This month’s post is written by guest blogger Gretchen Shaw. Gretchen is an author, blogger and entrepreneur with a penchant for baking. She is passionate about communication, continued learning and connecting people. You can follow her on Twitter: @shawgret

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luxury courses.jpgIf you tell a friend who labors in an unchallenging 9 to 5 job that you’re going to pursue your Luxury MBA they might think you’re pulling their leg (or acting annoyingly pretentious). They might also have a laugh guessing what your courses will be—Mink Fur Gowns 101 anyone?

In reality, luxury brand management MBAs, majors and certifications are actually incredibly useful; they sharpen your business skills and nurture your understanding of the growing luxury management sector.

Business schools such as HEC ParisLondon Business School and ESSEC have created tailored MBA programs, degrees, hands-on training and clubs that prepare tomorrow’s leaders in the high-brow and frenetic luxury management sector so that they are well-equipped to deliver exactly what their clients desire.

Students learn how to properly manage creative projects, launch products, develop marketing strategies and cover communication campaigns just to name a few of the skills that are covered. Thriving in the world of luxury is no mean feat, which is why pursuing such an MBA can be vital to your success.

Let’s take a closer look at what some of the best business schools have to offer:

ESSEC

ESSEC offers an 11-month MBA in International Luxury Brand Management at their campus just outside Paris, France. The program was first established in 1995, and is currently partnered with the likes of L’Oreal, Gucci, Christian Dior, Swarovski and Calvin Klein.

Students are taught to look at issues in the industry from a global perspective, and get to study complex situations from financial, business and cultural angles. There are four parts to the program:

  • Business Knowledge & Market Trends;
  • Luxury Brand Management and Semiotics;
  • Luxury Sector Management; and
  • A two-month consulting project at a prestigious company.

Field trips are an important part of the program as well, and recent trips have included jaunts to Dubai, Italy and Hong Kong.

HEC Paris

HEC Paris is one of the world’s leading business schools. Located in one of Europe’s capitals of luxury, HEC Paris offers a rapid-fire two-week luxury program that is aimed at people who already work in the sector and want to take their game to the next level. The course takes place across three cities:

  • Paris;
  • Milan; and
  • Florence

Students who attend the course usually already have solid experience in the world of luxury brands, and the course is known for its exclusivity. Lasting just two weeks, it seeks to endow its students with the right kind of skills, mindset and understanding that will help them succeed at luxury companies and brands around the world.

The course is super hands-on, very demanding and focuses on an all-round vision of luxury that takes a look at all its various sectors and facets.

London Business School

London Business School’s Global MBA (Luxury Brand Management) program is offered in three stages:

  • Stage I encompasses marketing and business environment, accounting and managerial finance, systems and operations management, as well as research methods.
  • Stage 2 moves to strategic management and leadership, luxury brand management, global marketing management and research methods.
  • Stage 3 includes an online dissertation and research methods and is worth as many credits as the first two stages combined.

The program seeks to endow the student with a firm understanding of luxury brand management practices. Skills learned by the student include strategic, marketing and research skills, while intimate knowledge of this specialized industry is also a desired outcome.

SDA Bocconi

The leading business school in Italy, SDA Bocconi offers both a one and a two year MBA. When it comes to the luxury market, their Executive Open Course schedule allows you to update your skills through the Strategic Management of Luxury Business class.

Luxury Connect Business School

Other schools are built entirely around luxury brand management. India is home to just such a school in LCBS (Luxury Connect Business School). This school boasts a unique experience while you train and works in collaboration with the International University of Monaco to offer a diploma or post-graduate courses.

Special Events

When you don’t have the time or resources to devote a full year (or even two weeks) to a luxury training program, other top European business schools such as IMD invite executives from luxury brands such as Hublot to Discovery Events geared toward fueling discussions, sharing knowledge or best practices and experience in luxury marketing and innovation.

There is certainly no wrong time to pursue an MBA or major in luxury brand management. Rather, there is always a right time. Luxury companies are growing all the time, with some recording growth of 27% in the last three years. If entering the world of luxury is something you’ve been thinking about, getting on board a luxury MBA, or major at a top school, is a great start.