The DBA is like a regatta with high waves and calm sea. Definitely it’s not sipping champagne on a yacht, but rather a race that leaves deep traces.
Why have you decided to do a Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA)?
I’m a life-long learner and I’m very curious. So, pursuing a doctorate degree always was part of my vision and path of continuous self-improvement. Doing own studies and lecturing at business schools in the field of luxury management besides my profession as a consultant, already contributed to satisfy my intellectual curiosity. Though, I wanted to deepen my academic knowledge on luxury and digital strategies to further position myself as an expert and to directly transfer my research into the business environment. Besides, I sought to take a step outside the business world and reflect upon questions that would not find space in the daily environment. Respectively, it was clear for me to pursue a DBA and not a PhD.
Why the International University of Monaco (IUM)?
IUM has always been in my evoked set as an academic institution. This due to its international setting and a strong focus on luxury manifested in the diverse study programs, an excellent research community, the biennial academic symposium on luxury and naturally due to its location. This allows building an international network with researchers and professionals. So, structure- and content-wise, the DBA program at IUM offers everything that is important to me for this academic education along with my demanding professional life. It’s a hybrid international program that combines online courses with residential weeks in Monaco, Geneva, London and fosters exchange with inspiring minds. The program is set up in a manner that gives you all the tools at hand that are necessary for being a researcher: from “Philosophy of social sciences” to “Quantitative and qualitative research”. Plus, it’s the contemporary approach of a cumulative dissertation, the presentation of the research at a conference and the pursuit of a journal publication. This allows to share the academic and managerial findings to a broad audience and to have an impact – instead of writing a theoretical monograph.
What is your area of research?
My DBA topic is greatly linked to the questions I’m confronted with as a consultant for high-end brands with respect to digitalization. While the essence of luxury brands is based on exclusivity, a closed and controlled system, the online world is characterized vice versa and allows manifold brand meanings, which are no longer controlled by the brand. Thus, luxury brand managers are not in the driver’s seat anymore and prevailing control-centric management is no longer compatible with market dynamics. These changes disrupt the game for luxury brands and their managers, whose role is getting more and more unclear. Therefore, my research will tap in and explore the role(s) of luxury brand managers in times of brand meaning co-creation via social media.
What is your resume after the first year?
My resume is that it was the very best decision to embark on this regatta. It’s definitely no secret that it is not an easy race: that it is challenging to balance your professional, academic and private life. If you’re passionate about what you do and you manage your time wisely, the DBA will complement your activities. But first, your equilibrium will be shaken, before it teaches you how to master the high waves. So, one who steps outside the comfort zone can enjoy the insecurity and joy at the same time to go through an intellectual fog – until one can see clearly again. In academia, you have to accept that you first don’t know the answer and can’t show certainty in an ocean of uncertainty straightaway – whereas, in business, instant solutions are the driving force, sometimes before knowing the question. It’s about dedicating time to reflect, ask critical questions and focus because you don’t want to boil the ocean.
All in all, the DBA program equips you with more than just fundamental knowledge for being an academic: it’s a lifetime investment in self-improvement. Most importantly, IUM is a human place where regular and close contact points with renowned researchers, professionals, and great DBA candidates from all over the globe guide and support you on your regatta. This really makes a difference!
Julia Riedmeier is a consultant and lecturer in the field of luxury management and is currently based in Munich. As a partner at INLUX, an international consultancy boutique for high-end brands, she advises companies and their leaders on luxury strategies, mainly in the digital field. She co-conducts studies, which are published in the INLUX-owned magazine LBR Luxury Business Report and is the project manager of the corresponding conference LBD Luxury Business Day. Prior, she has worked for Hermès in communication and retail and sharpened her profile through diverse projects in the beauty and online sector as well as for public figures. Before starting her DBA at the International University of Monaco, Julia studied International Business in Berlin, Munich, Shanghai with a focus on Luxury Management.
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