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You are the average of the five people you hang out with most.

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Lessons from a 21st century executive:

Have you ever felt unhappy with the content you see on facebook?

Think again, this content is algorithmically collected from your likes and actions and mirrored back to you. You are looking at a reflection of yourself. 

One bit of advice given to me by Mr. Dennis Yu, CEO of BlitzMetrics recently is that if you want to be successful, you need to go and interact directly with those who have made it in your field. There is no substitute for this form of exposure and there is no time like the present to seek it.

Speaking of time, one final word of advice that perhaps prompted me to write this blog at this very moment is a simple adage "There is no later." 

So keep these points in mind throughout your life journey:

- Your ideas will never come to fruition in the future if you put them off.

- Your facebook and your reputation in the real-world are reflections of who surrounds you.

- You must keep close those who you aspire to become. Advice from anyone else is usually poison.

- Mark Wagner - find me on facebook and twitter.

Home on the Range... In Stuttgart

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The city of Stuttgart in Baden-Württemberg is known for its famous car production plants of Porsche and Mercedes. What many don't know is its origin which can be seen memorialized on the emlem of every carerra on the road: The horse. Stuttgart was settled by a family of horse farmers and today, the plow and horse is part of their flag.

During our travels, the continent of europe gave us many experiences. While leaving Stuttgart, we stopped and gave back some time in return. There is a non-profit farm where children can spend their day and young people can earn their college education. 

They were in particular need of a crew to clear a horse plot when we showed up and turned out to be just the crowd. We grabbed some shovels and quickly cleared a half acre plot of topsoil and laid out sand for the new surface. Talk about breaking ground... fifty wheelbarrows of it!

After a few hours of labor in which everyone, even our guide Susan, participated in, we (students and farm animals) sat down for some home cooked spatzel, a traditional German cuisine. 

To do community service is one thing, but to extend our helping hand to another continent is certainly something Montgomery College can brag about.

How do you think we gave back the most? Comments below or catch me on facebook or twitter!

Till next time - Mark Wagner - MC class of 2013

Post from the 14th finally here!(2)

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Hallo, it is the day four here in Germany and we have already seen two car plants, BMW and Audi as well as the world famous Hofbrau haus and historic Munich! Since my specific task will be BMW and perhaps its comparison to Audi, Joey’s project, I will drop a few hints about the company in this posting. BMW consists of 24 plants in 13 countries on 4 continents. At BMW Welt, we were able to experience the comfort of the top line M7, M6 and Mini cooper series, except for the Rolls Royce as you may need to be wearing a suit just to approach the Phantom which BMW also now makes, giving it their own glamorous touch. BMW is now the most expensive car manufacturer in Germany, surpassing Mercedes in 2011.

The company started in 1923 making aircraft and motorcycle and began making their double kidney front grille car series in 1932. Mercedes-benz almost bought the company in 1959, however the shareholders stood firm and continued to make the company what is it today, later taking on Rover (temporarily), Mini, and Rolls Royce in 2003.

As for the actual manufacture itself, which may well be trade secret (SHHH!), the frame and body pieces are pressed from aluminum and steel rolls in huge stamp machines. Also, the paint by BASF is recycled in water (although this seemed over the top, they do everything they can to recycle everywhere in Germany), and the undercoat base paint which predetermines the set of possible overcoat colors is actually mated to the body via electrical charge.

These are just a few of the trade secrets they are willing to tell us about, but I think one of the biggest pieces to the BMW puzzle is their performance engines, assembled by hand right here in Munich and Austria.

Not all BMW are expensive, however, there is a 118d and other 1 series coupes with cloth seats and simple features yet still the BMW quality for less money than their cheapest US car, the Z4 or the 125i. And guess what: the 3 series uses the same platform so maybe one can think twice before spending $90,000USD on an M3 and ask themselves if a 118d will do! Oh yes, it must be imported first but you can do this here at BMW Welt (World).

We arrived a few days early but the 4 series is soon being released and it will be a big day for Bayern. This is indicated by a countdown timer at the assembly plant parking lot so even the workers can revel in anticipation.

I would like to thank employee David Langenbuch who helped me learn more info about the cars inside and out from electric to diesel. His photo is in the gallerie.

In any case, today we are setting out on a mission to explore the world far from the luxury of BMW to a horse farm in order to make a difference in disadvantaged childrens lives. Hopefully we will make friends here and put in some work in the name of our college. This is afterall a service learning trip! Well, I must get to the service part or “arbeit” meaning work, so Tschuss!


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