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ESSEC MBA Students Are At The Forefront Of The Luxury Industry’s Digital Revolution

ESSEC's MBA in international luxury brand management is the perfect launch-pad for careers in a changing industry

Wed Jun 8 2016

Digitization is taking the luxury industry by storm. According to McKinsey, online sales of luxury goods could sky-rocket to almost $80 billion by 2025, 18% of total luxury sales.

“[A] digital revolution is transforming the ways in which brands reach out to consumers and how consumers interact with brands,” says esteemed professor Denis Morisset, director of executive luxury marketing programs at France’s ESSEC Business School.

ESSEC has always been at the forefront of change and innovation in the luxury industry. Launched over 20 years ago, its MBA in international luxury brand management was the first of its kind.

Today, 40% of all luxury purchases are in some way influenced by a consumer’s digital experience, according to McKinsey figures. And ESSEC is constantly updating its sector-specific MBA, as big name luxury brands – initially concerned over potential loss of exclusivity – are turning to the digital sphere.

“[The] empowerment of luxury consumers through digital channels has made it imperative for luxury brands to understand how to navigate the specificities of digital,” Denis explains.

“[For example], how to build a strong presence on digital channels where their customers are present, and how to be able to engage in meaningful conversations with them.”

Students on ESSEC’s MBA in international luxury brand management are taught the same things. In under a year, its pioneering syllabus covers all aspects of digital marketing, social media branding and omnichannel retail. And the school has strong connections with big luxury groups including LVMH, Richemont and Burberry; a 160-year-old brand leading digital innovation in the industry.

“There isn’t anything that can compare to the specialization and the resources of ESSEC's MBA in International Luxury Brand Management,” says Teresa Chen, a current student who previously worked in luxury retail for Christian Dior Couture.

The MBA class is 90% international, with 15 to 20 nationalities represented each year. And in the past 11 months, Teresa has visited a multitude of luxury firms in France, and during international weeks in Hong Kong, Dubai and Italy.

“Each visit is unique,” she says. “We could be meeting a CEO and listening to their vision and strategy, or we could be visiting artisan workshops and understanding local markets.”

Teresa sees digital customer experience as the future for luxury. Upon graduation, she wants to work in client relationship management; a career path for which the MBA at ESSEC is the perfect launch-pad.

“It’s been a journey of personal growth,” she says. “I’ve learnt, not only from the academic aspects of the program, but I’ve also improved my soft skills by working with people of many different nationalities from different professional backgrounds.”

As luxury enters the digital era, big brands are increasingly hiring specialists with tech backgrounds to help them achieve their goals.

“If you come from a digital background and love luxury, it’s time to make the switch,” says Hajar Oushine, a student on ESSEC’s luxury-specific MBA who moved on from an e-commerce career in Africa in order to pursue her dream of working in the luxury sector.

When she joined ESSEC she had little knowledge of the industry. Now, she’s launching an app and website which compares beauty products based on customer reviews; a TripAdvisor for luxury. And plans are underway to launch her own luxury beauty brand selling skincare products based on natural ingredients.

“I’ve been talking with top execs and using the wide network of [over 46,000] ESSEC alumni all over the world,” she says. “Wherever I go I find people to help me penetrate the market.”

Digitization is opening up new opportunities for a millennial generation of tech-savvy luxury entrepreneurs. Massive luxury consumer groups in Asia and the Middle East are viewing products online before buying in-store. And Hajar thinks that the big luxury brands that fail to adapt to digitization will struggle to survive.

“Flagship stores play an important role in the customer journey,” she says. “But the first touch point is not going to be the retail store anymore, it’s going to be online.”

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.




On Campus

GBBA: Diverse, Enriching, and Career-Boosting

My experience at ESSEC Business School has been outstanding. The Global BBA program offers a rich academic curriculum and diverse learning opportunities. I appreciated the chance to study on different campuses, including an international exchange, which broadened my perspective. The social environment is culturally diverse and vibrant, enhancing both my personal and professional growth. The administration is attentive, constantly offering new academic and student life opportunities. The campus facilities and classrooms are excellent. I highly recommend ESSEC for its excellence, global exposure, and career opportunities.




On Campus


The English track BBA program at ESSEC is simply exceptional. Courses are taught by internationally renowned professors who are experts in their field. The subjects taught cover a wide range of disciplines from marketing to finance, strategy and entrepreneurship. The English track is a major asset because it allows you to develop perfect mastery of professional English, essential in today's globalized business world. Some students love student life at Essec, which is one of the best in France, but it all depends on taste.




On Campus

Great program, incredible school

I love almost everything about this school, from the student life to the academic program and the opportunities it provides. I'm currently at the Paris campus, in Cergy, and I'm really enjoying it. The BBA program is very rich and diversified, you can start with geopolitics and then finance, what I mean is that there's a great balance between the subjects in this program. I was also lucky enough to spend a semester at the Singapore campus, and I loved that experience on the other side of the world. ESSEC is also known for its dynamic and rich student life, with access to several parties a week and the various associations within the school. If I could recommend just one school, it would be this one - I'm 100% satisfied.