Monday, April 1, 2019

ROME: When in Rome, Do as the Romans Do

by Jessica Solan

No matter how hard I try to wrap my head around it, I don't think my brain will ever comprehend that I am in Rome - and not just some knock-off brand Rome, but the Rome.

As much as I love America, we only have several hundred years of history. Before this trip, I would find awe in two-hundred year old buildings. Now, I could not avoid a two-thousand year old building, even if I wanted to. When I heard that we would have four long classes every day on four days per week, I thought my new friends and I would just be missing the center of Rome more than half of the time. When classes began, I found out that we would be taking three or four field trips into the city per week, and those trips always make my day! My"Christian Faith and the Arts" class has been visiting two ancient churches every week, and the artwork, architecture, history, and ages of these places is astounding.

Modern Rome is beautiful in a different way. The colorful buildings, the zooming tiny cars, and the hustle of 21st century Italians fill the streets. Modernized trattorias and pasticcerias send their scents down the streets with parked vespas all over. The palace on top of a hill used to be the only way to feel the world at your fingertips, which can now be felt by sitting on a rooftop restaurant and taking in the city views of Rome.

Rome is a city that always has more to discover. Once you think you have seen everything, you realize that there are a few centuries you forgot to look into, as well as the upcoming times in this ever-changing city. Yet, no matter how much Rome changes, the Romans make sure that they never forget what they came from.

Roman Forum

Circo Massimo at Sunset

Monday, February 11, 2019

Rome: Lasallian Universities Center for Education (LUCE) Program Spring 2019

Buona Domenica Manhattan College!

Greetings from the Lasallian Universities Center for Education (LUCE) Program Spring 2019 in Rome!

We are a group of six Jaspers (five students and one faculty member) and students and faculty from Lewis University in Chicago, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, and Universidad La Salle Neza in Mexico. Our program coordinator is Dr. Dominic Colonna of Lewis University and our mentor and assistant resident director is Brother Stephen Markham, FSC.

Roma, the Eternal City, is our classroom and our home is the Christian Brothers Generalate, a most welcoming and peaceful place that houses the relics of Saint John Baptist de La Salle. We are excited to study art history, literature, Italian, Christian faith and the arts, present Italy, the European Union, and international economics in one of the most elegant and fascinating places in the world. We also participate in Lasallian Community and Social Action assemblies and travel on a weekly basis.

We have just completed our first week of classes, and some of us have been visiting Florence this weekend. Expect some great stories and photos from the captivating birthplace of Italian Renaissance, soon. In the near future we will have educational and service excursions to Napoli and Scampia, Assisi, and Milan.

So stay tuned and follow us!

Warm regards from all of us,
Jessica Solan ’21, Rachel Runge ’21, Molly McGough ‘20, Bianca Salazar ‘20, Aidan Gormley ‘21, and Natalia Boliari, Economics and Finance Department, O’Malley School of Business

Monday, January 14, 2019

|PSA & Versailles|

Bonjour Jaspers!

On January 10th, the GLBL 414  and MBAE 606 classes had the opportunity to observe a full cycle of work-in-process inventory while visiting PSA Peugeot Citron, a French car manufacturer. We watched as spools of flattened metal were molded, welded, perfected, and attached to various bases to create a complete, functioning car. PSA has managed to perfect its operations to the point where the entire process, if timed from the first piece of metal to the final check, takes only 27 hours! Watching a car emerge from metal sheets only a few millimeters thick was incredible and the efficiency and dexterity of both the employees and machines in the factory were unparalleled. Everything moved  simultaneously, especially towards the end, with multiple parts and functions happening at once in the same area. Wheels, front seats, bases, and dashboards were all added within 20 minutes of each other. A carousel of doors constantly rotated the later stages, reminding me of the children's movie, Monsters Inc. The final products were shiny, new, sleek cars-some of which have yet to be released to the public- that employees drove around to their respective parking spots for more test drives and assessments. 

