How to Find Your First Job in the Luxury Industry | Top Universities

How to Find Your First Job in the Luxury Industry

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Laura Bridgestock

Updated Apr 04, 2018



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Do you aspire to head the retail operations of Tiffany & Co or become Rolex’s next marketing director? Jobs such as these in the international luxury industry are extremely coveted and often come with high pay and excellent travel opportunities. While breaking into the luxury industry can be difficult, there’s no reason why you can’t succeed if armed with the right training and connections.

Become an influencer

Some luxury brands’ efforts to partner with social media influencers have been hugely successful. It’s not hard to see why - a single sponsored post by Bella or Gigi Hadid, the models-turned-Instagram-gods, can deliver a brand millions of likes.

Of course, we’re not expecting you to turn your Instagram feed into the same kind of money-making machine, and you don’t have to monetize your social media channels or luxury blog to get a job in the industry. However, producing your own content and growing a healthy base of followers can be a great way to build a network of contacts and demonstrate to employers that you’ve got the social media skills and passion to work in luxury. If you’re not sure how to get started, read our piece on how to start blogging at university.

Arrange informational interviews

Informational interviews can be incredibly intimidating, but they’re a great way to network. Scour LinkedIn for professionals in top jobs you have some connection with, no matter how loose and try to arrange a meeting. Alumni of the same university can be a good place to start.

Drop them a short message along the lines of “I noticed we studied at the same university. I really admire your career and would love to pick your brain about your experience.” Remember: no matter how awkward it might make you feel to email a complete stranger for career advice, people love to talk about themselves and are usually quite happy to help somebody else out.

Brush up on the latest luxury trends and industry forecasts

You don’t need to sift through pages of dry industry reports to stay on top of luxury trends and forecasts. Head to a local high-end store or hotel, depending on your area of interest, and do a little investigative sniffing around of your own.

Speak to shop assistants and customers and try to get a sense of where the industry is headed and what customers expect. Make up your mind on what you think is working and what isn’t.

Be prepared to play the long game

You probably have a dream brand or job title in mind, but don’t let too narrow a focus hold you back. If a luxury industry role isn’t quite what you’re looking for - because it’s a lower pay grade than you were hoping for or the brand doesn’t have global appeal - think of it as a learning opportunity or a stepping stone.

Find out how a business actually works

Despite the glam, the luxury industry is just like any other sector, and every business needs operations managers, product developers, merchandisers, HR professionals, accountants and so on. To manage a global luxury brand, you would need a sense of how a company operates so you’re able to work with any business or marketing expert.

This is where business schools come in. emlyon business school’s 16-month Master’s program in luxury management and marketing, for example, would take you to Paris, London or New York and Shanghai to learn the basics of management, with an option to specialize in the fashion and lifestyle industry or luxury design.

Run with Parsons School of Design at The New School in New York City and the London College of Fashion, the Master’s program also features a mandatory four to six month internship to help you maximise your chances of employment.  

Chat with an emlyon business school student ambassador and find out what the course is actually like.

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