Industrial Distribution program’s Scotland, Germany study abroad trip a success

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This summer, 19 undergraduate students in the Industrial Distribution program at Texas A&M University took part in a 16-day study abroad trip to Scotland and Germany led by Dr. Ismail Capar.

In Aberdeen, Scotland, students toured a Halliburton facility and worked on a case study based on actual problems — ­logistics, regulation changes and  budgeting — that the company was facing.

Capar, an associate professor in the Engineering Technology and Industrial Distribution Department, stressed the importance of exposing students to real-world industrial distribution problems.

“They were real problems [Halliburton] was facing at the moment,” Capar said. “Students saw these problems in action and came up with solutions.”

Problems such as uncertainty of imported material dimensions for packing were addressed, as well as finding the best responses to emergency situations.

Students presented their findings to the Halliburton Leadership Team, which was very impressed.

“The director of international supply chain management was so impressed with the feedback he received from his colleagues in Scotland that he wanted copies of the students’ presentations sent over,” said Capar.

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After finishing their presentations in Scotland, the group traveled to Berlin and Munich, Germany, to visit various companies including, Mercedes, Volkswagen and BMW.

In Munich, after visiting the BMW facility, the Aggies faced off against graduate and undergraduate students from the University of Alabama in a case study competition judged by a BMW executive and faculty from Texas A&M and the University of Alabama.

Out of 10 teams, junior industrial distribution major Tori Withrow’s group received second place.

“ID students did such a great job and our presentations were excellent,” said Withrow.

Withrow emphasized how the overall experience was a great opportunity both professionally and personally.

“A lot of the fun stuff we did was actually built into the curriculum,” Withrow said. “This experience actually felt like a learning vacation. 

Given the success of the trip, Capar said next year’s program has already been approved and the schedule is in the works. He will be taking another group to Europe and is working with various companies to make sure students get a unique professional experience.

For more information on next year’s trip, visit here or contact Capar at capar@tamu.edu or Ilana Blumenfeld-Gantz at ilana@tamu.edu.

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