Bucharest Unveiled: Discovering Historical Grandeur, Culinary Delights, and Business Insights

The second excursion of the Master Class CEE 2023 took us on an enthralling journey to Bucharest, the vibrant capital of Romania. A comprehensive itinerary featuring the majestic Parliament building, the charming Old Town, corporate visits, and enriching interactions with WU alumni awaited the enthusiastic cohort of 24 students. For many, it was their maiden voyage to Bucharest, a city that left us awestruck and yearning for more. Join us as we unravel the cultural tapestry, savor exquisite Romanian cuisine, and delve into the business dynamics of this Central and Eastern European gem.

Historical Magnificence and Gastronomic Treasures

Our escapade commenced with a spellbinding first glimpse of Bucharest’s Parliament building, a colossal structure emblematic of Romania’s communist legacy. Its grandeur and detailed architecture echoed the intricate history of this land. We later ambled through the quaint cobblestone alleys of the Old Town, bathed in the gentle embrace of golden sun rays. The ambient cafés and shops that lined the streets bore a remarkable semblance to Southern Italy and narrated tales of a bygone era.

A gastronomic adventure awaited us, as we savored Bucharest’s diverse culinary offerings. From the delectable “sarmale” – minced meat enveloped in cabbage leaves – to the sweet symphony of “papanasi” pastries, our taste buds were regaled with traditional Romanian flavors. The camaraderie shared over meals provided us with glimpses into Romania’s rich cultural heritage and rendered our experience more memorable.

Navigating Progress, Urban Congestion, and Sustainability

Our journey through Bucharest was interspersed with enlightening corporate visits. At Advantage Austria, we gleaned valuable insights into the Romanian market and the potential avenues for Austrian enterprises. It highlighted the significance of comprehending the cultural fabric of Romania to better position Austrian businesses for success.

In a different vein, our visit to OMV Petrom presented us with an opportunity to observe a corporate perspective on environmental stewardship. The presentation was quite positive in its portrayal of environmental policies. It sparked our curiosity and made us keen to learn more about the nuances, challenges, and pragmatic steps that the company is taking in its journey towards sustainability.

As we traversed the city, we were privy to the sea of cars that dominate Bucharest’s transportation landscape. The snarling traffic was emblematic of the challenges in urban planning and public transportation. It underscored the imperative need for sustainable solutions to enhance the quality of life for Bucharest’s denizens and cater to the city’s burgeoning transportation requisites.

Engaging Conversations and Peer Learning

One of the highlights of our sojourn was the alumni talk, a meeting with alumni of the WU Executive MBA Bucharest which proved to be an engaging and insightful session. The candid discussions imparted a sense of authenticity and furnished us with a genuine understanding of the realities of working in Central and Eastern Europe.

Our experience was further enriched by the bonds forged with our fellow masterclass colleagues. Be it over coffee in the Old Town or in thoughtful discussions about the day’s events, our time together allowed us to comprehend Romania’s complexities from a multifaceted lens. The diverse perspectives shared were instrumental in widening our horizons and fostering a deeper understanding of the region.

Final Musings

Our excursion to Bucharest was a kaleidoscope of emotions and experiences. From the imposing edifice of the Parliament building to the enchanting alleys of the Old Town, from corporate revelations to the culinary odyssey, every element contributed to painting a vivid picture of Bucharest’s multifaceted personality.

While progress is palpable, it is indelibly tinged with challenges. The need for sustainable growth, juxtaposed against urban congestion and mixed corporate practices, offers an insight into the delicate equilibrium that needs to be struck.

As we bid adieu to Bucharest, we carry with us not just a treasure trove of memories, but also invaluable lessons and insights that have sculpted our worldview. Our gratitude extends to our peers, mentors, and the wonderful people of Bucharest for an unforgettable adventure.

Erich Weszelits and Monika Maurerova (Class presidents 22/23)

Do you have a vivid interest in Central & Eastern Europe and want to gain relevant qualifications for a career in CEE? The MC CEE is a compact and practice-oriented complementary study program for CEE management for WU master and doctoral students. The program is designed for students with a strong interest in the CEE region and in how foreign and local businesses are successfully managed there. Apply by October 26, 2023 for the 2-semester supplementary program.

Please find all details here: https://www.wu.ac.at/emcee/lehre/masterclass-cee/mccee-new-applications/