Devon Elovitz, MBA 2022
- Pre-MBA Employer: Christie's Inc.
- Industry Focus: Luxury, Beauty, Brand Management and Innovation
- Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
- Club Involvement: Luxury & Retail Club, Stern Women in Business
What is a spot in NYC that is special to you? Prospect Park. While living in Brooklyn, the park became my backyard, a quiet retreat, and hangout for me and my friends. It was designed by Olmstead & Vaux after they completed Central Park and is designed to have both public and private spaces. There are even forested areas of the park where you can’t hear the street traffic. A true refuge in the center of chaos!
What was your favorite class at Stern?My favorite class was our Retail Strategy and Analytics course which was taught by Professor Jack Hanlon, a current VP of Data at Reddit. We analyzed various case studies to determine how retail businesses strategize around opportunities, manage business risk and innovate to achieve long term goals. One of my favorite cases was about the downfall of a well-known American department store. We discussed theories around pricing, the tension between executives and boards of directors, and what happens when leadership undervalues their core customer.
How did you find a sense of community and support within Stern?Because our cohort is relatively small and spends the first few months taking core classes together, we quickly become a tight-knit group. A strong sense of EQ amongst students helps foster a sense of inclusion and I’ve found that everyone is eager to socialize and explore the city together. Our cohort leaders have done a great job of hosting guest speakers, happy hours and excursions.
How would you describe the culture and community within your Fashion & Luxury MBA cohort? How have you interacted with alumni from previous Fashion & Luxury MBA cohorts?Our cohort is extremely engaged, curious and motivated. The level of participation in the classroom makes for richer discussions and deeper learning. Outside of the classroom, the same ethos exists. People are genuinely interested in learning from others and sharing information. Our cohort’s slack channel is always buzzing with ideas and information! Because the program is relatively new, we have been able to interact with alumni through coffee chats and organized happy hours. Many of them also come back to campus as guest speakers in our classes or career events.
What was a highlight from one of your Stern Solutions courses?I had the opportunity to work with a Scotch Whisky company who wanted a digital solution that would capture a new customer segment. This was at a time when NFT sales were making headlines and I was able to do extensive research into the market to try and uncover an opportunity for the brand. I presented my findings and pitched a new product that they could sell directly to a new consumer, bypassing complex liquor regulations and creating new value enhanced by a unique customer experience.
Did you have experience in the fashion/luxury retail industry prior to the program? How did you prepare for the program before it began?Prior to Stern, I worked at Christie’s in their Luxury Group where I managed the Wine & Spirits, Handbags, Watches and Streetwear categories for the Americas. While I came in with a strong foundation, I made sure to keep up with the latest industry news across categories from fashion to beauty and hospitality. It was important for me to be able to discuss current events and apply my learnings to challenges the industry was facing in real time.
Why did you choose NYU Stern and the Fashion & Luxury MBA?When I started my journey to business school I applied to both the Fashion & Luxury program as well as various two-year traditional programs at other universities. I ended up getting accepted to another school, however, during the admitted students weekend it became clear that it was the wrong program for me. I realized that the benefits of a specialized program, the NYU network, and the access to industry in New York were unrivaled. The opportunity to dedicate one year to intense study in my industry of focus would ultimately be the best strategy for achieving my career goals.