MBAnalysis Blog: NYC, Fashion, and One-Year MBAs

NYU Stern recently announced two new one-year MBA programs with one focused on Technology and the other on Fashion & Luxury. Both programs are May to May programs with the first cohort starting in 2018 with applications due this fall.

The addition of these programs are unsurprising, given NYU’s integration with Silicon Alley (the name given to NYC’s thriving entrepreneurial/tech scene) and New York being at the center of the world of fashion and style. In fact, Stern created these programs with the help of local companies and professionals; if you want to see a who’s who of the fashion and technology worlds check out the advisory boards.

So are these programs right for you? Maybe.

As is the case with most one-year MBA programs, they can be the perfect fit if you know exactly what you want to do, know what industry you want to be in, know what skills you need to develop, and are looking for a network of like-minded colleagues and mentors.

However, if you want a general management degree, aren’t sure where you want to end up, need a summer internship to try something new, and/or just need two years to explore, then I can’t recommend a one-year program. While admittedly something of a luxury, a two-year program can be transformative in a way that I don’t think a one-year program can be.

What I find particularly interesting is the Fashion & Luxury MBA which is touted as the “first-of-its-kind.” I absolutely agree with that statement. At most business schools, students interested in the world of fashion generally have to create their own curriculum. This could include a focus on marketing, while possibly participating in a “Fashion” club, or leading a class trip to NYC for Fashion Week. Certain schools may even have a brand management course but basically, students focused on fashion and luxury will be on their own when it comes to time to find a job.

I remember a conversation with the CFO of a major consumer fashion brand during which he complained that there was essentially no business schools that even had a course in merchandising. [What’s “merchandising?” Don’t go to business school to figure it out.] That may all change in 2018!

I have a number of clients who would be the perfect match for the Fashion & Luxury MBA and I can’t wait to tell them!