The Walpole Programme in Luxury Management at London Business School was established in 2013 to identify and nurture carefully selected MBA students who aspire to become the next generation of luxury leaders. The students attend a series of Walpole-organised workshops, designed to build their commercial acumen, and is also assigned a mentor – a senior executive from within the Walpole membership – who will provide guidance throughout the year. The selected MBA students will have demonstrated excellence in their careers to date, and been accepted onto this prestigious and highly competitive programme because of their aptitude, business acumen, academic expertise and keen interest in pursuing a career in the luxury industry.

Selection Criteria

This programme is available to all MBA students in their first year at London Business School who are aiming to take up future management positions in the luxury industry.

2019 Participants

Rashmi Ashok
MBA Candidate

Rashmi has over seven years of experience in building, scaling, and turning around supply chains and customer experiences in the US and India. At Tata Motors, India's largest automaker, she successfully crafted and implemented a service innovation and digital experience strategy that has helped transform the company into a millennial-focused brand. At Amazon in the United States, Rashmi launched and scaled Amazon's Prime Now business, and aided in creating an omni-channel experience for Whole Foods, bringing together Whole Foods' physical footprint and Amazon's digital and delivery networks. Rashmi is an executive member of the London Business School Retail & Luxury Goods Club and is keen on exploring and contributing to the luxury omni-channel retailing space

Claire Blumenthal
MBA Candidate

Prior to attending LBS, Claire worked as a management consultant at Deloitte for four years and focused on the retail industry. She advised clients in a breadth of retail function areas including digital strategy, marketing, merchandising, inventory management, product management, and store operations. Claire was selected to co-lead the Deloitte US National Retail Community strengthening practitioners’ knowledge and network in the industry. She previously worked at women’s workwear start-up MM LAFLEUR and consumer goods start-up Callaly on strategic partnerships, operations, customer experience, and capital raising initiatives. Claire plans to work in retail after completing her MBA and is particularly interested in helping luxury brands better leverage technology to provide an enhanced customer experience. Claire is on the Executive Committees of the LBS Retail & Luxury Goods Club and Women in Business Club.

Melissa Bradley
MBA Candidate

Melissa joined LBS after four years working as a management consultant for Deloitte Consulting in both the US and UK. At Deloitte, Melissa helped major retailers solve complex business problems across their supply chain, eCommerce and omni-channel capabilities. Melissa is particularly interested in how luxury brands are approaching, and incorporating, technical disruption into their business models. Melissa is a member of the TEDxLBS Executive Committee and Retail & Luxury Goods Club.

Emma Bruni
MBA Candidate

Emma joined the LBS MBA after working as a Management Consultant specialised in Retail Customer Experience with Accenture. Here she led retail client strategies ranging from supply chain optimization to virtual reality store planograms. To deepen her focus in retail and luxury she also completed a Management of Fashion & Luxury Companies Certificate with Bocconi University in 2018 as well as an Accenture Retail Practitioner Certificate in 2016. Emma is excited to explore trends of deep personalization and secondary market opportunities in luxury as part of her MBA. She is an executive member of the LBS Retail & Luxury Goods Club, co-chairing its 2019 luxury conference, an executive member of the LBS Women in Business Club, acting as the Marketing Chair, and an LBS Scholar.

Marc Colomer Marti
MBA Candidate

After graduating from ESADE Business School, Marc developed his career as a consultant at Deloitte Digital. Based in Barcelona where he led marketing and digital strategy projects for all types of clients, including the definition of the pricing strategy for a top global perfumery producer and retailer. Marc is attracted by the excellence surrounding the luxury industry, as well as the high level of customer experience involved. He looks forward to helping luxury brands adapt to new market trends and contribute to the innovation and digitalization of the industry, making it appealing to new generations while strengthening the luxury essence. At LBS, Marc is in the Executive Committee of the Retail & Luxury Goods Club, the Impact Consulting Club and the Snow Club.

Tiffany Jay
MBA Candidate

Tiffany started her career as a management consultant with IBM, focusing on digital transformation and business development for global retail and luxury clients. She then joined American Express to manage a portfolio of retail and e-commerce companies, where she led the development and execution of brand marketing programs such as Amex Offers to drive revenue through card member spend. Most recently, she was at Casa Dragones, an ultra-premium tequila producer, working directly with the CEO to advance the brand’s international expansion blueprint from market trends as well developing digital and social media strategies for customer engagement. Tiffany holds a B.A. degree from University of Pennsylvania and is an executive member of the Wine and Spirits Club at LBS.

Mackie Kennihan
MBA Candidate

Mackie joined LBS from Deloitte US where she worked as a management consultant, specialised in operational excellence. She is a trained Lean Six Sigma yellow belt with a proven track record, which includes reducing millions of dollars in costs for multiple Fortune 500 retailers and deploying industry-leading robotic process automation (RPA). She has a passion for process improvement and turnarounds within the luxury retail space, with special attention on the omnichannel movement. Today, Mackie focuses on the operational flexibility required to successfully deliver the luxury experience at each touchpoint along the customer journey. At LBS, Mackie is involved in numerous sporting clubs and is an executive member of the Retail & Luxury Goods Club.

