28 June 2022

Luxury and Design Management at a Business School

Author: Chelsy Greenman - International Full Time MBA student

Most MBA programs are designed purely to further educate students to manage a company from every aspect. They have a set curriculum to obtain this goal and often use real life examples to emphasize certain learning objectives. POLIMI Graduate School of Management takes a similar approach, but further enhances our academic experience by providing a stimulating selection of specializations. This was one of the main reasons for my choice to attend POLIMI GSoM, as I am making a much-desired switch into the luxury sector, and to this end, I was able to choose the Luxury & Design Management path. Other choices include Global & Sustainable Management, Digital Transformation & Big Data, and Entrepreneurship, Innovation & Startup Development, all important and trending topics in management right now.

In many ways, the luxury sector is similar to other sectors of business, but it has some peculiarities that are important to investigate and understand in order to succeed in this realm. The specialization includes three sections that look at the sector, with specific examples from a range of luxury products.

Understanding the Value of Luxury

The courses begin with understanding what luxury means, and what it means to consumers, including an assessment of its potential effects on the psyche. We can meet with real luxury business leaders and discuss important emerging topics, such as the global pandemic, the metaverse, and, crucially, new ways of engaging our target group and creating desire for a product. This central understanding aids in the further steps of the course.

Touring the Heart of the Luxury World

One of the many benefits of POLIMI GSoM’s location, particularly for this specialization, is being in the heart of the Italian luxury world, with all that this amazing and vibrant city and the area have to offer. We were able to take a short trip from Milan to visit multiple companies and get a first-hand experience of their day-to-day operations, as well as enjoying some stunning locations which are the perfect setting for their products. Seeing the principles we’ve learned during the MBA put into practice was invaluable to our overall experience. The range of companies was vast, from the small, family-owned businesses in more rural areas, to large conglomerates.

Bringing Luxury to Customers

The final pillar allows us to practice how to bring these luxury products to the consumer, and how to plan for the unexpected. Preparing for all scenarios is a crucial lesson to learn and being able to apply that to such a niche sector is indispensable. We are stretched to the full on this course  ̶  sometimes in unexpected ways  ̶  and this is another of the aspects which makes it so worthwhile.

Luxury Abroad

Yet another way POLIMI GSoM allows students to enhance their education is through their many and varied exchange agreements with other universities. I was able to study Luxury Marketing in evocative Paris, and also enjoy exposure to other major luxury production markets, which gave me the chance to continue to expand on my range of skills.

Not Just an MBA

Switching careers was a big decision, especially into a large but very particular sector. I knew I wanted (and needed) to get my MBA but was concerned about the focus being on general business with few examples in the luxury sector for me to learn from. POLIMI GSoM has allowed me to not only reinforce my business acumen with a challenging but always fulfilling course, but also to realistically apply it to my future career in the luxury sector. I have also been able to develop fruitful relationships with these companies, as well as with professionals in the field that I would like to work in. Another MBA could well not have provided these same opportunities, so I am incredibly happy with my choice. For my colleagues, they can explore their chosen fields further as well, and develop vital relationships. Whatever your goals at the end of your MBA, these specializations can only increase your chances of achieving them.

28 June 2022

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