MBA Luxury Brand Management

MBA Luxury Brand Management
Class of 2016-2017

Monday, September 29, 2014

Starting the Journey: The MBA Luxe 2014 – 2015 Class Begins

By Stephanie Walker, MBA in International Luxury Brand Management 2014-2015, USA/UK

As I arrived at ESSEC earlier this month, and stepped through the doors of the school, a wave of excitement and anticipation washed over me. Since my discovery of ESSEC’s MBA in International Luxury Brand Management back in 2011, I knew this was a program that would have a huge impact on my career and my life should I be lucky enough to attend. Three years later, following my arrival at Charles de Gaulle airport, it was surreal to comprehend that I had made it and that I would be spending the next year of my life in France working toward my MBA.

The first week was a time of great discovery: learning the layout of the school and Cergy, meeting the faculty and staff, and figuring out daily life in France. As an international student, ESSEC was a great help with regards to getting settled. A team of students met me at the airport and a free shuttle brought me, and my belongings, swiftly and safely to the campus. I was then immediately introduced to ESSEC’s Welcome Center, where I picked up the keys to my room at Residence du Port, opened a French bank account and received important information about the school.

However, the best part of that first week was meeting and getting to know my fellow classmates. There are 38 of us this year and while we all have very diverse backgrounds, with regards to nationality and work experience, each of us shares a unique outlook and passion for the luxury industry. This shared excitement of the luxury sector has already provided us with a platform in order to connect with one another and begin building friendships that I am sure we will have for a very long time.

I have now been in France for just shy of a month, and I can say with certainty that I have made one of the best decisions in coming to ESSEC to study in the MBA Luxe program. At this time, we have already completed several classes and the insights shared by the professors have been both intriguing and inspiring. Every class brings something new, and I feel so fortunate to be attending with all of my classmates who consistently provide their own distinct perspectives on the subject at hand. The experience thus far has proven to be extremely rich and has only fueled my original excitement and anticipation for the coming year!

Congratulations to all of my fellow classmates on their acceptance into the MBA Luxe 2014 – 2015 Class. I am so excited and proud to be starting this adventure with you!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Graduation of the 19th ESSEC MBA in International Luxury Brand Management Christian Dior Couture Class

The ESSEC MBA in International Luxury Brand Management celebrated the graduation of its 19th class, the Christian Dior Couture Class, at Hôtel le Bristol Paris on Monday, September 15th. Jean-Michel Blanquer, Dean of ESSEC Business School, opened the ceremony and addressed the students about ESSEC’s core values of a pioneering spirit and excellence, which will serve them in their future careers.

Professor Simon Nyeck, Academic Director of the MBA in International Luxury Brand Management, recognized all those who have contributed to the program, including ESSEC faculty and staff, alumni and the corporate partners. Special thanks was offered to the companies that had sponsored Field Projects in 2013-2014: Audemars Piguet, Cartier, Chanel, Christian Dior Couture, Clarins, DFS, Estée Lauder, Harvey Nichols, Krug, Kering, Loro Piana, St. Dupont, and Zegna.

Sonya de Castelbajac (MBA Graduate 1998), Zone Marketing Director, Middle East & Africa at L’Oréal Luxe, shared her experience as an alumnus of the program. The keynote speaker was Sidney Toledano, President & CEO of Christian Dior Couture, and the “parrain” of the Christian Dior Couture class. Mr. Toledano shared the lessons he had learned throughout his career with the graduates, identifying the keys of the luxury industry to be “product, clients, and people.” Bertrand Delvert, President of the ESSEC MBA in International Luxury Brand Management Alumni Association, addressed the graduates on behalf of the alumni community.

Families, friends, corporate partners, alumni and ESSEC faculty and staff attended this special evening to celebrate the graduates’ achievements. Academic awards for top-ranked students were given by Stéphane Actif, Sales Director at Montblanc, to Amandine Latour (1st), Nima Farahmand (2nd) and Brian Lavio (3rd).

Scholarships were then awarded to incoming students from the Class of 2015. Solène Davy, Head of Communication Fine Fragrance at Firmenich & CIE – SAS awarded the Firmenich scholarship to Ying (Jessica) Wang. Rémi Lugagne, HRD at L’Oréal Luxe, awarded the L’Oréal Luxe scholarship to Tyngyu Fu. Edmond Saran (MBA Graduate 2008) awarded the Alumnus Scholarship to Jeanine Benjamin.

The ceremony closed with the announcement of the 20th anniversary celebrations for the MBA in International Luxury Brand Management, which will take place on June 11, 2015.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

The End is Now

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

The day that many of my fellow ESSEC Luxe students and I could hardly envision is here: our final field project presentations. For us, this really marks the end of our “careers” as MBA students and re-initiates our status among the workforce. Most of us could hardly picture what this moment would look like last September, let alone in May when we were selected for our field projects!

My group presented our final project in London on July 18, and the moment that I finished speaking was bittersweet. On the one hand, I felt a huge sense of relief knowing that I was done and everything had gone well, but on the other hand, I realized that that was it for my MBA. Everything I had been working towards for most of the year had culminated in this last hour, and even though I was anticipating this for many weeks, it still felt very surreal. The entire field project presentation process was about what I expected it to be (one room, many chairs, big projector screen), and despite the fact that I was terribly nervous before we started speaking, I actually felt pretty comfortable when I was presenting. Our project was well-received by the management board, and my teammates and I could not have been more pleased with how things turned out. My group and I had a really enjoyable experience throughout the field project, and we could not have asked for a better way to end our MBA experience.

Now that most groups are wrapping up their field projects, we are faced with the difficult task of bidding farewell to our year in Paris and all of the friends we’ve made along the way. For some classmates this means staying in Paris or other parts of Europe, but for many this means going back home or onto a new city outside of Europe. In some respects, saying goodbye to friends and this experience is more challenging than the actual field project! I think we all feel ready for this next chapter to begin, however, and we are eagerly anticipating what the next year will bring. And it’s nice to know that we have friends we can visit across the globe!

Congrats ESSEC MBA Luxe Class of 2014!!