Buongiorno tutti!
Bergamo is the second trip during the MBA and also is the last module, so the last chance to meet the friends we made during the MBA, in the learning environment. I personally wondered, what will await me on this trip. After that wonderful and teaching voyage to the US everything else seemed to look pale in comparison. And by the way, Italy, they are our neighbours, what could be so different there?

So I started the trip with mixed feelings. On the one hand I was looking forward to see the rest of the course, on the other hand I thought to get through it to finish my MBA. In the end, they proved me wrong. It was an amazing excurse.

From the first day on, it was a just great. We were mixed with the Italian students and divided into groups, in average younger than our group, but not less enthusiastic and nonchalant.

Just one interesting task we had to fulfil: Find similarities with your group members.

Did you ever try to find similarities with total strangers?
You should, it is a lot of fun. Except for some obvious ones, like being human having all arms and legs, there seem at first not to be too many. We were from other countries, other cities, hat totally different views on the same situations and dividing interests.

Similarity: not being similar.

In the end we dug even deeper and found a bunch of things that we had in common. That little exercise shows one of the most important and interesting things of this MBA course, the international experience.


Kilometro Rosso
The course is packed with interesting presentations of companies near Bergamo. One of these was the presentation of “Kilometro Rosso” by Dr. Leonardo Marabini, marketing director of the science park near Bergamo. He totally understood how to bind the people to his topic. We all felt like starting a company or project in “Kilometro Rosso”. Some other presentations were held by Massimo von Wunster, senior advisor from Ernst & Young Financial Business and by Luca Bonfanti and Marie Olyve from Multiconsult Bergamo.

Of cause like in the US, company visits are part of the course. We went, after a short introduction in the morning, to Curno, a little outside of Bergamo, where Brembo is situated. Brembo is the world leading provider of high performance breaking systems. Nearly all sports car manufacturers use Brembo brakes. One of these manufacturers is the Ferrari formula 1 team. During our visit we had the chance to see Brembo’s sports breaks facility, just days before the first formula 1 race 2016. There was bustling activity. We even had the chance to see the 2016 formula 1 brake disks, they look huge, but weigh nearly nothing compared to normal cast iron disks.

Fratelli Beretta
Another impressing visit was the trip to Fratelli Beretta, a family business in its 7th generation with 200 years of experience. They are one of the biggest food processors of Italy. We were welcomed by Enrico Farina, marketing manager of Beretta. The first thing to do was “Test-Tasting”. There wasn’t just some salami, they served a full four-course menu with some Meat, Pizza, Pasta, Fruit Salads and Cake. After that, we had an interesting presentation of Berettas history and marketing. In the end we met parts of the Beretta Family, Vittore Beretta (President), Lorenzo Beretta (son),  Maria Beretta (daughter) as well as Enrico Farina (Marketing Manager), and got some presents.

Xanthan or not Xanthan?
We spend the last day with a business game where we were simulating a food processor who thinks to add Xanthan to his portfolio. Business games, for those who don’t know, are cases which have to be solved with the player’s experience. So we were again divided into our groups of the first day and prepared our strategy to encounter the cases difficulties and of cause boost our competition. After comparing the strategies of the groups, a winner was appointed. In the second run, a twist was added to the game and we had to barter and negotiate with the competitors. This was again one of the highlights of this class.

Pasta and Pizza
In the evenings we had some time to spent together. Our Italian counterfeits showed us some interesting locations in Bergamo, like the “città alta” of Bergamo and a lot of restaurants and bars. We ate Pizza and Pasta, drank wine and limoncello and just had fun. We were quite a wild bunch and nearly forgot to sleep.
On the flight back to Germany I realized, that this trip was felicitous ending to the MBA classes. We had an intensive time together and found some friends all over the world.

Thank you everybody! 

- Nicholas Navarro


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