At the end of 2018, the students of the International Master in Luxury Management spent a week in Paris, for a key curriculum event : the "Week in Paris".
With visits to the capital's most prestigious luxury brands, the 58 international students enrolled on the Master in Luxury Management experienced a number of memorable moments: case study presentations, private visits to concept stores and museums, meetings with professionals in management positions with prestigious brands... a look back at this exceptional week.
Courses and "appearances"
The Week in Paris began with a brief introduction for the students in the form of a few hours of specialised classes.
The pace quickly picked up with appearances by the Alumni. Wilfried Guerrand, for instance, Executive Vice President in charge of Hermes Woman and digital projects at Hermès International, and Fleur SIESSE NEOMA BS Alumni and Head of Human Resources with one of the capital's most prestigious companies. By sharing their experience and knowledge of such exceptional companies, these speakers aimed to help the students clarify their future career paths.
The students also appreciated the lectures given by representatives from Moncler, Adone Conseil and Vestiaire Collective.
“We were lucky enough to meet NEOMA Alumni,” explains Juri. “We have a lot in common with them, they are very open about their daily routines, the problems they encounter each day. We were able to have a real dialogue. They were all friendly and sincere in answering our questions. I think this will be decisive for my future.”
“Seeing all these alumni members, with such amazing backgrounds and careers, also confirmed my choice to enrol on this course. I now have the impression that we have been promised a really bright future!" adds Mathilde.
Yana, for her part, points out: “This week in Paris was really something I was looking forward to. We were so lucky to meet very different speakers, whose talks and outlooks provided us with extremely complementary insights.”
Visits, concept store and museums
In addition to the meetings and discussions related to professional experience, the week in Paris also focused on practical experience and visits.
A visit to the Yves Saint Laurent Museum, located in the designer's historic fashion house, gave students an opportunity to learn more about the creative process behind haute couture collections.
The Hermès concept store also figured on the list of places to visit. Located on Rue de Sèvres on the former site of the Lutetia swimming pool, the students were given a private tour taking a unique and historical look at the history, the products and merchandising of this French luxury icon.
At the end of the week the students were welcomed by the Fragonnard Museum. This was the ideal opportunity for them to find out even more about the know-how of the Grasse perfumeries.
“We have experienced so much! It would be too difficult for me to describe it all in one sentence! I would say we were truly immersed in a new world, it was really inspiring. Especially the visit to the incredible Hermès concept store. I saw things I had never seen before, and with the explanations given to us..... It was an incredible focus on the brand, it helped me to understand their objectives. For me, the best part of the week!” Juri explains enthusiastically.
Two professional challenges
One objective behind the Week in Paris was for students to present their strategy recommendations to the professionals on real issues that brands are confronted with. This year, two projects were organised during the week in Paris: the Cartier Challenge and the John Lobb Challenge.
Based on specific themes, co-created in partnership with the brands, the challenges required students to work comprehensively for several months: developing audits, visiting points of sale, analysing markets…
“We are aiming for a three-way work programme," explains Emmanuelle Rigaud, Programme Director. "Companies and professors coach the students on a genuine brand project. They need to draw on their multidisciplinary training to develop a cross-functional response to the challenges facing the brand. A reflection of the general teaching methods employed on this Master of Science.”
A veritable professionalising experience for the students who visited the Cartier Head Office to make their presentations. As part of the John Lobb Challenge, the teams were assessed by a jury made up of the brand's marketing team and the two winning groups were invited to visit this English luxury shoe brand’s workshops.
“For myself, I also found that this made us feel more professional, we went to Cartier headquarters for our presentations, met John Lobb's Head of Customisation,[...]and the challenges[...], make things much more realistic,” explains Mathilde.
An extraordinary experience
The Week in Paris is a unique experiential and educational format. Dense and demanding, this week remains a great opportunity for the IMLux students to refine their professional project by meeting Alumni and sector professionals.
“These meetings provide an excellent opportunity. They will certainly act as an accelerator when we look for our internships. They will certainly make our applications more relevant because we were able to talk very openly with the speakers throughout the week, asking them questions, asking for advice and creating a kind of connection. In this respect, I am sure this will be a great help to us,” concludes Nicholas.