Scheduled during spring break 2019 (March 2-9), students went to the "Gemba" to examine the production facilities of some of the most important “Made in Italy" brands and explore three beautiful Italian cities.
Program at a glance:
Tours: 9 company visits and 1 start-up
Plant tours included a behind-the-scenes look at each facility's continuous improvement initiatives, use of technology, and workforce best practices. Gained improvement ideas for students to use in their toolbox.
Cultural activities: La Scala theater and museum tour the ʻLast Supperʼ, Sforza castle, and the Duomo
Length of program: 1 week
Number of participants: 20 students, 2 faculty members
Student Perspective: click on video at right to hear Tauber student Kartik Raju (MBA '19) talk about his experience on the 2018 International Trek to Germany
The experiential learning journey began in Milan, continued in and around Bologna and ended in Florence:
Milan: not only as the countryʼs financial center but also as the worldʼs design and fashion capital, it is home to Italyʼs stock exchange, numerous cultural institutions, such as La Scala, it is Italyʼs start-up hub and considered the most modern of all Italian cities. Bertolli, BorgWarner, and Whirlpool are included in this visit.
Bologna: this historical city is an important agricultural, industrial, financial and transport hub, home to the oldest university in the world and is strategically well-located for the purposes of our trip; from here we can easily manage to visit both Ferrari and Lamborghini.
Florence: a cultural, artistic and architectural gem as well as a major production and commercial center in Italy, which is close to Prato, a landmark for the most famous international fashion brands.
On this International Facility Trek to Italy, students went "to the Gemba" of the most prominent Italian companies in the industries of engineering, fashion, food and transportation. Besides visiting Borg Warner, Gucci, Ducati, and a Milan-based start-up, some highlights included a look behind the scenes of the pasta making process at the Barilla factory, a visit to the Lamborghini museum and manufacturing plant as well as a tour during which the students admired its rivaling counterparts inside the panoramic Ferrari factory and outside on the Fiorano racetrack. In addition, students enjoyed two pre-selected optional cultural activities in Milan and discovered the beauty of each of the three cities during plenty of free time in the late afternoons and evenings.