Partner Sites


Logo BusinessBecause - The business school voice
mobile search icon

MBA Jobs: MBA Students Turn To Lucrative Luxury Industry

MBA students are trying their hand at jobs in the luxury industry. And specialist MBA programs, like those at ESSEC Business School, are giving their careers a kick-start.

Wed Jan 29 2014

BusinessBecause
For two MBA applicants hoping to make it big in the luxury industry, ESSEC Business School was their first choice. 
 
It is one of the few global business schools that offer a specialization in luxury and brand management - industries that are growing ever popular for the modern MBA student.
 
When Rebekah Shriver entered the program, she was on the corporate fast-track. But after four years with SDSE, the US-based professional services firm, she quit her job, flew to France and enrolled at ESSEC. 
 
But when a friend in the fashion industry first recommended an MBA focused on the luxury industry, Rebekah had no idea that was even an option.
 
"I had always had an interest in fashion and knew it was ultimately the sector for me," she says. "But it was hard to understand where to even begin. When my friend asked if I had considered an MBA program in something like luxury brand management, it was the first time I was made aware that such programs even existed." 
 
She credits her career change to ESSEC, the "first program of its kind". The business school launched it's specialist MBA in 1995, and was one of the first sector-specific MBAs in international luxury brand management. 
 
Other schools offer luxury tracks or electives, but ESSEC is different, says Charles Bell, who graduated from the program four months ago.
 
"The human-centric values of this school are what still makes it special to me," he explains. "Luxury is about passion, aspiration, dreams, details, quality and uniqueness. You need to be willing to communicate this passion to succeed in the industry.
 
"I found that most of the other programs are quite theoretical and general. But at ESSEC, people are prepared to be hands-on. They set new standards."
 
Although not all MBA students will follow Charles's path, he is part of one of the first generations of luxury industry leaders with MBAs.
 
ESSEC set the bench-mark 19 years ago, and other schools have followed their example. 
 
NYU Stern, a leading US MBA provider, now offers a specialization in luxury marketing. London Business School launched an MBA concentration in luxury management in October last year, working with leading brands such as Burberry. SDA Bocconi, based in Italy, offer a track in luxury business management on their full-time MBA. Switzerland's St. Gallen have a similar specialization in luxury goods.
 
Other schools that haven't made it into the global MBA Rankings have developed more dedicated programs. IFA Paris, the London School of Business & Finance and IPAG Business School, based in France, all offer an MBA in luxury brand management.
 
It is a change of focus driven by the creativity the industry provides, says Rebekah. "The combination of business and creativity is what separates the luxury industry. You have to be able to work closely with creative people, and for me this is a challenging and exciting prospect," she says.
 
Charles goes even further. He says the luxury industry allows you to really connect with clients. "I love the idea that luxury is what ever you want it to be; an expensive timepiece; a privileged moment with you family. 
 
"I also love the fact that to sell these 'dreams', we have to adapt them to our audience. Luxury is also all about details: in quality, precision, pricing, service and communication."
 
The number of MBA students moving into the industry has increased by nearly 30 per cent, according to a survey by QS Top MBA. Those going into "entertainment & arts" is at 10 per cent, a 5 per cent increase on last year, while those going into retail increased by 28 per cent throughout 2013. 
 
MBA alumni from ESSEC have gone into careers at prestige luxury brands including Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Lancôme. Since the program's launch, 450 graduates are currently working in 30 countries around the world. 
 
When Charles graduated last year, he was snapped up by LVMH Group, a leader in the luxury industry with a portfolio of over 60 different brands. He says that it would have been impossible without a specialist MBA from ESSEC.
 
"I met my current company during a field trip to Hong Kong in March 2013 - and that has been a revelation for me," he explains. "I was lucky enough to be selected for a three-month summer placement, and the manager I reported to was an alumnus from the ESSEC program. 
 
"Most of the recruiters I have met at LVMH over the past year... I can assure you that they all know about this program, and it has been a great business card to leverage. 
 
"I'm convinced that this job wouldn't have been possible without joining the MBA in international luxury brand management at ESSEC."
 
The increased demand for the luxury sector is not just based on passion. It is a lucrative function as well. Those in the entertainment & arts sector earn an average salary, including bonuses, of about $100,000, according to QS Top MBA. MBAs  in retail earn about $90,000.
 
Rebekah is confident the ESSEC program will help her land an MBA Job in fashion when she graduates this year. "It will help me because it has given me extensive knowledge and insights into the luxury industry, as well as providing me with valuable contacts," she says. 
 
"We have been exposed to many different elements of the industry and the entire experience has helped me focus on how I see my previous experience and skills fitting into this new sector. I loved my previous job function and I hope I will find a similar role in the luxury industry."
 
Rebekah is not going into the industry blind, however. She worked in a high-end skincare and cosmetics store in the US for a number of months before switching to consulting. 
 
Charles also has previous experience in the luxury industry. Despite the fact that he already worked in retail for several years before beginning an MBA, he says that it was necessary for him to switch into a slightly different function.
 
Before ESSEC he was in a role at Solaris, the leading optical retailer, and Louis Vuitton, a bastion of luxury fashion. 
 
"I had time to reflect on what was really important to me," he says. "I had five years of experience consulting the greatest luxury retailer in France - I was passionate about it. I had loyal clients, business was prosperous and I could've stayed there for another 15 years.
 
"Yet I could have missed some 'spice of life'. It was time to look outside of my comfort zone."
 
The program at ESSEC, however, does not necessarily require you to have relevant industry experience. 
 
If you seek a challenging, creative and lucrative function, this industry may be for you - no matter what your background is in. And an MBA may put you on the fast-track to luxury business management.
 
"I wanted to seek out new challenges which would really matter to me, and eventually broaden my business perspectives for a better tomorrow," says Charles. 
 
"Enrolling in the ESSEC International Luxury Brand Management MBA remains a signature, world-wide, in this industry."

Student Reviews

ESSEC Business School

Student

Verified

5/12/2023

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

Student

Verified

6/04/2022

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.

Prithwiraj

Verified

17/11/2021

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

Student

Verified

30/10/2021

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.

Student

Verified

30/10/2021

Blended

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.

Student

Verified

9/02/2020

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.

Véronique

Verified

11/12/2019

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

kevin

Verified

11/11/2019

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.

Student

Verified

25/09/2019

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.

Kartik

Verified

14/02/2024

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.

Ali

Verified

28/05/2024

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.

Maximilien

Verified

5/06/2024

On Campus

ESSEC BS BBA REVIEW

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.

Clément

Verified

14/06/2024

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.

RECAPTHA :

0b

a8

70

d7