“It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.”
“It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.” ― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
22.11.2016 was one of those days when my dream came true of being in my ‘dream company – LVMH’. I moved to France in September to pursue an MBA at emlyon business school. I chose France because I wish to specialize in luxury business and this country is the hub of luxury and home to my dream company- LVMH. When I enrolled for admission into emlyon business school it was not only because of the high college ranking, triple accreditations, diverse class and a great alumni network but because of the values this school stands for. They foster the seeking individuals and transform them into ‘Early Makers’ driven by entrepreneurship, innovation and humanism.
The International MBA program is quite intensive coupled with opportunities for learning and participating at career fairs, events etc. One of the reasons individuals invest in going to a good school is because of the connections, reach and exposure one may receive through the various platforms provided by the school. I found one such event of my interest on the emlyon-jobteaser.com website and with great encouragement from my career counselor I applied for ‘Inside LVMH’ event to be hosted in Paris. At that time I wasn’t aware of the scale of this event as it is one of a kind and recently launched by the LVMH group to promote young talent and open doors for learning for luxury enthusiasts. After clearing the first round, the applicants were to send a one minute video sharing views on innovation in luxury based on which I finally got selected among the 200 student out of thousands of applicants from schools and universities across Europe.
Needless to say, all the arrangements were made by LVMH and the team did a fantastic job at hosting it. The agenda of the event was to provide the participants an experience Inside LVMH and know, who they are and what they do from behind the scenes. It couldn’t get any better than an exposure of this kind for an aspirational luxury professional like me. After days of waiting in excitement, finally the D-day arrived. The entire group of 220 participants were divided into smaller groups, and each group to visit one of the 16 Maisons (Houses) selected from within the LVMH group of companies. I spent the first half of my day at the Sephora head office in Paris. It began with a presentation about the company by Stephen Borchert, the president of Europe and Middle East followed by presentations by his peers in the management.
It was great to have a face to face interaction with these business leaders and learn about the brand from the top executives. We also got to visit the flagship store at Champs-Élysées and that was indeed a great experience to feel the vibe of the brand at their point of sale. It was the most wonderful welcome I’ve ever had at any store. I learned the way a successful brand truly transmits the brands’ vibe to customers. Firstly by a great welcome and secondly by giving them personalized high touch service and also letting them freely touch, feel and try the products at the store. The key strength of the brand is its DNA and the connection they build with the customers. Going to the store was a real time experience that carried forward the brand elements shared with us during the presentation.
During lunch we interacted and networked with the other students who visited the different Maisons from the group. It was a good opportunity to know about students from different school and fields of expertise and learn about their unique experiences with the brands. We were addressed by Chantal Gaemperle, the group executive president -HR and a quick introduction to the global management team at the headquarters. Workshops began after lunch and we were given the task of presenting a pitch to the audience on the brand we were assigned to. Post brainstorming, speech writing, internal voting for the speaker, we were all on the stage presenting our pitch on Sephora. Our idea was to depict live, the experience we had with the brand that morning and transmit the same vibe, energy and brand values to the audience. We spoke about the unique experiences each customer at Sephora witnesses and how the brand is working on their innovation for beauty at different levels of personal selling, digital and experiential marketing. This was a competition to deliver the brand essence in 1 minute and 30 seconds. My team did great, but so did the other teams like Krug, Christian Dior Couture and Christian Dior Parfums. Finally we won! It was a proud moment and one of the most unforgettable experiences for each of us in team Sephora. This was followed by a celebration at the Louis Vuitton Fondation, where the Chairman Bernard Arnault moved us with a motivating speech on innovation in luxury. We were also the privileged few to be able to see art exhibits of the Shchukin Collection at the Louis Vuitton Museum.
In a nutshell, this has been once in a lifetime kind of experience to makes all the difference for an early maker at Emlyon Business School
International MBA Candidate, emlyon business school, France