Meet EMiLUX Participant Shannon Bradley November 14, 2023 Offered jointly by Parsons and ESSEC Business School, both among the top ten schools in their fields, the Luxury Management and Design Innovation (EMiLUX) executive program is designed for professionals and entrepreneurs who want to develop a global perspective and a deeper knowledge of international luxury markets while continuing to work at their jobs. We sat down with EMiLUX Class of 2023 participant Shannon Bradley for a bird’s eye view. Here’s what we learned about her experience: If you are currently employed, what industry do you work in and what is your company and title? I work for the Walt Disney Company as an Entertainment Operations Coordinator for Live Entertainment at Disneyland Paris. What experience, if any, did you have with luxury management and design innovation before you started the EMiLUX program? I did not have any experience in luxury management before I started the EMiLUX program. I worked for Nordstrom, Inc. for several years and have a background in the arts as well as costume design. I came into the program with a very clear understanding of the design process and importance of heritage and storytelling, but I wanted to learn more about the business aspects of the industry. EMiLUX allowed me to combine all of my interests and experience into one, luxurious, program. Were there any memorable lessons or interactions you had with your instructors or fellow participants you’d like to share? I appreciated our one-on-one sessions with Director of the Joseph and Gail Gromek Institute for Fashion Business Abrima Erwiah. We already received group feedback regularly throughout the course on group presentations, but it was nice to have one-on-one time with a luxury professor and professional so we could gauge how our work was being received. What was something about the program that surprised you the most? When interviewing for the program last year, one of the questions I was asked about was the Entrepreneurial Project. I was asked if I had an idea for an entrepreneurial venture to propose to the cohort. I was nervous because I did not have an idea in mind and had never considered becoming an entrepreneur. This program opened my eyes to the world of entrepreneurship and gave me the business tools and confidence I needed to seriously consider embarking on an entrepreneurial adventure in Alaska. Tell us a bit about yourself and your professional progression. If applicable, why did you decide to make a career change? I began working for Disneyland Paris one week after finishing my undergraduate degree. I packed up my life, and moved across the world to start a new adventure, dancing down Main St., U.S.A. in Paris, France. I have now been with the company for 11 years, and have appreciated every opportunity that has come my way. In 2019, I took a sabbatical to spend some time with my family at home. Around this time, I had the opportunity to work for LUSH Cosmetics, working my way up from a casual seasonal hire to an assistant manager in one year. This helped to reawaken my curiosity about returning to school and jump starting my career in a new direction. Upon returning to France, I started to look for a master’s program and found EMiLUX! The program combined everything that I was interested in: fashion, luxury, business, travel, international networking, and even champagne! What is a challenge your industry faces today, and how did this program give you the tools to solve this problem? One of the biggest challenges in the entertainment industry is artificial intelligence (AI) and how it will be used in the future. EmiLUX handed me a new perspective on AI and an up-close view of how it’s being used in the luxury industry. The challenge is ongoing, but I think I now have a global perspective of AI, and I’m learning how AI can help us rather than replace us. How did EMiLUX help you develop and hone a global perspective and deeper knowledge of international luxury markets? The immersive in-person weeks were essential to gaining a better understanding of the luxury markets. We met with luxury professionals in each market—and their stories brought their cities to life, allowing us to envision what working in that market would really be like. It was almost like we were allowed to “try on” each of these luxury markets to see which one would fit us best. It was a truly unique and empowering experience. Even if none of us change cities/markets the end of this program, we were able to experience each luxury hub for a brief moment—allowing us to have a real appreciation for each market and giving us an unparalleled global perspective. Did you appreciate the flexibility of the program? How did it help? Were you able to continue to work at your job? I really enjoyed the flexibility of the EMiLUX program! I was able to maintain my full-time job with Disney and completed all of my coursework at my own pace. The calendar was well designed, and deadlines were very manageable. This hybrid style of learning was wonderful–especially for such an international cohort–and allowed us to become immersed in the luxury hubs we visited, not just to learn about them in the classroom. Do you have any advice for future participants of this program? My advice is to have fun, network, and take lots of notes! This program gives so many opportunities to network with key figures in the luxury industry, and you should take advantage of the moments that you spend with them. Allow yourself to be immersed in the cities, cultures, and countries that you visit. Eat the local food, go to museums, walk around, explore, and soak in every moment that you get to spend in these beautiful places. As for taking notes, the in-person week is busy, with lots of information coming your way, so if you can jot down a few key points it’ll help you remember all of the wonderful things you’re learning together. How did engaging in week-long on-site immersive residencies at global luxury hubs across several countries and online modules help you to develop your knowledge of the international luxury market and emerge as a transformational leader? The immersive residencies were wonderful experiences that allowed me to really envision what it’s like to live and work in the cities that we visited. It was wonderful to meet local luxury professionals who were able to give their insights on the luxury space from their own city’s point of view. I am lucky to have been exposed to an international workplace over the past 11 years with The Walt Disney Company. This program has helped me be more compassionate in leading a very international team, and has motivated me to search outside of France and the United States for additional job opportunities. I hope to bring my global experience and perspective to every future endeavor! Ready to learn more about EMiLUX and take a deep dive into the global luxury market? Apply Now for the Class of 2024!