brick (that was exposed on the interior walls). The bathrooms were outside but thankfully were enclosed and not like the outhouses that I thought I might find. Again, the food was delicious.

Our last stop for the day was an outlet shopping mall, much like our mall in Edinburgh, IN. We made it a short trip than made the hour long trip back to the city of Zagreb. Short group meetings were held and then the students were released to do some last minute shopping, packing, or just a little relaxing before our horribly early wake up calls in the morning - 4:30 am. Yes folks, the journey's end is coming close. I still have to do some packing and sleeping myself so I will hold off posting any more video or pictures for now. I promise to work on the blog over the next several days to fill in any gaps that the students might leave when you talk to them next.

Until next time, take care.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Best Day Yet

Today was awesome! If we thought we were busy earlier in the week, today blew those all away. The morning started early with a walk to the Zagreb Chamber of Economy. We were shown a short video about the country, which made us all decide we need to come back in the summer and travel the coastline. The students learned a great deal about the economic situation here in Zagreb & Croatia. They also got to meet the US Embassy representative who also gave them insight into how to get a similar diplomatic job and some of the things he works on during the year. We also met Dean Zlatan Frohlich from IGBS. This school has a partnership with the Kelley School and Dean Frohlich is very instrumental in keeping the relationship a live and providing a high quality MBA program.

Our next visit was to Coca-Cola (www.coca-colahellenic.hr). Everyone really enjoyed this business visit. We were able to hear their production, marketing, and shipping strategies based on the market here. We were also treated to a short tour of their bottling facility and a cool goodie bag. While we were still on a high from this meeting, we visited our next company - Geofoto (www.geofoto.hr). This firm handles all types of civil digital imaging for maps. They have topographical maps, 3D modeling maps of cities, aerial photographic maps and more. We were given a presentation to explain the differences between all the types of maps. Then the students were allowed to see the equipment that made some of the maps, and even try on a pair of 3D goggles and view what the Geofoto team was currently working on. How cool is that!

Busy day you say? Ha! We're only half way done with our day. At 2:30pm we visited with Erste Bank. This is a large bank here in Zagreb who just seems to "get it". The presentation at this firm focused on innovation and marketing to both external clients as well as their staff. One student has decided to apply for an internship with this company because he liked what they had to say.

We had a few hours of free time before meeting back at the hotel at 7:30 to walk to dinner with Dean Frohlich and some of the IGBS MBA students. We had a wonderful time talking with the students and the food was outrageous! We ate so much food and everything tasted wonderful. It's getting late so I won't post photos right now. Stay tuned and I'll add photos soon.

P.S. Tomorrow is our last day in Croatia and the last day of our spring break. Tomorrow will be busy but I hope to get even a short note posted before leaving Sunday morning.

Laura's Favorite

Thursday, March 18, 2010

We're Not in Budapest Anymore...

This morning we enjoyed our final breakfast at Sofitel Hotel in Budapest. I know we are going to miss the long counters of pastries, assorted breads, meats, cheeses, fresh fruit and so much more! We left Budapest around 9 AM and enjoyed a leisurely ride through the Hungary country side. We arrived at the border around noon and an immigration official came onto the bus and collected our passports. In the meantime, a border control officer examined our luggage below the bus. After waiting close to an hour, they returned our passports with two new stamps and we were on our way. We arrived in Zagreb a couple of hours later. Although we made it into the city rather easily, it was a challenge for our bus to find the hotel because of traffic, pedestrians, and one way streets. After asking two police officers for assistance without any results, we eventually asked the hotel for directions which involved driving down a tram track and removing several poles from the street to allow our bus to enter the narrow parking lot. Everyone was very excited to arrive and after a quick check-in, we hit the streets. It didn't take long for the students to find pastry and gelato shops lining the streets outside of our hotel. The air smells wonderful! Within hours of arriving, it has already become clear that not many people speak English and menus in multiple languages are harder to come by. We are excited for a busy day of business visits from 8:30 AM-10 PM. Until tomorrow....

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Last Day in Budapest

Today has been very busy. We received exciting news! But more on that later. We got an early start and headed to our first meeting, which was with the Ministry for National Development of Economy (http://www.nfgm.gov.hu/en). Our hosts discussed various aspects of the Hungarian economy, membership in the European Union, and small business support. Most of the visits haven't received as much excitement as this meeting has. In this picture, one of our students is smiling because he just loves the microphone system in front of him, which he later used to ask questions of our hosts.

Our next visit was with ITD (http://www.itdh.com/) an investment and trade development company. Here, we heard about the great recession in Europe from a comparison of Hungary and Poland economics. The students asked great questions and learned a lot.

We actually had time for a quick lunch and then it was off to our third visit of the day, Freesoft (www.freesoft.hu/en) which is a technology company that sells Oracle licensing products as well as developing data modernization products for large corporations. A very informative visit but the excitement was building. It was time to head to our fourth and final visit......Parliament! Yes folks, Professor Jaffee and the team at IU's CIBER office were able to reschedule our visit with Mr. Horvath and give us a private tour of Parliament. It doesn't get much better than this!!!!!