Graduate Ana on MBA specializations in Luxury: « I chose EMLYON because of its Luxury Management programme »
Ana Garcia Barrera, graduate of the International MBA programme class of 2013/2014 chose one of EMLYON’s International MBA specializations in Luxury Management in order to pursue her dream of a career in the luxury industry. The International MBA degree from EMLYON offers 7 MBA specializations to help participants tailor the MBA programme to their career objectives – see the programme curriculum here. Ana tailored her MBA experience with specialized Luxury Management classes to understand this unique industry, as well as had the opportunity to work on a long-term Entrepreneurial Leadership Consultancy Project for luxury watch manufacturer Roger Dubuis.
We caught up with Ana about her experience of the MBA Luxury gateway and how it helped her navigate her career since graduating from the programme.
Ana, why did you choose Luxury as one of the International MBA specializations?
The main reason I chose the International MBA degree at EMLYON was actually because of its Luxury Management programme. I have a finance background and experience as a project manager in real estate. The luxury market, the diverse strategies and rules they follow to create a unique ¨brand world¨ has always fascinated me; in particular, I love how the traditional and the modern worlds collide. I could finally study something I am very passionate about, learn about the history, consumer behavior and brands that have been established for a long time.
How do you consider your choice of MBA specializations has helped you in your career?
Now that I have these MBA specializations, I have a better understanding of luxury brand management. When creating my CV I knew which keywords to highlight, and when in interviews, which parts of my educational and professional background would generate the most interest. My choice of MBA specializations made me realise the complexity and the board spectrum of the luxury market and helped me to understand which direction I wanted to take my career.
What is your current role after graduating from the International MBA programme? How did the International MBA help prepare you for this position?
After the MBA, I worked for a Luxury PR company called VividLuxury; I am forever grateful for this opportunity. Recently, I decided to move to South Africa as my partner received a job opportunity. I will be moving there in the next few days; I don’t know what the future awaits but I am sure it will be very exciting!
All the intercultural behavior classes of the International Masters of Business Administration helped me to manage a team, understand a company’s needs and put all my understanding of brand management to bring ¨out of the box¨ ideas. Above all, the MBA program taught me to innovate constantly to maintain a high standard. The entrepreneurial spirit of EMLYON Business School was present constantly throughout the programme.
Did your Entrepreneurial Leadership Project compliment your choice of MBA specializations?
Yes, it was key! The Entrepreneurial Leadership Project helped me so much because it gave me the experience I lacked. I was very fortunate to work on a Customer Experience Management project for Roger Dubuis, the Swiss luxury watch and jewelers brand. I believe it’s key to develop the skills you want so that you can showcase them for your next career move. During the Entrepreneurial Leadership Project, I developed and worked on skills such as digital marketing, sales, customer service and customer relationship management.
The Entrepreneurial Leadership Project was also an opportunity to show companies that I already have the ‘know how’ and the experience of working for a luxury brand, because certain rules and strategies apply very differently in the luxury industry.
What was the highlight of the International MBA for you?
I have a lot of highlights of the International MBA degree; I enjoyed it very much. Of the courses within MBA specializations, I would say my favourite was the Luxury Seminar where we were able to visit different companies. In our case, it was Hermes and Zilli, and we got insights into the brand storytelling, the craftsmanship, the process and the human factor. You really get immersed in the brand. And it is very impressive the amount of detail and heart that goes into every item. It is very beautiful to see the whole world of a brand right before your eyes.
We wish Ana best of luck for her new adventure in South Africa! Check out more testimonials of International MBA students and graduates here.