Celine Lim

Celine Lim


Amherst College

The Luxury Management program embodied the very luxury principles it taught—heritage, expertise, and unparalleled excellence.

When I first arrived at HEC, it was at a time when I was facing several key crossroads about where I wanted to take my future. I knew I wanted to begin my career in France, but, having completed my studies in the United States, I was uncertain that I would have the resources or the network to support my ambitions. When I heard about HEC Paris’s Summer School Program, it struck me as an opportunity to test-drive HEC as a possible next step and also learn about an industry that I had always been curious about: luxury.

I had never formally studied luxury, so I was happy to discover that HEC’s Luxury Management program delivered a unique opportunity to learn about the field from a school that had unparalleled access in the sector. After all, luxury is written directly into the DNA of French culture, giving the country a distinct global advantage in luxury goods—and HEC Paris is no different, with its vast network of top professors and accessible alumni community of luxury industry leaders.

Within the 2-week program, a typical class consisted of being introduced to a strategic luxury marketing principle and then applying it directly to an existing brand through a case-study. Not only was the case-study method an effective way of translating the material into real-world practice, but it also made for rewarding collaborations between the students. My classmates hailed from all different ends of the world and brought their unique insights into the classroom. This was even more true of the program’s numerous guest speakers—our professor brought in seasoned luxury experts from various sectors (fashion, hospitality, analytics) to speak about their professional experiences and provide an integrative way of thinking about luxury on both a national and global scale. I was even fortunate enough to come out of the program with an internship for one of the HEC alums who had come to give a presentation for our class. The strength of the HEC network truly spoke for itself.

After completing the program, I knew HEC Paris was precisely the environment I had been looking for. Not only was it a community that encouraged people to explore their possibilities; it was also a thriving hub for international profiles—a rich, open-minded community that welcomed us precisely because of this factor, not despite it. I thus enrolled in the Grande Ecole Master in Management program and am currently enjoying my first year as an M1 student. As with the summer program, I continue to find myself both inspired and challenged by my classmates. Most pleasantly surprising of all was discovering that the intensity and diverse exposures of the summer program is very much a quotidian element of the Grande Ecole experience. We are kept constantly tuned to insightful exposures to various industries. And the wealth of resources available through the community means that it is nearly impossible to leave HEC without the promise of an exciting opportunity.