More nostalgic thoughts about the trip flooded my head today while I reacquainted myself at work. What a great trip. It was really enlightening to see how these companies operate from a supply chain perspective. I learned something new in every lecture and tour, and these are concepts that will stay with me forever. Hearing these companies talk about their strategic decisions, areas for improvement, challenges, and opportunities with such forthrightness is something I’ve never experienced before. They didn’t treat us like wide-eyed students. They treated us as if we were outside consultants — sharing insightful presentations and answering all of our challenging questions.

I don’t feel like I was on a two-week vacation — rather, I feel like I was on a business trip. There was hard work involved at times, and some of the travel days really did a number on our energy levels. I guess I could have slept more if I wanted to, but I really value friendships and new experiences on these kinds of trips. If I had a choice between going to bed or joining a group of other students on some adventure, I always chose the latter, and I won’t regret that.

Learning about these different cultures was a major highlight of this trip for me. It was my first trip to Europe and I now know that I want to go back. There were things that I really liked: excellent tap water quality everywhere, easiness of using the chip and pin credit cards, free blankets provided to all patrons at outdoor patios (my wife would love that one), cleanliness of the cities, ice cream stands everywhere, etc…..but also things that I disliked: everything is smaller (bedrooms, bathrooms) and slower (service at any restaurant, bar service), breakfast consists of lunchmeat and meatballs, and I don’t think I ever saw a sport on television anywhere (aside from some random club soccer game).

Anyway, with all of that said, this concludes my blog. This was the first time I’d ever done something like this and I had a lot of fun with it. To all my wonderful classmates — I’ll see you all again, one place or another. Maybe we will even work together someday. And thanks to the friends and family that followed this blog!!! Over and out – Duff

What a crew….the end