I had another post about fashion and luxury goods today, so I apologize if I gloss over anything, but you can just check that one out as well.
The biggest thing for you is to be wary of leaning on an MBA program to get you a job in the luxury goods space. That market has been hammered by the economy and the labor force hit the hardest are highly paid MBAs. We've seen luxury brands go back to the old model of hiring interns and letting them rise through the ranks, rather than pay $130K for someone with an MBA. Even the schools that "specialize" in luxury brands (ie Columbia) are giving applicants in that area the cold shoulder.
Now, should you avoid it altogether and be someone you are not? No, of course not. Here are some strategies for dealing with this:
1) Take a detour. So basically, you have experience in this world, you want to eventually get back to it, but you are getting an MBA to ... what? Well, most likely, to *broaden out.* More knowledge, larger network, etc. So you can just continue that line of thinking and continue to broaden post MBA by going into a larger function that hires tons of MBA. You can pick based on your skill set, but consulting is the easiest. Banking, consumer goods, etc., are also options. The idea here is that you want exposure to more industries, models, success stories, and so on, so that when you go back to your roots - luxury goods - you have max insight to achieve success. This retains the integrity of your long-term goal while offering a more traditional (and, in the schools' eyes, achievable) short-term path.
2) Returning from whence you came. You can always sell "returning to family business" or "returning to current company." That rarely fails, as long as the MBA allows for an expanded role. This takes all the pressure off the school.
3) Working extra hard to forecast success. If you want to stick to your guns and talk about luxury goods for ST and if you are not returning to a business, then you can still make this work, but you have to work extra hard to show the road. This means really showing skills that a luxury goods company HAS to have when they see you come on the market. This means showing your own network and contacts that will allow you to succeed. This means presenting a few Plan B scenarios to give your path dexterity and resiliency.
The biggest thing is don't paint you - and the b-school - into a corner by announcing "I want a job in the market that has been hardest hit and is shrinking the most ... but don't worry, you, School X, can help me get it!" You will freak them out.
I hope this helps - good luck!
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