SDA Bocconi MBA Puts Students On Luxury Track
Guillaume is interning with Bulgari at their Rome office this summer
Guillaume Cousin had already clocked in over 250,000 km of travel in Asia as a senior manager for several famous luxury brands when he enrolled on the SDA Bocconi School of Management MBA. Why did he leave a high flying career to go back to school?! We spoke to him to find out.
In September 2011 the Frenchman decided to polish his already glistening career by joining a special track of SDA Bocconi's MBA offered in partnership with global luxury brand Bulgari. This programme is reserved for 20 outstanding individuals per intake, who want to take their careers in luxury to the next level.
The Luxury Business Management Track integrates SDA Bocconi’s international MBA with a second semester in Rome, where the Bulgari headquarters serve as a classroom for the luxury business leaders.
Guillaume, 30, was born in Paris but spent most of his childhood in Orléans. His first experience of the luxury world was at the age of 19, on an internship in the communications department of the Plaza Athénée Paris, a five star hotel close to the Eiffel Tower. He fell in love with the industry for its “high sensitivity to beauty and great service”.
After graduating from ESCEM France in 2005 with a Masters degree in Business, Marketing and Finance Management, Guillaume decided to pursue his interest in luxury hospitality.He spent nearly two years with Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts in China before joining Christofle, a Parisian silversmith as their Regional Corporate Manager for Asia-Pacific.
Based in Shanghai, Guillaume was responsible for the development of the business to business market segments and managing clients and distributors around Asia. He eventually took over the management of the South Korea market in early 2011 and was also fully responsible for the market in the Philippines. After six years in Asia, Guillaume was keen to consolidate and build on his experiences, but he wanted to do it with professional experts.
“I was interested in pursuing an MBA after a couple of years of work, and then this new concentration within the full-time MBA at SDA Bocconi was a perfect match with my situation!” says Guillaume.
Guillaume has eagerly studied new perspectives on the luxury industry in classes such as: Industry Insights in Different Luxury Businesses and Value Creation from a Customer Perspective. “The combination of general academic studies followed by specific classes on the luxury business is just a perfect fit to me” he says.
He’s also deployed his passion for luxury outside of the classroom by starting the Luxury and Arts Club at SDA Bocconi with a fellow student. He noticed that the school did not have a luxury related club so he approached the administration with an idea to create one and got the green light! The club is dedicated to providing insights on the luxury and arts industries to all SDA Bocconi students, and has organised study trips to Paris, Geneva, Basel and China over the last year.
The SDA Bocconi Luxury Arts Club at The Plaza Athenee, Paris
Guillaume says he knows he will take away a "once in a lifetime experience, especially new insights and friendships with fellow students," from his MBA. He is currently interning with Bulgari in Rome but undertaking a project with a special focus on China.
Read more about students doing an MBA in Europe here
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