So… HEC – a new universe I had the chance of entering this summer. The decision of coming here for two intakes, the first being Fashion Management and the second Luxury Management, was one I took at very short notice, to be honest. Now, after having spent 4 weeks on the wonderful campus of HEC, I can proclaim that it was the best decision ever taken.
Initially, I did not have any concrete expectations regarding the courses; the only thing I had known beforehand was that I wanted to move my career to another field, namely fashion and luxury and that HEC Paris was a well-known and prestigious institution, particularly on these topics. I was additionally aware that my passion for the French language would certainly be nurtured, as – after all – HEC is based near Paris. And I must say that living on its huge and woody campus was an unforgettable experience!
The wealth of knowledge the various guest speakers transmitted was simply admirable. Never was I given so much detailed insight into the fashion and luxury management industry than here at HEC Paris. Guest speakers ranged from L’Oréal Paris to Lacoste and from Lacoste to Chloé in fashion management and from Louis Vuitton to Chanel in Luxury Management. Alumni creating their very own brands and boutiques were also on our schedule, delivering inspiration to such an extent that I could not help but leave the room with bright and shiny eyes. While the fashion management class taught me invaluable knowledge, such as how to start over with your own brand or how to launch a successful VIP event, the luxury management class ranged from insights into the make-up and skincare luxury industry, e.g. we got deep insights into the French perfume brand Annick Goutal to champagne tasting sessions – yay, how fancy is that?!
An international student body
All in all, both classes left me with an immense amount of first-hand and practical knowledge, which I believe I would not have gained elsewhere. I further adored the case study competitions we had to tackle in groups. Coming up with creative product ideas for a brand-new collaboration was our task throughout the Fashion Management course. Believe it or not – my group and I even managed to step out as the glorious winners, which definitely left me speechless. I am certain that the strong bonds you forge here throughout your course are definitely one reason – amongst others – that made us win the challenge. I learned how to work in groups of up to 6 different nationalities, how to communicate with various cultures and mentalities and how Korea, Mexico, and Italy have very distinctive perceptions of a brand and their identity as such.
Now, it seems it was all about studying and lessons. And yes it was – we actually dedicated lots of time to our studies and group work. However, HEC Paris also offered wonderful activities in between lessons, which I loved joining. We had scavenger hunts, picnics by the lovely campus lake – how adventurous is that, please?!… sports activities, such as yoga and crossfit as well as super French crêpes and pastry sessions. What else could you wish for?! When it comes to the weekends, we all mainly spent them in Paris, as we felt like exploring the metropolitan city of love. HEC Paris had organized buses to pick us up from the campus, which was admittedly very comfortable. Thank you for that, Madame Elyse Michaels-Berger and the whole Summer School Team, including all of you, cool Interns entertaining us every single day – Esin, we love you!
Oh, and whilst I am just in the ‘giving-away-compliments-mood’, let me address a huge MERCI to our lovely professor Madame Gachoucha Kretz. HEC Paris Summer School would not have been the same without you and your witty personality guiding us through these fashionable 4 weeks. Your massive expertise in both Fashion and Luxury Management is out of this world and thanks to your extensive networks you made it possible for us meet the leading personas behind Chanel and Co., which – with all due respect – is not something you get to experience every day! Alors, merci beaucoup, chère Gachoucha, you’re someone to be missed!
Before this is getting a bit too emotional and cheesy, let us end this blog post with saying that I will tremendously miss my classmates from all over the world, who traveled here from as far as Hawaii and Korea. It is very hard to express in words how many wonderful memories we shared, how much fun we had together and how much we actually learned from each other in terms of studies and personal experiences. Encountering so many smart and intelligent peeps was such an enriching experience and I would like to thank all of you admirable and outstanding personalities for making my stay at HEC Paris as amazing as ever!