Learning That Luxury Is Hard Work

To give Columbia MBA students a realistic take on the business, Francesca Carlesi helped start the school's luxury-goods club

Francesca Carlesi, a first-year student at Columbia University's Business School and a former McKinsey consultant in Italy, is one of the many B-school students responding to the siren call of luxury-goods makers such as LVMH, Gucci, and Coach. Carlesi helped launch the luxury-goods club at Columbia this year, where 280 students -- almost half the graduating class -- signed up for the Retail Leadership class that brings in speakers from luxury-goods companies such as Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, and Ralph Lauren.

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