Which is the value of breathing the dream of an international, worldwide recognized brand full of 69 years of history? A brand that is the global symbol of technology and innovation, of racing, luxury and of course of Italy. In one word: Ferrari.

On April 15th, my class (the 8th edition of the Part Time MBA at MIP Politecnico di Milano) had the chance to live this experience in person, visiting the Ferrari Headquarters in Maranello. It was not just a simple visit of the company, it was more than that. It was a day of engagement, a day of insights, sharing and value-added for all involved.

We spent the morning into the so-called “Sala Gialla”, the Ferrari Executive Boardroom, while in the afternoon we visited the Ferrari factory, a journey through operations and manufacturing in which we discovered how a Ferrari car is created.

The morning started with an introduction by the Global Head of Operational Marketing, who told us his personal story, from the food industry – in which he was previously working – to Ferrari. He left us with an important takeaway for our future: “to be hungry for new challenges and keep going to continuously improve yourself”, to be curious, to be proactive in client-enhancing solutions in order to reach customer-delight.

Later, the Ferrari Talent Acquisition Manager introduced the Ferrari’s values and principles, identifying the main stages of the history of Ferrari as well as the company business-model, and then a “Ferrari Marketing business case” was introduced by two Marketing Managers (one of them an MIP Alumnus).

And finally our turn: for one hour precisely, we wore the hat of a Marketing Manager of Ferrari to brainstorm in dedicated groups on a real marketing case of Ferrari. With different customer-targets including Expatriates, Start-up Owners, Female Entrepreneurs, Sports Professionals, Second Generation Heirs. Each group had to define the customer targets identifying the personas, to build a SWOT analysis, to establish a strategic marketing plan with the relevant priorities to attract new customers, suggesting KPIs to measure its effectives and some final recommendations. At the end, the groups presented their analyses and insights in front of the Ferrari Marketing Managers and the Talent Acquisition Manager. A good example of engagement and give-back (and to “earn” the lunch-break).

After a networking-lunch, we had the chance to follow a dedicated and detailed factory and campus tour. Starting from the plant in which the engine parts are manufactured, through the lines in which the powerful V8 and V12 engines are assembled, and concluding with the production lines where the cars are manufactured, where the customised stitching is performed (manually), we discovered the different steps through which a Ferrari is created, built and ready for a local test-drive before delivery to the dealership around the world.

The last stop of the visit, and probably the most exclusive part, was the Corse-Clienti building, by the Fiorano track which houses a private collection of Formula One cars of the past, as well as the FXX-K limited edition race cars.

The bus took us back to school, waking us up from the Ferrari dream. A Cavallino-cap, as parting gesture from Ferrari, will forever remind us of this unique opportunity to directly interact and cooperate with the Managers of a global brand.