After choosing our favorite cars in the factory, the group got back on the bus and headed to Versailles. Even with a cloudy sky, the gold covering the fences, buildings,...(everything), still shone brightly. The sheer size of the palace was shocking-who would ever need that much space?! We toured the extravagant bedrooms with carpets for wall paper and canopies hanging from the vaulted ceilings. The Hall of Mirrors was, like the rest of the palace, elaborate and excessive. The endless art and sculpture stressed the importance of creativity and preserving history, something that is often forgotten about in today's world. Although the palace was a little lavish for my taste, I don't think I would ever turn down the opportunity to live there :)

Sunday, January 13, 2019

January 10th- Blog Entry

On January 10th The Manhattan College class of Global 414 had the opportunity to visit one of Europe's most popular car manufacturers named "PSA Peugeot Citroën” which has consumers in 160 countries and 16 productions sites. The PSA assembly factory we visited creates three different models of cars, two of the three cars assembled are electric. Once we arrived at the assembly factory we were given safety measures such as yellow vest which reminded us of the riots and protective glasses. At the beginning of the tour, we were taken to the first out of three buildings which is the beginning of the assembly line. The tour guide demonstrated the vehicles from raw metal to finishing product. First, we visited the molding area, laser cutting area and learned that the scraps of metals used to produce the car are sent back to the metal producers once finished in order to decrease their carbon footprint and eliminate waste. The company has advanced due to the increase in technology for in the 1980’s it took 6-8 hours to change a matrix in today’s day it takes up to 15 min. The result of increasing the technology has decreased jobs in the manufacturing business due to the fact 89% of the factory is automatic. The technology has caused a severe decrease in employees for in the 1960’s it would take 22,000-27,000 people to create 2,000 cars, currently, only 4,000 employees divided into 3 teams can create 1,000 a day within the constant 24 hrs it is open.
The company site we visited also creates pieces for cars who are being created in other assembly sights which one of them could be found near the left bank of the French river. In order to produce 8 cars 350 metal pieces are needed and a common subject is keeping the mold for 10 years ongoing after the creation of the model for repairs. The factory has an electronic board above the mold machines which calculate the number of products demanded vs the ones that have been created throughout the day. In order to create cars, they use robots with laser beams to create the details. Later on, they retrieve one of the automobiles that where being created in the robotic cycle to verify everything is okay in order to have quality control. Another quality control the company does is a test drive the car 1 million km in different environments before releasing them. They are currently creating two electric automobiles to compete with Tesla. The first building we visited assembles 2 cars the second building is focused on producing 1 car which is a PRE model, therefore, they only create 50 a day with a new generation of robots. They are compacting the production area creating more space for other facilities such as storage and a small school for their factory workers.
After visiting the PSA manufacturing sight we had the opportunity to visit Versailles which was a stunning sight. Thankfully the Versailles Palace did not have many visitors, therefore, we were able to walk the corridors calmly and were able to see a little bit of everything. Due to the cold weather many of the students left early yet I had the opportunity to stay and go around Marie Antoinette’s small village which included a variety of animals such as chickens, goats, lambs, fish, and a cute water mill definitely a must see when visiting the Versailles Palace. 

Friday, January 11, 2019

January 11th Paris Business Visit - Imprimerie Hélio Corbeil


Today marked the last full day of our trip to Paris. Similar to the other business visits we have experienced thus far, the stop at Imprimerie Hèlio Corbeil revealed some truly interesting insights into an industry I had not been very familiar with previously. Created in 1829 and then purchased by Hachette (Hèlio Corbeil) in 1980, the Hèlio Corbeil printing works is one of the oldest companies in the region. In order to print and distribute nearly 10 million periodicals per week, the company uses 35,000 tons of paper per year, along with 1,500 tons of ink. Furthermore, the presses print 700 meters of paper per minute and 50,000 copies per hour. Below are a few behind-the-scenes images of the internal processes used in a business endeavor like this:

One of the most interesting points illuminated by our guide was that, in an effort to keep the company from succumbing to bankruptcy in 2012. 120 employees of the printing press contributed to purchasing the company using their own motivation. It was detailed that 80 employees paid three months of their salary to bail out the company and ultimately become shareholders. This was noble to me in that though the rise of the internet age has seemingly doomed the print business, these employees maintained faith in their decision to utilize their own personal assets to keep the company alive. In my opinion, the business visit today was among the best we have been exposed to thus far. Tonight we plan to end our trip on the right foot with a farewell dinner in the city and possibly one last visit to the Eiffel Tower. Overall, I am extremely grateful to have been a part of this trip for the sights I saw, friendships I built, and perspective I have gained.

