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London students visit Aston Martin, Harry Potter

Areas of Study , Global , London , Stories Stories from Abroad | Dec 06, 2012 |

“There and back again” is the second part of the title to J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit,” as well as an apt description of a day last week at the Gabelli School of Business in London.

The London students experienced two fantastic tours in one day, first accelerating into the realm of one of the classic symbols of adulthood — the sports car, via the Aston Martin Factory — and then regressing into the wonder of childhood at the Making of Harry Potter Studio Tour.

Below, one student gives an account of both.


by April Sauer (GSB ’14)

We were able to tour the Aston Martin factory thanks to Fordham alumnus Michael Marecki (FCRH ’82). Though he was unable to join us, two tour guides showed us around and taught us about the luxury car business. We learned that Aston Martin has made only about 60,000 cars since the company’s inception: Each is made to custom order, meaning that unless someone buys one, none is produced.

It was unbelievable to see the detail that goes into each one of the cars and the range of custom options available to consumers. We had to ask: Why choose an Aston Martin? Our guides explained that Aston Martin sells an experience, a concept that the Fordham marketing students in London have been learning about. The car is one thing, but the way the customer is treated — and the lifestyle associated with the product — add a whole new dimension. It was fantastic to see an actual application of marketing practices taught in class.

The Making of Harry Potter Studio Tour was a great addition to an already incredible day. We saw some of the props and the sets, including the Great Hall, the Gryffindor common room and the Weasley family’s home. There was a class connection here, too: Marketing students have been studying the global success of the Harry Potter franchise, which has been able to cut across international borders. Not everyone on the trip was a Harry Potter fan, but we all enjoyed seeing artifacts connected to the movies and books we grew up with. A special poster we had made during the tour, with our group photo on it, is at left.

Going from the adult world of sports cars back to being a child was an experience we might never quite replicate!


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