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Monaco’s MBA Students Take On Consulting Projects In Luxury Management & Venture Capital

In the past, MBA students at the International University of Monaco have worked with Puma, Fairmont Hotel, and the Monaco Venture Capital Association

“All for one, and one for all.”

Born out of Alexandre Dumas’ The Three Musketeers, this is a quote very much alive in the Full-Time MBA classroom at the International University of Monaco (IUM).

“The MBA teaches you to work in a team and a team must work together,” says Monika Polle, a graduate from the 10-month Full-Time MBA at the school. “If you want to succeed in the future you need the knowledge of everyone around you.”

After 10 years of experience in luxury perfume sales consulting, Monika wanted to innovate within the industry. She was drawn in by the IUM MBA’s Luxury Management specialization and an intimate, diverse class.

On the IUM MBA program, students learn through lectures, case studies, and corporate projects where they are forced into smaller, diverse teams, incubating soft skill development throughout.

As part of her experience at IUM, Monika worked on an MBA corporate consulting project with the private jet terminal at Nice Côte d’Azur International Airport, focusing on the luxury customer experience to refine the shopping culture there.

Herself Hungarian, she worked together with students from Jordan, Switzerland, Russia, Israel, and South Africa. Learning from disagreements and altercations, says Monika, is part of developing a keen sense of leadership and emotional intelligence.

“Not everyone has the same motivation on these projects,” she admits, “but this really helps to reveal the leaders within the group as you’re forced to push everyone together to work as a single unit.”

Corporate projects lend themselves nicely to future relations with companies in the region, as the school aims to harness relationships between its students and corporate network—in the past students have also worked with Puma, Fairmont Hotel, and the Monaco Venture Capital Association.

Drawing on the school’s corporate associations, a Talent and Career Development Program runs through the spine of the IUM MBA, passing onto the MBAs the key skills sought after by major companies in today’s market, such as soft skill development.

Within that, the International University of Monaco’s Mentorship Program has, for more than 10 years, been the bridge between Monaco’s dynamic business and entrepreneurial community and the student body, connecting MBA candidates with CEOs, top executives, and entrepreneurs in the principality.

A member of that student body, and fellow graduate and corporate project team-mate of Monika’s, Sibylle Tellenbach, pursued the IUM MBA for the same reasons as her classmate. “Every professor knew us by name,” she recalls, “and the relationship you have with them is very personal—they have time for everyone.”

Transitioning from a career in the financial industry, Sibylle reveled in the holistic approach to business given by the IUM MBA. “The MBA really helped me get an overview of all the different fields that you don’t have the opportunity to look into when you work for a company,” she explains.

Aside from the project with Monika, Sibylle’s final MBA project required her to design a social media strategy for a client working within the private hotel residence of Beauvallon, St Tropez.

Working with clients whose customers include Ultra High Net Worth Individuals (UHNWI)—those with investable assets of at least $30 million—who, adds Sibylle, Forbes notes as spending over 48 hours per week on their social accounts, she was brought into a “very unique” luxury management setting.

“The behavior of luxury consumers is really different to the normal consumer,” she adds, “so for me it was quite challenging.”

But, she concludes, in the days after her team submitted their strategy to their client, the company held a board meeting and decided to take all the information on board and implement it into their own strategy.

The success of that project provided Sibylle with a key take-home message from her MBA at the International University of Monaco. “I realized you have to look at things from the client’s side, always,” she says, “and then you will be successful.”