MBA Luxury Brand Management

MBA Luxury Brand Management
Class of 2016-2017

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Career Advice from Richemont

By Emily Albright, MBA in International Luxury Brand Management 2013-2014, United States

On Monday, December 2, our class was fortunate enough to attend a company presentation given by Mme Donna Bernard, current Director of Talents at Richemont. Richemont has a long history dating back to 1755 and a very impressive portfolio, owning several of the world's leading luxury goods companies, with particular strengths in jewellery, luxury watches and writing instruments. Specifically, Richemont owns such companies as Cartier, Piaget, Van Cleef & Arpels, Montblanc, Lancel, Alfred Dunhill, Chloé, and NET-A-PORTER.COM.

During the presentation, Mme Bernard shared with us a brief background on Richemont as well as the most recent company activities. She also spoke of the sectors and geographies experiencing the most growth right now, and we were all very surprised to learn that 80% of customers in the luxury space in China are below the age of 30! Mme Bernard walked us through Richemont’s core values and what qualities/characteristics the company is looking for when hiring roles above and below the management level. She described some of the open positions they have in Asia, France, Germany and New York to give us a sense of what opportunities could be available after graduation. We were all very excited to hear that the market is recovering and there are career opportunities available at Richemont across the globe!

Following the conclusion of her presentation, Mme Bernard was kind enough to answer our many questions and provide some career advice. Many of us are looking to change industries, geographies, and/or roles, and Mme Bernard shared some tips on the best way to go about making a successful switch.

Our class was very grateful for the presentation and we will hopefully see Mme Bernard again in the spring. Merci Mme Bernard et Richemont!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Journey with Krug Champagne

By Johan Tan, MBA in International Luxury Brand Management 2013-2014, Singapore

Margareth Henriquez
CEO & President
On Tuesday, 1st October 2013, our class had the privilege of welcoming a guest speaker during our Introduction to Oenology class: Krug champagne President & CEO, Ms. Margareth Henriquez, who gave us a short introduction to the luxury wines and spirits sector, specifically in the area of champagne.

Ms Henriquez, affectionately known as Maggie, started off her passionate lecture by giving us a brief overview of how LVMH is split into the different sectors of luxury, namely wines & spirits, fashion & leather goods, perfumes & cosmetics, watches & jewelry, selective retail and other activities, and how each sector contributed to the global revenues of the group.

We then delved deeper into the wines and spirits sector, with a specific emphasis on the champagne business and a brief history of how the champagne Maison Krug came to be, beginning with its founder, Johann-Joseph Krug, who coincidentally shares a similar spelling to my own name. We learnt how champagne is made and how each champagne Maison has its own distinctive style, DNA and codes, before analysing the differences between Krug and its key competitors.

Even though we were all fascinated by the champagne business and by Ms. Henriquez as a speaker, the
Color differences between the Grande
Cuvée Brut & the 2000 Vintage Brut
highlight of the class was most definitely the moment when we were informed that we would have the privilege of tasting some of Krug’s portfolio, namely the Grande Cuvée Brut and the 2000 vintage Brut.  By comparing both champagnes side by side in terms of their maturity, freshness, fullness, colour, flavours and aromas, we were able to notice the subtle differences between the two champagnes and discover how each of us had a distinctive preference between the two.

As a champagne lover who had his first taste of Krug on his 25th birthday a couple of years back, it was an absolute pleasure and honour to be able to meet this remarkable woman who took time out of her busy schedule to share with us her passion for Krug and for introducing us some of the most exquisite champagnes available today.


Monday, December 2, 2013

A Typical Day in the Life of an MBA Luxe Student

By Emily Albright, MBA in International Luxury Brand Management 2013-2014, United States

6:45 am: My alarm goes off, and the first thing I hear is the rain outside. Ugh, not only is it dark and cold out, but it’s also rainy. Despite all of this, I still love Paris and use this to motivate myself out of bed. I have a full day of classes ahead and cannot be late!

