MBA Luxury Brand Management

MBA Luxury Brand Management
Class of 2016-2017

Monday, June 16, 2014

Investing in Human Capital

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

As the school year draws closer and closer to an end, many of us have found ourselves asking, “how did a year pass by already?!” It seems like only a few weeks ago we were meeting our classmates for the first time and adjusting to life as a graduate student. But here we are, nearly nine months later, and nearly ready to take the luxury industry by storm. It would be an understatement to say that we’ve come a long way, not just academically, but personally and professionally as well.

As I’ve reflected on this MBA experience in recent weeks, one of the most important lessons I think we’ve all learned is to invest time in our fellow classmates. Human capital is one of the most valuable currencies, especially in a setting like ESSEC, where we are all extremely diverse and come from more than 15 different countries. Learning from each other here will help prepare us for experiences outside of the classroom in this international and tight-knit industry. Investing in internal relationships with classmates is just as important as the time spent studying, networking, and interviewing.

During our recent visit to Switzerland (also known as our final all-class field trip) to meet with the team from Audemars Piguet at their manufacturing headquarters in Le Brassus, I was reminded of just how far we’ve come as a group. During our all-class fondue dinner, I looked around the restaurant and realized that no one of the same nationality was sitting together – American, French, Indian, Chinese – we were all interspersed. More than this, we were all enjoying each other’s company and taking the opportunity to get caught up on life and goings-on outside of the classroom. This may sound fairly basic, but for a group of 40 diverse adults that spends as much time studying together as we do, that’s saying something!

We’ve all come to a point where we respect each other and value our differences, and we really try to learn from each other. It’s difficult to imagine a time when I’ll have a social or political question about Indonesia and I won’t be in the same room with at least two friends who are more than willing to answer! But soon enough we will all be following our separate paths. And it’ll be nice to know we’re walking away with 39 new contacts in the luxury industry.