The Luxury Retail Club at the Mason School of Business joined other experts in the luxury industry at this year’s conference at the Harvard Business School. Two members of the club shared their experience with BizBeat.
What was your background and work experiences?
Azure Shen: I worked as a Project Manager for a social media agency in Shanghai before I came to W&M.
Sing Ho: I recently interned at a nationwide media company as a financial analyst. I also have experience working at KPMG.
What did you expect at the conference?
Azure: I decided to go to the Luxury and Retail Goods Conference in because I am interested in Luxury industry. How could I waste such a chance?
Sing: I am always curious in different industries and business operations. Luxury brands, as industry leaders, they are not charging for premium price just because of they can. It is a very different business model from what I have learned so far Those are the reasons why I am so interested in luxury brands and motivates me to participate in the Conference every year.
What did you learn from the event?
Azure: The conference gave me a chance to mingle and talk with many industry insiders. I was also inspired by those peers who are trying to get into this business by listening to their stories.
Sing: Therefore, my biggest take-away from this event was to find who you are as a luxury brands, control your perceived value from customers by centralizing your business operations like distributors, sales force, etc., and make everyone within the company know their value and communicate consistently.
During the event, what did you learn from the key note speakers, panelists?
Azure: I joined a panel discussion about Globalization and was excited to know all luxury brands are expanding into countries like China, which means I can contribute my knowledge and skills to help them out. I met with some interesting people and one of our alumni — Edmund Amoye M.B.A. ’12.
Sing: This year we had key note speakers from LVMH and Michael Kors. They, as luxury brand leaders, have different strategies in expanding their business. John Idol, CEO of Michael Kors, talked about how they build a brand in less than a decade. Ulrich Wohn, President & CEO of LVMH Watch & Jewelry North America, talked more about the importance of communicating with customers and streamlining the perceived value of TAG Heuer internationally.
What are some of the things that you found helpful in your career?
Azure: First, find out what I’m passionate about and go for it. Second, aim at the final goal (for me is to start my own business) meanwhile I could work out a map and may travel through different stops to the final goal.
Sing: As a former external auditor, it is crucial for me to know what is going on in the various industry. That will give me a reasonable judgment on how the financial statements being fairly reported.
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