Ready For NYU’s Fashion & Luxury MBA?

Photo Credit: Baim Hanif

As technology continues to fold itself into the core of how we do business, facility with the modern means of thought and production become more and more important. Scanning the job requirements for almost any job opportunity today shows a bleeding of skills from one domain to another. Sometimes these hybrid skills are required, other times they are nice to have. Rarely are they utilized to their full potential.

The corporate org chart serves as an x-ray machine for a company’s priorities. For most, they reveal structural challenges for scaling innovation. In order to truly take advantage of these unique employee skillsets, they must first look inwards to see how established processes can facilitate cross-team collaboration and communication.

The caliber of your employees and their processes for defining and executing your product vision is critical to your company’s future. All things being equal, most employers fall back on education and pedigree as measures of a new hire’s potential. Naturally, every sector has its own top sources, while most look to the Ivy League, Fortune 500, and unicorn-sized startups as strong recruiting options.

Another pathway, however, is the formal education route. While there have been a number of different kinds of accelerated programs available to the business community, they tended to focus on discrete technologies. NYU’s (my alma mater) Stern School of Business recently announced a new MBA program focused on the Fashion and Luxury vertical.

The program structure consists of four components: a business core; a technology or fashion and luxury core; real-world experiential learning projects with organizations in the respective specialty areas; and electives.
Given Stern’s proximity to multinational brands, start-ups and nonprofits, the School has offered experiential learning projects to its MBA students for more than 15 years. The Stern approach matches students with faculty to help an organization solve a real business challenge in real time. Stern MBAs have engaged with companies ranging from Diane Von Furstenberg to MasterCard to HBO and more, with student participation in projects growing by more than 130 percent in the past two years alone. With the establishment of the new focused MBAs that will incorporate real-world business projects as an essential element of the curriculum, Stern is elevating its commitment to experiential learning and branding it Stern Solutions.
“Because we sit in the heart of the business ecosystem that is New York City, with global headquarters and new economy upstarts just outside our doors, we are in constant conversation with industry about developing future talent,” said Peter Henry, dean of NYU Stern. “This dialogue drives continuous innovation at Stern, such as establishing the first FinTech MBA specialization at a business school last year to creating new specialized MBA programs now, so we stay as relevant to the new economy as we are to Wall Street.”
Source: Apparel, “NYU Launches Fashion & Luxury MBA

An training program guided by industry heavyweights, immersed in the halls of real-world companies sounds like fertile ground for breeding a new generation of employees armed to fight the challenges of innovating businesses sounds like a tremendous resource at face value. Certainly, innovation’s surface area is maximized when multiple disciplines are grafted onto each other, but only time will tell whether these programs can instill the necessary experience to scale.


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Gregarious Narain is a serial entrepreneur and product strategist. A reformed designer and developer, he writes on his experiences as a founder, strategist, and father on the regular. Connect with him on LinkedIn or say hi on Twitter.

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