Thursday, June 19, 2014

Our last day in Budapest (Day 4)

Our time in Budapest has come to an end! What a great 4 days its been! I heard a number of students talking about how quickly the last four days have gone. I think that is a sign that our stay in Budapest has been great. We head out very early tomorrow morning and head to Vienna, Austria, after a few hours in Bratislava, Slovakia.

This morning we were up early for our visit at SAP Labs Hungary. In true Budapest fashion, we took the underground line, switched directions, and then took the city bus out to the industrial park where SAP is located along with other multinational companies such as Microsoft, Cannon, etc. We were in our business attire and we had a little bit of a walk from the bus to the industrial park. It was quite hot here today and I think it is fair to say were all excited to arrive at SAP. 

Once we arrived, we were checked in, presented with name badges, and escorted to a conference room on the top level of the building. After settling in, were introduced to Markus Hilken, Managing Director of SAP Labs Hungary. Markus began by greeting each and every student walking around the room, introducing himself, and shaking hands. Despite being the Managing Director of the SAP location in Hungary, we found out from other employees that Markus personally does each and every group talk because it is important to him to spread the message of SAP Labs, etc. He did a brief intro of himself and the company. The founders of SAP were once employees of IBM. They were of German decent, as is Markus. Markus's presentation was excellent and the students were very attentive the entire time. Most of the students had briefly heard of SAP before we did our prework research. However, I would bet each and every one now knows what SAP does and what a major impact its software has on companies and customers around the world. Markus talked about employees at SAP in Hungary speaking three languages (English, Hungarian, and German) and taking part in innovation workshops frequently. A few interesting takeaways from the presentation include:
  • SAP Labs works with over 90+% of all Fortune 500 companies
  • SAP Labs touches 72% of the world GDP
  • SAP Hungary has grown over 50% in the last year and is looking to hire another 300 employees this year
I could go on and on about this visit but I'll spare those of you who aren't a business dork like I am. Below are a few pictures of our morning:

The group with Markus Hilken, SAP Labs Hungary

After a quick stop at the hotel to change, students split into groups to go to lunch and check out more of the city before we headed to the Budapest Cathedral and Castle museum. I went with a small group to the Parliament area to look around and grab lunch. The Parliament building is one of my favorite sights in Budapest. The building was so beautiful from the water on our night cruise of the Danube and also beautiful in the daylight. I don't think anyone realizes how big the building is until you stand next to it! The group met at the underground metro station to head to the Cathedral and Castle area. I've posted a few of my favorite pictures from our afternoon. We walked and walked and walked and walked today but it was a great afternoon full of beautiful sights and history. 

View from the Budapest Cathedral

We ended the day at 6:15 p.m. at a cafe for dessert and announcements to prepare us for our trip to Bratislava, Slovakia, on the way to Vienna. Most students were going to get packed up tonight before eating dinner and spending their last night here in Budapest. We are loading the bus at 7:45 a.m. to head out. What a great stay it's been! I can only hope Vienna is as great as Budapest! A special Bearcat thank you to Szilvia Danko, our guide here in Budapest! 


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