Marine Comiti's personal and professional journey from her native Corsica to the luxury brand hub of Paris via emlyon has been part of a conscious search for practically focused studies that would enable her to specialize in the high-end customer experience. Not even the mass disruption caused to so many by the pandemic dampened her ambition to gain as much experience as possible in order to hit the ground running in her sector of choice.

What was your educational background before embarking upon studies at emlyon?

Marine Comiti : “The luxury industry was always on the radar, although not necessarily fashion. I started out taking preparatory classes in Marseille, before then branching out into Economic and Social Administration. This all gave me a sound base of knowledge, but I knew deep down there was something missing from the skillsets I was in the process of building up.”

Marine Comiti (MSc LMM 2022, emlyon) – a luxury brand pro dedicated to the customer experience

What motivated the switch to emlyon?

Marine : “In short, practical and company-focused skills. I had received a firm theoretical grounding up to that point. However, I wanted and needed to acquire more immediately applicable knowledge, especially in the area of marketing, and so decided a business school education at Masters level was for me. This is when emlyon entered the equation. In addition, I had already created my own association by that point and had secured a series of student contracts working in retail on the weekends, all of which gave me a first taste for team management and customer relations. Once I had taken the decision to go down the route of a Specialized Masters program, emlyon was the place for me, precisely for the very hands-on professional preparation that it had to offer, plus the chance to take the Masters of my choice in English.”

You are part of the cohort affected by the pandemic. How did you make the most out of this situation?

Marine : “Like so many others, I didn't get the chance to taste learning experiences in Shanghai, London, and New York, as should have been the case. However, the school was very responsive to the request from students to come up with solutions to the situation, which ended up providing me with even more working opportunities. By then I had developed a keen interest in the areas of couture, leathergoods, watches and fine jewelry. Despite the circumstances, I got the chance to pursue a first internship in Paris for the maison Chanel, which then morphed into short-term student contracts and an additional one working on the weekends, leading me to my second and last student internship, still in the same maison. So, from a bad situation worldwide for everyone came a vital educational and professional opportunity for me.”

How has your career evolved since your emlyon days?

Marine : “Since I entered Chanel in 2021, I have actively sought positions that will give me a broad strategic and operational overview of how the maison and the industry function. The customer experience has been the focal point, be it in sales, customer engagement, digital in-store project management, or customer service strategy. Through this variety of missions working in dynamic environments and on challenging projects, I've gravitated naturally towards hybrid positions, where there is the perfect balance between strategic thinking and practical application.”

What skills and knowledge from your studies have you taken into your career?

Marine : “emlyon is a business school known for not only welcoming but very intentionally seeking to attract hybrid profiles, so I think the fact I am now looking for similarly hybrid positions in the early stages of my career is no coincidence. The international element to the MSc in Luxury Management & Marketing was one of the strongest appeals of the program, so I certainly felt well prepared for so diverse and cosmopolitan an industry as luxury. What I also learned was to carefully plan the next steps I wanted to take in my career. For example, I wanted digital to figure within the positions I was applying for but not be an overly dominant aspect. I also respond well to positive management, so was careful in my choice of the service I wanted to join. I welcome new challenges of all types but want consistency and coherence when building up my career path.”

What advice would you give to prospective students considering a similar path?

Marine : “I can't stress enough the importance of learning foreign languages (including English, which is an absolute must) but also of developing an interest in other cultures. Developing a relevant network will also boost your chances as you enter the working world – networking for the sake of it will be of limited use, but establishing relevant and useful contacts who resemble the career path you have in mind and whose experience interests you is essential. So I guess, be it for choice of studies or potential career path, learn to be selective, be ready to put the hard work in to prove what you are worth, and above all identify clearly what you want to do and in what direction you're heading.”