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Meet The MBA Switching Law For Luxury In The World’s Fashion Capital

Pursuing her passion for sustainable luxury, Kristine Geronimo set out to pivot her career with a Global MBA at ESSEC Business School


Fri Oct 18 2019


With its $22 billion luxury goods industry, it’s no surprise that France is often hailed as the luxury capital of the world.

Home to famous brands from Louis Vuitton to L’Oréal, France is the perfect locale for professionals with a penchant for all things high-end. 

For Kristine Geronimo, it was the ideal place to undertake an MBA. Having always harbored an interest in luxury fashion, Kristine left a legal career behind in 2018 to study luxury brand management with ESSEC’s Global MBA program

Perfect timing

Kristine began her career as a lawyer, before becoming a legal advisor with Deloitte. Practicing in her native Canada, she covered diverse legal areas, including business law, civil law, real estate, and compliance.

Although the work was engaging, she soon began to gravitate towards other interests. “I became passionate about sustainable development within the luxury industry,” she explains.

By supplementing her legal background with an MBA, Kristine hoped, she would be well-positioned to pursue this passion. 

After five years in the legal world, Kristine began researching her business school options. With its ties to the luxury industry, and campus in the heart of France, ESSEC stood out.

The school’s industry partners include Audemars Piguet, Chanel, Estée Lauder Companies, Firmenich, Gucci, Lancome, the LVMH Group, Pernod Ricard Luxury, and Cartier. A specialization in luxury brand management is on offer, covering topics like luxury marketing, consumer behavior, design management, and sustainability in luxury. 

“I was fortunate to have a friend in the program,” Kristine adds. “She had told me a lot about her experience at ESSEC.”

The same weekend that Kristine caught up with her friend, a member of ESSEC’s recruiting team happened to be in Toronto. “He and I met for a chat,” she recalls, “and he connected me with other Canadians in the program.”

Hearing from current participants sealed the deal for Kristine, and she soon set out on her MBA journey.

Cross-cultural luxury

Although France is usually considered the world’s luxury capital, ESSEC’s Global MBA program doesn’t limit participants to the French market for its syllabus.

Participants also have the chance to explore major luxury markets around the world, through business trips to New York, Hong Kong, and Italy.

For Kristine, these visits were a highlight of the MBA. “These experiences really immersed you within the industry,” she says. 

“You get a flavor for how luxury operates in other locales.”

ESSEC’s practical approach to learning also struck a chord with Kristine. “I would say that the Digital Week Competition and my capstone project were the most memorable learning experiences,” she says.

During the annual Digital Week Competition, ESSEC's MBA participants work in small teams to develop solutions for real case studies on digital-related challenges faced by partner companies. This year, cases were presented by brands including Coty Luxury, Moët Hennessy, and D'ESTRËE Paris.

Sustainable luxury

For every case, sustainability is a key consideration. This gelled well with Kristine’s fascination with sustainable luxury and fashion, which came about well before her time at ESSEC.

In 2016, she volunteered for Project Just, an online resource that helps consumers find out how retailers produce their clothes, allowing them to make ethical decisions. 

At ESSEC, Kristine had the chance to pursue this interest further, with the school’s EthiWork workshop on sustainability in luxury, and her capstone project.

“It’s a six to eight week program where you work with a brand on a specific consulting mission,” she explains. “I was fortunate to be selected for the DFS and La Samaritaine project.”

La Samaritaine is an iconic Parisian structure that started life as a department store. Since it was shut down for safety reasons in 2005, a huge renovation project has been underway.

During her capstone project, Kristine worked with boutique retailer DFS, helping them plan the launch of their luxury department store inside the refurbished complex. 

Sustainability is at the heart of La Samaritaine’s redevelopment. The finished design will be much more environmentally friendly than earlier incarnations, and contain 96 social housing units. As well as this, La Samaritaine’s reopening is expected to create 4,400 jobs.

In her spare time, Kristine further immersed herself in the sustainable fashion world, volunteering at the 10th annual Copenhagen Fashion Summit, where, fashion leaders gather to discuss sustainability and ethics in the industry. 

An open future

Having completed her MBA program, Kristine finally feels ready to pivot her career. “Now that I am equipped with business knowledge from the program, I feel more confident making this transition from law,” she says.

Although she remains open minded about what her new career might look like, she is sure that sustainable development in luxury will be at its core. 

“As I explore life post-graduation, I’m excited to see where this ambition will take me,” she says.

Student Reviews

ESSEC Business School




On Campus

The best intercultural university

There are more than 50 nationality in the grade, so there are opportunities to interact with people from all around the world. In terms of academics, the BBA course offers diverse courses for the 1st




On Campus

Creativity, adaptability and entrepreneurship

The Master in Management program at the ESSEC Business School allows the students to choose their courses accordingly to their preferences and their professional targets. We can also go through international exchange and take part in internships with companies that are also partners with the school. The school is also next to the city of Paris.




On Campus

Top business school in France

Doing PhD in essec took some time, to be precise about five years. But the experience was very good and cost effective too. There are opportunities for the student for teaching assistantship and that helps both financially and in career. In the final year I could manage to teach marketing to M1 students and this helped shape my career




On Campus

Great college

The program is well suited for early professionals with an engineering degree preferably or a degree in economics. I would suggest taking the ceasure irrespective of the experience level as it helps you take your time to adjust to the job market.





Good school in France

I am currently enrolled in M2 in Essec business school. I am specialising in marketing management. The Grande Ecole programme is valued in France and my school ranks very high up. There are a lot of opportunities for internships and CDD.




The program curriculum

BBA program. The program is really practical and useful, provide us many international opportunities. Like internship and humanitarian experience, and the flexibility is also really cool, we can choose different campus and tracks as we want.




International Course

This school is very international and business oriented. Highly recognized by the companies The campus has been renovated and is very functional and modern from now on. Excellent atmosphere. Reputation of essec is a plus




Friends, Career opportunities.

The program I did gave me the opportunity to start in Singapore. I got the chance to know all the students that started there and we bonded and made some friends for life. The career opportunities that ESSEC also gave me were unbelievable.




Practical and useful

I think the best thing about Essec is that it's not focusing on academics rather it emphasizes on future job mindset and professional experiences.. The classes are interesting and we have plenty of workshops attributing to different sectors.. The campus is very nice with a good cafe and wonderful library. The only problem is the location of the campus. It's quite far from Paris.




On Campus

Amazing experience! Must try

I think its a very amazing school with great and experienced faculty. Also the alumni network is very solid and useful. The school has a great balance of studies and work experience which is really essential for a student.