Reut Kraus
MBA Candidate

Reut Joined LBS after three years working as a strategy consultant and specializing in the retail and consumer goods sectors. During this time, she developed growth strategies for leading companies across sectors and advised clients on various e-commerce key profitability issues. Originally from Tel Aviv, a city famous for its entrepreneurship and creativity, Reut is fascinated by fashion brands that innovate from both the design and business aspects. She intends to apply her strategy and business skills to help luxury brands grow in a sustainable way using cutting-edge technologies. Recently, Reut got first-hand experience in the shoe manufacturing process through designing a small shoe collection. Reut is an Executive Committee member of the Retail & Luxury Goods Club at LBS.

Charmaine Leong
MiM Candidate

One of two MiM students to be part of the Walpole Programme in Luxury Management, Charmaine joined London Business School after graduating from the London College of Fashion with a First Class Honours in International Fashion Management. Before LBS, she worked in various analytical roles within the fashion industry, such as in international merchandising at Debenhams UK, where she looked after the department store’s Danish and Mediterranean stores. Charmaine is also currently a jewellery market intelligence analyst and leads several core data analytics projects for the firm. At LBS, she is the Communications & Marketing Officer for the Retail & Luxury Goods Club and playing a key role in reinventing the club’s digital marketing strategy.

Claire Lyon
MBA Candidate

Prior to pursuing an MBA at LBS, Claire gained experience in both the business and editorial sides of the fashion industry at Nordstrom, Vogue, and most recently, Bloomingdale’s. She spent six years in the buying office of Bloomingdale’s developing profitable omnichannel businesses in buying and planning roles across a range of women’s, men’s, and home goods departments. Claire partnered with numerous international luxury houses to create business strategies that delivered positive returns for both parties and received company recognition in 2017 for these results. Additionally, she served as a leader in the organization on business intelligence and transformation committees focused on buying strategies, financial reporting, and company-wide training. Claire is an executive member of the LBS Retail & Luxury Goods Club, serves as an early career mentor, and is conversational in Spanish, French, Italian, and German.

Kathryn McConnell
MBA Candidate

Kathryn is an experienced brand storyteller and strategic marketer. She came to LBS from the US after several years of developing compelling public relations and advertising campaigns for multi-national organizations. Her work has ranged from international consumer product launches to corporate earnings strategy and has led to features in the world’s top publications, including The Guardian and Wall Street Journal. Kathryn is an experienced dressmaker and active in preserving the craft in her hometown of Philadelphia. Kathryn has a BA degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At LBS, Kathryn holds executive positions in the Retail & Luxury Goods Club and the Tech & Media Club.

Francisco Milan Martinez
MBA Candidate

Francisco holds a 5-year degree in Journalism & Communication from Universidad Complutense in Madrid. Before starting his MBA with London Business School, he worked as a PR and Communications consultant for international firms and European Institutions. Entrepreneurial, energetic and internationally-focused, he thrives on the challenge of a new environment, which has led him to live and work in many diverse markets such as Belgium, France, Germany, Switzerland and China. Growing up in a family footwear business, Francisco has always been passionate about luxury and fashion. This year, together with a London Business School classmate, he will relaunch in John Spencer - an English footwear brand started in Northampton in 1915. At LBS, Francisco is involved as an Executive Committee member in Out in Business club and the Retail & Luxury Club.

Ida Nordestgaard
MBA Candidate

Ida joined LBS from the H&M Group in Stockholm, where she worked in the Global Sales & Operations team. She developed the commercial plan for 4,300 H&M stores, across 69 markets, and drove cross-functional digital transformation projects to enhance customer experience across all sales channels. Ida also has experience in retail expansion, having worked in H&M’s leasing and interior development team in New York and Barcelona. Prior to joining the fashion industry, Ida started her professional career at Google, where she advised small and medium businesses in the UK on their digital advertising strategy. Ida holds a MSc in International Management from the London School of Economics and a BSc in International Business from Copenhagen Business School, where she graduated valedictorian. At LBS, Ida is on the Executive Committee of the Retail & Luxury Goods Club.

Alexandra Piedrahita
MBA Candidate

Nicole Superfin
MiM Candidate

Nicole's previous role was an analyst at a Real Estate Investment Private Equity company called Palm Capital. Prior to coming to LBS, Nicole studied BSc Management Science at UCL. During her time on the Walpole Programme, Nicole hopes to meet like-minded people and learn more about the luxury sector (in particularly retail), in order to one day launch her own brand.

Cindy Yen
MBA Candidate

Cindy joined LBS MBA after five years working as a digital consultant in Hong Kong. Most recently, Cindy was a Customer Experience and Digital Strategy Manager at PwC Experience Centre, PwC’s creative and innovation consulting practice. Cindy worked with a number of global retail and hospitality clients on exciting projects, including boutique experience redesign for a French luxury beauty brand, launch of a hotel brand in 12 markets, and Asia market entry for an online retailer. Cindy is seeking to continue to build a career in retail innovation after completing her MBA – she is passionate about the human-centric design of the future of retail. Cindy is on the executive committee for LBS Retail and Luxury Goods Club, Tech and Media Club, and Women in Business Club.

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