With our new Executive Master’s in Luxury Management and Guest Experience program now in full swing, we caught up with another of its participants – Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Pristine CX, Natalia Jaramillo Duran – to get her first impressions…
“Customer/guest experience is not just a very trendy topic nowadays; I feel it is the most important vision, value, culture and strategy any organization can follow in order to be truly successful.”
For Natalia Jaramillo Duran, going ‘back to school’ for her Executive Master’s with Glion represents quite a turning of the tables, since in her career to date she has trained more than 1,000 people in luxury customer experience!
Today, she runs her own consultancy and training firm, operating primarily in the Middle East and Latin America regions. The groundwork to this venture was laid through roles at premium brands in luxury hospitality and retailing, including high end hotels such as the Emirates Palace Abu Dhabi and the upmarket department store Galleries Lafayette. Natalia also earned the opportunity to help transform the in-store customer experience for Seddiqi Holding, the UAE-based retailer which has exclusive partnerships with legendary watch brands including Patek Philippe, Richard Mille, Chopard and Rolex.
“The luxury industry, especially in hospitality, has for many years been a benchmark for great guest experience; and every organization can and should learn how to apply it in their context,” she explains. “That’s why I love luxury, because they are leaders; they inspire and if we all learn how to adjust luxury principles into our personal and professional lives, I believe we can achieve true success.”
“The luxury industry, especially in hospitality, has for many years been a benchmark for great guest experience; and every organization can and should learn how to apply it in their context. That’s why I love luxury, because they are leaders; they inspire and if we all learn how to adjust luxury principles into our personal and professional lives, I believe we can achieve true success.”
Natalia Jaramillo Duran
So, why choose to begin a Master’s degree 12 years after completing her Bachelor’s? And why this one in particular?
“Having a Master’s adds a competitive advantage to my resume and further develops my credibility and expertise. I also wanted to do a Master’s in a topic that I was truly passionate about and that directly adds value to what I do daily. I’m looking forward to receiving structured theory about areas in which I have many years of practical experience – this structured education will help me to have updated concepts, research and applications that I can use to add value to my training, and ultimately my professional career.”
Study while you work
From a practical standpoint the flexible nature of this executive program, with its primary online delivery, is a real plus for Natalia, for whom the option of taking a year or more away from work to study full time is unrealistic while she builds her business.
Of the program’s academic content, Natalia says she expects the module on ‘Branding in the digital world’ to provide the most value.
“I feel the topic is very current as the world is totally going in that direction, so it will better prepare me to work in that field. I have always been a ‘face-to-face’ person, working in hotels, retail stores and through my training activities. Although it’s been around a while, the digital component is thus quite new to me – I don’t have great experience in it, and so this is a real opportunity to understand how it works in luxury.”
Learning from the best
Another key feature of this Master’s is the sheer volume of industry experience represented by the faculty, which combines seasoned Glion lecturers with a host of subject matter experts drawn directly from the luxury business.
“Getting to learn from people who are active in the industry is amazing,” says Natalia. “So far, I have particularly enjoyed learning from the examples that come from known and leading brands, which have been extremely valuable. Seeing things from different perspectives, and learning from different industries, has been very enriching.”
And so, given her experience of the program to date, what would be Natalia’s advice to other ambitious professionals who may be thinking about studying an Executive Master’s.
“I’d say just do it! If chosen properly it will add daily value to your professional performance. It will adjust your mindset so you can constantly ask questions about your company or job, which will help you immensely.
“Practically, I would advise any potential participant to ensure they have the time to do it. While you can study alongside your work, it requires a lot of discipline and dedication. But it is totally worth it!”
- To discover more about Natalia’s consultancy and training business, stay tuned to her LinkedIn page
Immerse yourself in luxury
Our new Executive Master’s is purpose-designed for professionals with at least five years of professional experience on their CV – offering flexible study that means there’s no need to give up your current role.