Samyak Jain, MBA 2022
- Pre-MBA Employer: Amazon
- Industry Focus: Luxury Fashion & Technology
- Hometown: New Delhi, India
- Club Involvement: Fashion & Luxury Club, Cellar, OUTClass
What is a spot in NYC that is special to you?It’s a touristy answer, but the Top of the Rock viewing deck at Rockerfeller Center. I had dreamed of coming to New York for as long as I can remember, and there are countless desktop wallpapers that show the Manhattan skyline from that view point. But when I did come to New York for the first time, Top of The Rock was the first thing I went to see and to finally see with my own eyes - the view that I had only seen on my laptop as an image - was a monumental milestone in my life.
What was your favorite class at Stern?Luxury Marketing with Prof. Thomai Serdari so far wins this race for me. As someone who was curious and excited about understanding the elusive world of luxury, the class really gave me frameworks to appreciate true luxury and distinguish what makes a brand luxury. It also helped me understand how people within the luxury sector - both as brands and as buyers - think. And to be able to think with that thought process and use that language makes me feel confident about working in that industry now. It’s EXACTLY what I came to the Fashion & Luxury MBA to learn.
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?What was unique to our program is that we were delayed to start by 8 months because of the coronavirus pandemic. What we as a cohort did was that we kept in touch remotely over zoom and messages to build our own community as we all waited through the pandemic. This was uniquely observable when we all finally met for the first time in class and instead of having awkward ice-breaking conversations, we all met as old friends. And for me that’s the one element that will forever make our cohort unique.
Besides that, my cohort is super nerdy. We take our assignments far too seriously and show up to all classes over prepared. The one things that does stand common amongst all the three Fashion & Luxury cohorts is a deep passion for fashion, luxury or the beauty industries and across Stern, the very notion of EQ runs through every person that walks through this campus.
Can you describe the collaboration between the Fashion & Luxury MBA and the other full-time MBA programs?I have close friends in the Tech MBA program because we all started together. Our first semester was completely integrated and we were all learning and working through the core classes together, crying about our struggles with Finance. Those four months of being in the same room daily does develop some bonds and helps you broaden your own perspectives of the MBA.
What was a highlight from one of your Stern Solutions courses?Presenting directly to the Senior Vice President of a major global fashion brand sounds surreal, but it’s exactly the kind of thing this program makes you do. Having worked closely with the brand teams and working on developing actual implementable strategies for them to acquire newer younger consumers and then to be able to present to senior leaders, hear their feedback, and then them saying that a lot of what we presented is very viable as a real business solution simply validates that what you are learning is working.
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 coming to Stern, I worked with Amazon Fashion in India as an Art Director and also was the Project Head for the India Fashion Week so I would say that I have considerable experience working in Fashion. Having said that, my experience was very creative profile oriented and I had little to no exposure to the business functions and the thorough process and frameworks that allow business leaders to make important decisions. I started to read Business of Fashion and Women’s Wear Daily to familiarize myself with common developments in the fashion and luxury industries and that I think did help me pick up nuances of language to use when describing businesses and their decisions. Having said that, Stern and your cohort will teach you pretty much everything you would need to know.
How did Stern’s Office of Career Development prepare you for success?As a part of our orientation, we were introduced to the Office Of Career Development’s IGNITE program that takes us through resume building, coffee chat training, networking sessions and mock interviews. OCD has a database of past recruiters and alumni in companies you would want to work with so the resources are all available. For me personally, what has helped is a frequent one-on-one chats I have had with a career counselor to really sharpen my recruitment strategy and find companies or roles that I would be best suited for given my unique background and my professional interests.
Why did you choose NYU Stern and the Fashion & Luxury MBA?What pulled me to the NYU Stern Fashion Luxury MBA - aside from the fact that it’s the only program of it’s kind in the English speaking world - is that it’s a specialized, shorter, and specific program. It allows me to really position myself as a specialist in the luxury industry in a short span of one year. The specificity of skills needed to succeed in the fashion and luxury sectors that the program promised was also a huge pull as well.