Today was our third day in Munich (München). The weather was wonderful all day. We walked to Technical University of Munich for a series of lectures. The School of Management was very accommodating. We were greeted with a variety of refreshments, TUM pens, and TUM notepads!
The first guest speaker was Professor Dr. Christof Kaserer, who is a current professor and the former Dean for the TUM School of Management. He gave us interesting insight into the German financial system and corporate structure, with emphasis on family enterprises. The majority of German businesses are considered family firms, based on the criteria that a founding family member has 25 percent or more of shares, a founding family member holds an executive position, and/or a founding family member is a non-executive director. He stated that 80 percent of firms are family-owned and these firms employ 60 percent of German employees.
After this academic session, we walked to the main campus’ Mensa, the student cafeteria. We ate delicious food while enjoying a panoramic view of the campus. This central cafeteria-style location is different from what we are used to at U of A.
Next, we walked around Munich. Several helpful ambassadors from TUM joined us and shared their local expertise. Some of us enjoyed ice cream from Balla Beni, touted as the best ice cream in the city.
When we returned to our room at TUM, Michael Müller brought everyone their customized European Tour t-shirt. Michael Müller is a local business owner and he shared his experience with his custom clothing design company, SoulGoods. He mentioned some of the challenges that his business has successfully overcome and future plans for growth. He emphasized the importance of creating a business plan, while also being realistic and following your gut.
Today was a wonderful day. We are looking forward to exploring more of Munich and enjoying the sunny weather. Auf Wiedersehen.