Just in time before the Christmas break, we wanted to provide you with a short recap about one of our highlights in the first semester at AMS. Of course, we are excited to get our adventure in Shanghai started! The flights are booked, our VISAS are in-the-making, we are ready for take off.
But first, we had the chance to explore what Europe has to offer!
Therefore, two weeks ago, AMS sent us on a trip to Budapest, in order to work during seminars on the Central- and Eastern European market and to dive into the Hungarian culture including the famous low carb food like Gulasch! Of course, what happens in Budapest, stays in Budapest, but..
So there we were, wake-up call on a monday morning at 4.15 am to arrive in BUD on time for lunch. On the go we enjoyed some karaoke sessions on the airport transfer to our very Hungarian hotel in the city center.
After lunch, our first Seminar at ESSCA Management School started with apparently one of the last Hungarian Cowboys, Stuart, a super cool British Expat who used to live in Budapest already for quite a while. He guided us on a field trip to a highly controversially discussed construction project in Budapest, that embodied a lot of the Hungarian mentality and its cultural dimensions. This content was furthermore a huge part of what we discussed during our classes, while Stuart provided us with a lot of practical instructions on how to enter and behave in the Hungarian business context.
During the first days, we went on a company visit (inclusive Tasting!) to Zwack Unicum, the producer of the famous Hungarian Herbs Liquor “Unicum” where we gained insights into the production process and the sales strategy of “Unicum”. Especially our fellow Chinese students were excited about the taste – at 11 am in the morning!
In the evening we went to an “Escape-room”, which was amazing since the theme-rooms varied from Egyptian to an Amazonas setting. You cannot imagine how threatening plastic snakes can be when they fall from the ceiling on your head! After one hour of working on the solution, how to get out of the room, we finally made it – to the Christmas market!
The end of our week was also super intense! On Thursday morning, we had an interesting walking tour with a Hungarian guide and we enjoyed the discovery of this beautiful city, even though the weather was freezing (-6° degrees but it honestly felt like minus 10)!!
Learning more about the Eastern culture throughout the week was full of surprises for us. For example, we were first a bit shocked by the quasi non-existing sense of customer service over there. However, even though at first sight Hungarian people do not seem very welcoming and friendly, they have some good places to relax and chill.
Indeed, we found the time, in our tight planning, to go to Gellért, one of the nicest and most famous thermal baths in Europe. If you ever go to visit Budapest, these thermal baths are definitely a “must-see”, so do not make the same mistake as us: do not forget your swimsuit! (Very few, if none, stores sell swimsuit in December there, although the city is very famous for her thermal spa baths!) We had the chance to take a bath at 30° and 40° Celsius, to try the different types of saunas, the swimming pool AND the amazing outdoor Jacuzzi. With a negative outside temperature, this was a very nice and pleasant sensation to experience. The architecture and the interior decoration style are also very beautiful and worth seeing: we were surrounded by mosaics, columns and marble statues.
Finally, for our last night, we went to a very nice boat restaurant (Spoon Café & Lounge), offering an amazing view on the Danube and the Buda Castle. As a French person, I just cannot help but recommend you this place with an irreproachable service, where we were served delicious gastronomic dishes and excellent wine in a cosy atmosphere.
Some of us went to another “must-see” place of Budapest: Szimpla, which is one of the best pubs in the world. This kind of bar is famous for its very special “ruin pub” concept and decoration that has inspired so many pubs in Budapest. Also the Mazel Tov restaurant is really worth trying and just a stone’s throw away from Szimpla in the Jewish district!
Our intense week ended on Saturday morning with another very early wake up, but with our heads full of memories and our minds enlightened on the Eastern culture and way of conducting business.
By Celine and Paulina, CEB