MBA Luxury Brand Management

MBA Luxury Brand Management
Class of 2016-2017

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Where are they now...? Interview with Clara Goicoechea L12

Clara Goicoechea graduated from the MBA in International Luxury Brand Management in 2012. Coming from a finance background, she now works as Project Manager for Alexander McQueen in London. We had the opportunity to catch up with Clara to ask her some questions about her time at ESSEC and how it has helped her achieve her professional goals.

What were you doing before the MBA and why did you decide to come to the ESSEC MBA in International Luxury Brand Management program?

Before the MBA I worked for 4 years in Spain in Finance. Although I had always been attracted by the fashion luxury industry I thought working for a bank for a few years would be a good experience. After a couple of years I started looking at the possibilities of changing careers and started my research on the different Business Schools. ESSEC MBA seemed like the perfect fit: it was opened to any kind of background and it was the only one with a specific focus on the luxury industry where I wanted to redirect my career. 

I was impressed by the quality of the partnerships the school had with the fashion houses and luxury conglomerates which was a very important point to develop a good network. Finally, it was in Paris, and I thought that if I needed to learn about luxury it could only be in that city. 

Please describe your career path since graduation. What is your current position and responsibilities?

Just before graduation I was hired by Alexander McQueen as Project Manager. I moved to London in November 2012 and have been working with them since then in business development and strategy. 

What in particular in the MBA in International Luxury Brand Management helped you prepare for your career path or qualify you for your current position?

The MBA gave me a great and unique understanding of every dimension of the luxury industry. The teachers, as well as the many executives who collaborate with the program, are true experts of the business. Learning from them sets an essential basis to start a successful professional career on this industry.

The alumni network is also an extremely valuable asset of the program. I received great guidance from many of them in terms of how to look for jobs, how to approach the companies and what are the different positions that I could be interested in. They also put me in contact with many other people so they help you develop very important professional relationships.

What is your best memory from your time in the ESSEC MBA program?

It is hard just to pick just one… But I have a very good memory of the field project at the end of the program.

I worked for almost two months with three other students and it gave us the opportunity to put in practice everything that we had learned during the year. We realized that we knew much more than we thought!

Most importantly, before the MBA I had only work with finance people and in the project it was four of us from very different countries and very different backgrounds: design, finance & communications. It helped me a lot to understand how more creative people work and it was a bit of a taste of what was going to come later at work. 

What advice would you give to current students in the program?

I would tell them to enjoy as much as possible the exceptional opportunity they have. They are now with many potential future leaders of the industry and they are living in the best city to learn about luxury. I would tell them to be curious about everything, to visit all the expositions they can and to meet as many people as they can. Every day is going to teach them something new and it is going to go really fast.

I would also tell them to not stress about what we all stress by the end of the program which is finding a job… if they work hard and are passionate about what they want to do they are going to find the perfect job.