Cecilia Marmolejos is a current Fashion and Luxury MBA student, specializing in Luxury Marketing. Prior to Stern, Cecilia worked at Wayfair as a Site merchandiser, and as a merchant. Post-MBA, she plans to pursue a career in brand management. At Stern, she is involved in the luxury retail club, and Stern Women in Business.
Deciding which MBA program to pursue is a big decision, especially with unique offerings like NYU Stern’s one-year Fashion & Luxury MBA. After I had decided to pursue an MBA, I began my research, looking into top schools across the country. One thing I knew for sure was that I wanted to go to a school that helped me break into the beauty and fashion industry. Out of all the schools I looked at, NYU Stern had the best network in that area due to the Fashion and Luxury program. In addition to the strong network, NYU also had such passionate and welcoming students. I spoke to several alumni, in addition to current students at the time, all of whom expressed a deep appreciation for the NYU community. It became clear that NYU would give me the opportunity to receive an incredible education, and also expose me to incredible people and opportunities in beauty and fashion with the Fashion and Luxury MBA.
While doing my research, I also came to realize there were a number of differences between our program and the traditional, two-year MBA program. The Fashion and Luxury program is unique, with NYU being one of the first schools to design this new type of MBA program. The Fashion and Luxury MBA is a focused one-year program, running from May to May. In addition to the timeline, there are several elements in which the Fashion and Luxury program differs from the 2 year MBA program, which I have outlined below. The one-year is specifically designed to expose students to core business principles, while also immersing students in the world of luxury and retail.
Other than timing, I believe one of the main components that makes the Fashion and Luxury program unique is the close knit community that NYU fosters. Our cohort this year is 23 people, whom I have had the pleasure of getting to know very well over the last 7 months. We all share a passion for the retail and luxury industry, and have been able to attend different fashion and beauty events, plan trips and share insights on the industry. I have met some incredible people, with a variety of different backgrounds, skills, and experiences, which have been able to help me advance inside and outside of the classroom.
In addition to the community that this program builds, the Fashion and Luxury MBA allows students the opportunity to take courses that genuinely interest them. During this program, I have been able to take core business classes that are tweaked to incorporate language from the fashion and luxury industry. The marketing class taken during the summer semester was a great example of this – the class was made of just Fashion and Luxury students, and we were able to review cases that focused on different retail companies. We were able to have meaningful conversations, and hear not only from the professor, but I was able to learn from my classmates. One of the cases that I really enjoyed reading during Marketing was the Dolce & Gabbana case. We learned about the missteps D&G took as a brand, and how an insensitive campaign they launched impacted their sales and growth in Asia. This case sparked great conversation, and a number of my classmates shared their insights and opinions on D&G’s PR nightmare.
Lastly, the Fashion and Luxury MBA differs due to the variety of networking opportunities that exist. The program has a series of courses called Stern Solutions courses, which involve a number of interactive components, including different panel discussions with various industry executives, corporate presentations from various professionals, and lastly, guest lectures from experts. This course was offered exclusively to Fashion and Luxury students in the summer, and was offered to both my cohort and Full-time MBA students and in the fall. These courses expose you to different topics within the industry, and allow you to network with professionals from different areas. A speaker that comes to mind that the class really enjoyed was Lillian Tung, the owner of the wellness company Fur. She shared her story discussing how she founded the company, what it took to build her business with a partner, and engaged in a Q&A session with the class. A number of students, including myself, are interested in entrepreneurship, and this was a great opportunity to learn more about creating a business, and the difficulties associated with raising capital, and dealing with investors.
Overall, the Fashion and Luxury MBA program gives students the opportunity to gain an MBA, while specializing in a specific industry. It has been an incredible experience, and I am excited to continue to see what comes from the remainder of the program.