MBA Luxury Brand Management

MBA Luxury Brand Management
Class of 2016-2017

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Graduation: Class of 2013

The Hermès Class, the 18th class of the MBA in International Luxury Brand Management, graduated on 16 September 2013 at Le Bristol Hotel in Paris.  Congratulations!

After the ceremony, students reflected on the year and their MBA experience in short video interviews.

What was the highlight of your year?

What was the most valuable lesson you learned? #1

What was the most valuable lesson you learned? #2

Describe the MBA in International Luxury Brand Management in one word.

Monday, September 23, 2013

First Week in ESSEC MBA Luxe

By Jingwen (Iris) Yao, MBA in International Luxury Brand Management student 2013-2014, China

It was a sunny morning when the plane landed at Charles de Gaulle airport. After I left the cabin, I looked up and had my first glance at the sky of France; It was clean and blue, with golden warmth from the sun, indicating that this would be a golden start.

Upon our arrival at ESSEC, the people at Welcoming Center were very nice. They helped us new international students settle down quickly and gave us lots of advice. Next, we met other classmates at the Residence du Port. Everyone was so glad to meet new friends, greeting each other, and we quickly got to know each other.

Our class is a melting pot of international students. Students from 18 countries gathered together, each with their own personalities, expressing their own views in class discussions and in out-of-class discussions. In the first week, we had classes from Professor Simon and Professor Denis. With their wealth of knowledge and experience in the luxury industry, they brought us through the door into the world of luxury and helped us establish a firm foundation in the luxury industry, giving us a comprehensive and profound understanding.

After class, we had several events. Some of them are organized by the school, such as alumni cocktail party and the 2013 graduation ceremony, when everyone wears a formal suit or dress. The boys looked handsome, and girls looked elegant, showing the professional style of the MBA Luxe. We also held some events ourselves, such as the birthday party of a Canadian classmate Nima and a Mexican theme party by Paulina. At these parties, we cooked in our rooms and shared everything together, enjoying a relaxing moment.

The weekends are the best time to explore Paris! Life in Paris is like a movie, with scenic places in vintage styles. No matter whether it’s walking along the Seine on a sunny afternoon, enjoying the Eiffel Tower, driving along the Champs-Elysées at night, exploring tiny boutiques in the alleyways of Paris, or just having a taste of this “city of light,” you will always have a good time.

As a lover of dessert, I am super satisfied in France! Worthwhile trip! Almost all of the desserts here are yummy. My dreams of tasting macarons from Ladurée and Pierre Hermé finally came true. The apple pie and cherry pie here are awesome, as well as the red berries ice cream in Le Port. Of course, there is much more waiting for us to “discover”.

When traveling, safety should always be first. "Look after your belongings," and other advice for living in a big city are things to keep in mind. However, we also encountered some very friendly people: the man helped me when the subway ticket machine swallowed ticket; a lady reminded me to get discount card at grocery store; a girl showed us the way when we got lost in Paris. These people give me a warm memory of France.

Tips for the next year’s students:
·Get your French bank card and cell phone number the first week. It will make your life more convenient;
·You will go to Paris often during the first month, so prepare your metro tickets or transportation card in advance;
·Attend the orientations on the MYESSEC system, banking, insurance, the campus visit, etc. Do not miss them and listen carefully in order to fully take advantage of all the services that ESSEC offers you;
·Our program staff are very nice and elegant, if you have any questions, you can e-mail them or make an appointment to talk with them. Thanks to Jeanine, Anthea, Armelle, Esther, and Anne-Marie for helping us so much with our studies and careers. And special thanks to Olivia, our media ambassador, for giving us this wonderful opportunity to share our lives at ESSEC with you!

For this year, I hope everyone will learn a lot while having a lot of fun! Enjoy your life in ESSEC MBA Luxe!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Where are they now? An interview with alumnus Joseph Grigsby '04

Joseph Grigsby, Class of 2004
Where does an MBA in International Luxury Brand Management from ESSEC take you? Over the following months, several alumni will answer this question by sharing their stories on the MBA blog.

