Jia Lynn, student of Luxury Brand Management track shares her experience on the collaboration for a study on Shanghai Luxury buyer market

  1. What's your story? 

I am from Shanghai , I always lived in Shanghai before I moved to Paris. For most of the women in my country, turning 30 feels like the biggest milestone ever, and for me, starting my MBA in Luxury Brand Management at ESSEC Business School as the cherry on the top of this new decade. 

I have worked in the Luxury industry for almost 5 years. In my previous experience at Tod’s and  Stella McCartney, I know I learnt a lot and the experience was enriching but there was always something missing, and I knew I needed to find that something, and this MBA seemed to be my missing link and pushed me to quit my comfortable job, to take up this challenge.

  1. Tell us about the project you worked on and why was it so close to your heart? 

I worked on a project in collaboration with Spark Ideas LLC to find out what’s the impact of Covid-19 on the sentiment and behavioral change among luxury women shoppers in Shanghai. Our first mission was to identify the Shanghai women who are luxury shoppers and willing to participate in this study because this was different from a regular Q&A type of survey. The idea was to go deeper and engage with these women which was time consuming for them and hence we needed full commitment. 

And as I’m a native Shanghainese and a luxury insider, I was sure that no one else could’ve been a better fit to pursue this project. The project ran smoothly and very quickly we finished all the recruitment and went on the study part. I gained some fresh perspective as I moderated the case and was directly talking to the different women and I learnt a lot about the Shanghai luxury market, which is always going to serve as a great asset to me for the future. At the same time, it was also challenging to work in a global set up with the different time zones, since Malinda, the founder of Spark LLC was in New York, I was in Paris and our participants were far away in Shanghai, but that was the fun of it and we managed to complete the study in one month. It was truly an unforgettable experience.

  1. How did you find this opportunity? And what are your key takeaways from this experience? 

Picture : Soft skill session before their networking soiree

All this goes back to the beginning of march, when Covid-19 hadn’t hit us yet and we had one of our “Get-Out-of-Cergy” networking soirees, organized by ESSEC,  where we get the opportunity to network not only network with fellow students, alumni but also Industry experts and that’s where I met Malinda, the Founder of Spark Ideas LLC. We had no discussion about the project then, but we had a swift and engaging conversation. One week later, thanks to our director, Patti Brown,  we learnt that she is looking for someone from Asia and with an understanding of the Asian market (specifically Shanghai)  for their opinion of their new mobile platform, and I readily accepted and caught up with her very quickly. We hit it off instantly and she asked me if I would be interested to join them for a case-study on Shanghai Luxury market and I am so happy that I  kept an open mind and was willing to take it up as this was a great experience overall.  

  1. Tell us about your present experience during the MBA?

I still remember that one year ago, when I chose ESSEC as my final choice, I knew it was a great decision as we would have a lot of opportunities to connect with luxury brands, and it turned out to be a lot more than just that.

Thanks to our career services director Anthea Davis, for the  savoir-faire sessions every two weeks, visits such as the Hermes scarf factory in Lyon, the Atelier Lesage with Chanel, and VCA jewelry workshop among others. I wouldn’t have had them anywhere else as the heritage that ESSEC Business school brings along cannot be replicated.

Back in the class, I was still amazed by how diverse our cohort is, it’s always good to learn from others and their culture. And I’m glad that we could have some professors who not only had the knowledge of the luxury industry but also the rich experience from the real business world which helped us understand the practical business implications as well.

We never get bored as there was always something to do be it the capstone project, the different networking events. We met a lot of people, not just alumni but also the different industry experts from varied industries with different professional & ethical backgrounds and Patti, our director was always training us and finding the best people to train us to approach these experts in the most professional way. I learnt a lot and I am still learning and this MBA has been a life changing experience ! 

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