7:30 am: After getting ready, packing up my lunch, and downing a quick café, I grab my umbrella and coat and run out the door. I have a 10-ish minute walk to the RER A station at Châtelet – Les Halles and I’m trying to catch a 7:45 train. I pick up my pace a little and notice how bright the moon still is!

7:50 am: I (barely) catch my train and manage to find a seat facing the right way! The day is off to a good start. I open up my Kindle to review an important article for my afternoon class and settle in for the 40-minute ride.

8:24 am: I finish reading and turn on Spotify to listen to some music and zone out for the rest of the train ride. I only have a few stops left and I turn my attention to people watching.

8: 38 am: After scurrying from the RER stop to avoid the rain, I arrive on campus. I breathe a sigh of relief as I’ve successfully completed yet another commute from Paris to Cergy. I walk directly to the café and hop in line with friends to order the first of several café crèmes for the day.

 9:00 am: The first class of the day is Financial Accounting….but ¾ of the class is late, which is highly unusual. We’re in a different classroom (sometimes we switch rooms depending on the week) that was pretty difficult to locate and everyone is lost. We start texting furiously on What’sApp to our other classmates to 1) give directions and 2) tell them to hurry up!

9:10 am: Class begins at last and we dig right into global financial statements. We’re studying common sizing statements from various international companies like Ralph Lauren, Burberry, and Hugo Boss. As the lesson progresses, we move into a discussion of shareholders and shareholder activism which draws many questions/comments from the class.

10:40 am: The professor dismisses us for a 20-minute break and we all head once again to the café. The line is out of control right now as several other classes also have their break and we wait patiently. I hold off on a second café crème and opt for a water instead.

11 am: Class begins again and the professor moves the lesson into different equations for calculating assets and liability, which, we learn, varies depending on which country you’re in.

12:05 pm: Financial Accounting is over and my mind is officially blown. I’m starving for lunch and feel ready for my next café. Although we usually have group meetings during lunch (gotta maximize our time!), today I do not and enjoy the opportunity to socialize with classmates. We enjoy a leisurely meal and talk about everything except schoolwork, which is a nice break!

1:05 pm: We head to our afternoon classroom to get seats for lecture and prepare for the 1:15 start time.

1:15 pm: Class begins right on time, and everyone is eagerly anticipating today’s discussion. The class is Contemporary Issues in Luxury Brand Management with one of our favorite professors, and we’re discussing a case study about fostering strong stakeholder relations through the Taj Hotel’s reaction to the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai. The class is extremely sensitive to the human aspect of the case, and we focus the discussion on how we would respond to the crisis if we were the general manager of the hotel. Everyone has a different view and a lively discussion ensues.

2:50 pm: We are dismissed for a quick 20-minute break. I fill up on water and chat with classmates in the hallway about plans for the upcoming weekend and flights/hotels for our school trip to Italy in April!

4:15 pm: Phew, class is over for the day after a very energetic session! We finished our discussion on the Taj and took a deeper look into how to connect with customers to entice them to love your brand and remain loyal.

4:35 pm: I am on the platform at the RER station and I spot a classmate. We get on the train together after only waiting a few minutes (a small miracle for the RER A) and talk about thoughts on life after graduation and possible opportunities.

5:40 pm: I hop off the train and get caught in the rain again! I walk quickly to my neighborhood boulangerie to get a fresh baguette for dinner.

6:30 pm: I finish up dinner and turn my focus to a project for my Retail Strategy class. I have a group meeting on Sunday afternoon and need to complete a few deliverables. We’re developing a new line of product for a major spirits brand and I’m responsible for completing our customer profile this week.

9:00 pm: I wrap up my schoolwork and respond to a few emails. I have a friend arriving from London for a quick visit to Paris and she’ll be here any minute!

11:00 pm: After catching up with my friend and sharing a glass of wine, I call it quits for the evening. I have another full day of classes tomorrow and need to rest up for that early train!