Joseph Grigsby '04, Executive Director Global Marketing, Lab Series & Good Skin Labs, Estée Lauder Companies, shares his experience.

What drew you to work in the luxury field and study with the MBA in International Luxury Brand Management?

I had always worked in cosmetics and I really wanted the opportunity to understand high-end, prestige cosmetics and the industry in order to become a better cosmetics marketer. ESSEC had the only program in the world like the MBA in International Luxury Brand Management and I knew that cosmetics were a part of it. I also wanted the opportunity to live in France, the birthplace of luxury, which attracted me to the program.

Could you describe your career path after your graduation from ESSEC? What is your current role and responsibilities?

Immediately following ESSEC, I was hired by L’Oréal as the manager for Lancôme brand for three years. From there, I moved to Sephora Europe, for which I managed all categories for the European exclusive brands. Three years ago, I was recruited by Estée Lauder Companies to work in their Global Corporate Innovation Team and was recently promoted to be executive Director of Global Marketing for two of our smaller brands. I’m now back in New York City.

Was there anything particular about the Luxury MBA that helped prepare you for your career path or qualify you for your current position?

The thing that I really enjoyed about the MBA was having access to the industry leaders in luxury; not just cosmetics, but all sectors. I also learned the importance of respecting heritage, authenticity and the DNA of the brand. Now that I manage global brands, it is crucial to understand the heart of a brand and its heritage, which you need to leverage as much as possible, while still keeping it pertinent and up to date. But that’s what luxury is; heritage, authenticity, and craftsmanship. Those are the things that are really honed and emphasized by the MBA.

What advice would you give to our new students just entering the program? What advice would you give to our new graduates who are beginning their job search?

The first thing is that the program is what you make of it. As a student in the MBA in International Luxury Brand Management, you have unparalleled access to industry leaders, so you need to take advantage of all the programs, attend all the speakers, and really leverage your mentor. Come prepared with questions and ask for opportunities to meet other people in the industry. Ask for their advice and listen; these people give their time and energy to the MBA because they believe in the program, of which many of them are graduates. Students should enter the program wanting to take advantage of the opportunities it gives them as much as possible.

My second piece of advice for students entering the program is that their job search starts now. Every opportunity to mingle, to attend a presentation, or to be introduced to someone in the industry is a mini-job interview. The luxury industry is very small, so networking is very important and knowing somebody who knows somebody will help you find a job.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Meet the class of 2014!

On August 30th, the 19th class of ESSEC's MBA in International Luxury Brand Management arrived in Cergy to kick off the 2013-2014 academic year.  But just who makes up the Class of 2014?  Here are some interesting stats to get to know this year's students.

Total number of students: 40

Nationalities: 18 nationalities represented, including: Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Italy, Lebanon, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, United States

Average age: 29.6

Average years of work experience: 6.7

Educational background:
  • Business/Finance: 47%
  • Social Sciences/Arts: 30%
  • Science/Math/Engineering: 15%
  • Other: 8%
Previous Professional Experience (Functions)
  • Marketing, Communications & Sales: 23%
  • General Management: 23%
  • Business Development: 10%
  • Entrepreneur: 7%
  • Project Management: 5%
  • Account Management: 5%
  • Supply Chain/Logistics/Purchasing: 5%
  • Editorial Director: 5%
  • Financial Analyst: 5%
  • Other: 12%
Previous Professional Experience (Sectors)
  • Luxury: 38%
  • Banking/Investment/Financial Services: 18%
  • Media & Publishing: 10%
  • Hospitality: 5%
  • IT/High-Tech: 5%
  • Consumer Goods: 5%
  • Consulting: 5%
  • Other: 12%
Among students with professional experience in the luxury sector:
  • Fashion/Textiles/Apparel: 60%
  • Jewelry & Watches: 20%
  • Cosmetics & Perfume: 13%
  • Automobiles: 7%