Au Revoir Paris!

January 10th - Paris - PSA Peugeot Citroen


Today we went to visit PSA Peugeot Citron, a French car manufacturer that's mission is to become a leading car manufacturer and a provider of mobility solutions to enhance customers freedom of movement on a day-to-day basis. PSA Group is present in 160 countries, has 16 production sites around the world, and is the number 2 vehicle manufacturer in Europe.

When we first arrived on cite, we were greeted by our tour guide for the day and all given visitor badges, vests, and protective glasses. The tour started in the first building where the molds are made for the cars. Giant spools of thin metal are used for the frame of the car and are pressed to form the shape. On the cite that we visited, there were 4 pressing machines that were each run by one employee and 89% of the work was done automatically by robots. The sheets of metal that were cut were separated and labeled depending on the car model it was for. If there are any defects during the cutting process, the metal is recycled and used for something else. One very interesting part of their production process was how they use a common base for a number of their cars. This allows them to not have to make sure they are making all different bases, but instead can just produce a lot of the same base and use it for different car models.

The second part of our tour was to the building where they do all the metal work on the cars, including the assembly of the frame and welding. One thing that we learned was the Citron 208 model is assembled completely by machines. We also learned about the types of welding that is done on the cars, laser and traditional. The last part of our tour was to the building where they fully assemble the rest of the car, including the engine, wheels, suspension, and interior. Each car takes 27 hours for it to be made from start to finish. This includes from when the metal is first pressed and all the way till the car is ready to be sold. Overall, this was a very interesting visit because we got to see how the entire production of cars works and how technology is improving the efficiency. In the 1960's, PSA Group had 22,000 employees and they made 2,000 cars a day. Today, PSA Group has 4,000 employees and they make 1,000 cars a day. This shows how as technology continues to advance it makes certain tasks easier to be done.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

January 9th Global414 Paris Trip

Yesterday was our 6thday in Paris. It consisted of two very interesting site visits that differed greatly. It allowed us to see how a busy airport is run and the logistics needed, as well as the very popular Lafayette shopping galleria.

Charles de Gaulle is an airport located to the north east of Paris in France. This was the same airport we flew into to begin our trip here in Paris. Our tour on the coach bus brought us all over the airport to different terminals, and both the commercial and cargo portions. This airport is regarded as one of Europe’s primary location for cargo entry, processing, and exporting. This cargo section includes major shipping company hubs for FedEx, UPS, DHL and SkyTeam Air France. Last year, CDG airport had over 200 million tons of goods come through its runways. It is the 10thlargest in the world for cargo while the largest cargo hub is in Hong Kong. FedEx has the biggest cargo hub in this airport. One interesting fact that was discovered was the biggest expense for cargo is security. This is due to an intensive package x-raying process and ensuring packages are safe for travel. In regard to travel, some interesting facts were shared. Within 24 hours, CDG has 1 passenger plane leaving and arriving each minute. However during rush hours which are at 8AM, 10AM, 1PM, 5PM, and 8PM, 1 plane takes off every 20 seconds.

Following the airport, we traveled to Galeries Lafayette to learn about the history of the galleria and what it takes to run the location today. When Lafayette first began, it was a location for only wealthy women. There were no prices shown, and once inside a woman had to buy something before leaving. It then transformed into a shopping center for women of all social status. Prices were shown, but the marketing catch was the beauty inside the galleria. Extravagant decorations, sculpting and a round shape create an experience where someone shopping loses track of time and will continue to shop. Today, the stores inside are more modern but the main structure still remains in its original glorious fashion.

Following these business visits, the majority of the group traveled to a Paris Saint-Germain F.C. game to experience one of Paris’ most exciting event. It was a fun end to a day full of learning about two interesting businesses.