The Summer Semester in the Fashion & Luxury MBA Program

Maria Lafaurie, Class of 2025

Maria Alejandra Lafaurie is a current Fashion & Luxury MBA student specializing in strategy and luxury marketing. Before Stern, she worked in private equity in her home country, Colombia. Post-MBA, she plans to pursue a commercial position in a luxury firm. She is involved in the Cellar Club and the Latin American Business Association at Stern and enjoys dancing and flower arranging.

“It will be very intense,” “Be prepared to feel overwhelmed,” “It is immensely challenging.” These were some of the phrases rumbling in my head in the days leading up to the start of the Fashion and Luxury MBA summer term. After working in private equity for so many years, I figured I would be fully prepared for the rigor of the program – right?


An Intense Academic Summer

Well, private equity certainly prepared me, but the summer term was different than expected. It was very intense. The summer ramped up very quickly, not only academically but also socially. The peaceful campus did not reflect the number of courses, activities, and plans we attended. Even though some courses were genuinely challenging and feeling overwhelmed was the new normal, I felt reassured knowing that all my classmates were willing to help constantly. This made it easier and more fun. My 20 classmates became my New York family: they celebrated my birthday when I was new in town, supported me when I had a bad day, and taught me new skills. 


Meeting Fellow Students

Despite the small size of our cohort, we were paired with our fellow Tech MBAs in the core classes. This additional blending of points of view and backgrounds made courses incredibly enriching and very different—a true MBA experience. Apart from the academic aspect, the social interaction with all the ‘new MBAs’ made every evening seem like a Friday. Every day was a new adventure – from happy hours to trivia nights, we got to know new people and build long-lasting memories. 


The Fashion & Luxury Immersion

The highlight of my summer was the Fashion and Luxury Immersion Project, where we worked with a luxury firm in consulting for a real-life challenge. This project was the first big project in groups, where we had to understand the team dynamics and the roles within the team. In my case, my team members were marvelous, each bringing to the table their best abilities. During this project, we faced challenges that helped us become more curious and recursive. As an international student without previous experience in the industry, this project opened my eyes to how the industry works. It confirmed that pivoting my career was the best decision.


Now that the summer is over and the campus is filled with thousands of students, the memories and friendships born in the summer still linger. Looking back, I wouldn’t change the summer term for anything; it created a bond between classmates that otherwise would not have happened and allowed us to discover the campus in a way no other student can. Now that it is over, I am ready for the new adventure that is the fall quarter.


Wine tasting in the Hamptons. The best summer plan!

Photo of Maria and classmates during the summer

Bonding over Italian dinner and dancing! 

Photo of Maria with classmates during the summer