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After the MBA: Retail/Luxury Goods

Posted in Test Prep on January 24, 2011 by

This is another post in our “After the MBA” series, in which we chronicle a variety of post-MBA career opportunities to give you a sense of which might be the best fit for you. Whether you’re looking to make a career change or want to stay in your present field, this information will help guide you in your b-school decision-making process, as well as direct your studies once in school.

Job/Industry:

Retail/Luxury Goods

What It Is:

While the retail and luxury industry has typically prioritized creative talent and other skills and talents over business acumen, in recent years an increasing number of MBAs have become interested in jobs in the retail and luxury goods industry. MBAs working in the retail and luxury industry can expect varied job responsibilities and hands-on experience. Some companies at which MBAs interested in the luxury goods industry might look to work include Hermès, Chanel, or LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, among many others.

Salary Range:

In general, MBAs looking to enter the retail and luxury goods industries can expect to make less money than their consulting/investment banking peers. The median base salary for members of the Tuck Class of 2010 working in consumer goods and retail was $108,000, although many estimates run significantly lower.

Is Retail/Luxury Goods a Good Fit?

If you are looking to work in an industry replete with other MBAs, retail and luxury goods is probably not right for you. If you’re looking for a job that is hands-on and requires excellent multi-tasking skills, though, you might be a good fit. If you’ve worked in retail sales (“on the floor”) in the past and enjoyed it — but now want to be involved on a higher level — an executive position in retail or luxury is a great career option.

Great B-Schools for A Career in Retail and Luxury:

Most b-schools will be able to prepare you well for a career in retail and luxury; however, some schools might offer more courses, extracurricular activities, and/or faculty connections that help you get a foothold in the industry. While evaluating prospective schools, look through course catalogs and student group listings to see how many retail-related offerings there are. Some schools even offer MBA specializations in the industry, like NYU Stern’s Luxury Marketing program.