Maxime Couturier is studying for a full-time MBA at the UK’s Cambridge Judge Business School.
He joined the program from L'Oréal, the luxury group, where he worked in Paris as a senior sales executive. Previously, he has worked across the luxury sector, including at Prada, Hugo Boss, and Abercrombie & Fitch.
The Cambridge MBA attracts diverse professionals from more than 40 nationalities. Participants have average GMAT scores of 690 and seven years’ work experience. On the Cambridge MBA, emphasis is placed on the practical applications of business theory through collaborative projects — with UK and multinational clients, workshops and seminars.
When and why did you decide to begin an MBA?
Investing in an MBA made sense to me. After six years of working in luxury retail management, in 2014 I decided to move on to the next challenge.
Acquiring new leadership skills and expanding my professional business network were just part of the reason; I realized that an MBA would allow me to meet my career goals and to reach a business strategy position within a luxury brand.
What makes Cambridge Judge Business School unique?
As part of the University of Cambridge, Judge Business School has a unique character. The Cambridge MBA is a world-class one-year program offering a remarkable learning experience, and it also provides access to so many other opportunities.
With more than 40 nationalities in the MBA group, you learn a lot from your peers and are able to build close relationships with them. I genuinely feel I have made friends for life.
The MBA teaches you to apply business theory in the real world. Since being on the course, I’ve undertaken two collaborative consulting projects: the Global Consulting Project (GCP), a one-month, full-time experience within an international company; and The Cambridge Venture Project, a part-time business consulting experience for a company based in Cambridge or London.
Last but not least, The Cambridge MBA careers team knows your personal story and offers you a personalized career development program.
You’ve worked at a range of luxury brands. Which experience was your favourite and why?
I learned a lot from working with Prada. As a store manager, I achieved the sales target by managing a team of 13 people. I developed unique insights of retail and a strong foundation in sales strategy, management and customer brand experience. Also, I had the pleasure to welcome Bernard Arnault, Chairman and CEO of LVMH, for a store visit.
My career so far has helped me to become self-aware of my leadership style, and of the methods I use to make decisions while under pressure.
How important is it for luxury groups to adopt digital technologies?
Luxury and technology have never been so akin with one another. The Hermès Apple Watch is a good example. I believe that investing in cutting edge digital technologies is a “must do” for luxury brands. Digital marketing is a powerful tool to boost sales. Using mobile devices, luxury brands can create innovative content to enhance product storytelling.
What will an MBA add to your CV?
The MBA has given me not only new business experiences, but also a rich combination of hard and soft skills. I now feel more prepared to manage uncertainty and business complexity.
I did my GCP at Bentley Motors as a business strategy consultant. This was a great opportunity to apply the concepts learned [during the MBA].
As the sports chair for Cambridge Judge Business School, I also organized the MBA Tournament (MBAT) 2016 and led our MBAT team. This year Cambridge had 130 participants competing against 1,500 other international MBA students in Paris. Our relay and Ultimate Frisbee teams won gold. It was a really good experience and I had the opportunity to meet a lot of other great MBA students.
What will you do after the MBA?
I’m working closely with the MBA careers team at CJBS to find a position within the business development strategy of a luxury brand. I have spent a lot of time understanding how stores operate, how customers behave and I would love to transfer these skills into a corporate role.