From flight attendant to MBA student at the International University of Monaco

Priya Hurry discovered a passion for luxury during her work as a flight attendant. She explained her unlikely journey from her homeland of Mauritius to becoming an MBA student at the International University of Monaco (IUM).

In short

How Priya’s interest in luxury took off

Priya Hurry’s journey from Mauritius to an MBA at the International University of Monaco (IUM) was an unconventional one. Having spent years traveling the globe as part of her job as a flight attendant, Priya became exposed to the finer things in life. The more she traveled, the more she began to appreciate luxury goods and services

“As a flight attendant, we really spent a lot of time in luxurious hotels and consuming a lot of luxurious products. And of course, this is titillating our appetite for luxury products…my appetite [for luxury] grew with all my travel,” she explains. (02:10)

With a career change in mind, Priya took a sabbatical from her job at the airline. She continued traveling and eventually went to China to study Mandarin. It was here where she really began to see the possibilities of a career in the luxury industry.

“I was quite fascinated by the luxury world when I went to China,” Priya tells us. “I saw how the Chinese consumers had a keen interest in investing a lot on luxury in the luxury sector. So for me it was kind of an avenue to get into [the luxury industry].” (03:24)

The #1 study destination for luxury

Having previously only been exposed to luxury as a consumer, Priya began to explore the other side of the coin. She was starting to gain some valuable insights into how the industry works – and the attention to detail required to succeed in it.

She explains, “When I was traveling as a flight attendant we used to stay in four-star and five-star hotels, so we were always the recipients of luxury services. But now, when it’s you giving a luxury service, it’s something different. All that work that goes in behind-the-scenes is really important – especially in the luxury sector.” (07:14)

With her sights set on a career in luxury, Priya now had to decide how to achieve her goals. And an interest in the luxury industry is only ever going to lead to one place: Monaco. It is a global luxury capital and its only university, the International University of Monaco (IUM), offers master’s and MBA programs tailored towards the industry. Priya knew she had found the perfect place to do an MBA.

Lessons in luxury

By combining the fundamentals of business with a focus on luxury, the IUM MBA was perfectly suited to Priya’s career aspirations. The course has taught her about an industry she wants to break into and allowed her to gain fresh new perspectives.

“Studying luxury marketing really helped me to see how important it is to understand the emotions of people, rather than just being mechanical…how flexible someone should be when giving a personalized service and really understanding the emotions of people. Even my perspective changed a lot with the way they made us see things,” she says. (07:40)

The program has expanded her knowledge of the industry, as well as her professional network. It’s something she believes wouldn’t have been possible without IUM’s support.

“The environment is really conducive for students,” she says. “You get easy access to mentors and people who might help you on your endeavors. So on your career path, there will always be somebody who the school puts you in contact with. Fetching these kinds of contacts by yourself would have been really difficult on your own.” (15:30)

Getting value for money in “The Millionaire’s Playground”

An MBA is a big financial investment – no matter where you choose to study. But doing an MBA in Monaco, which is home to the world’s most expensive property market, brings extra financial challenges for students. Priya, however, reveals that many students offset this by living in neighboring France, which has a lower cost of living.

“It’s not necessary to live in Monaco, with respect to the high cost of real estate in Monaco, which might be a little expensive. You might as well live in France, in Nice, which is really beautiful,” she tells us. (14:19)

So, the million-dollar question: Is it worth studying an MBA in “The Millionaire’s Playground”? Priya’s answer is an unequivocal yes:

“I can say that personally, it was value for money for me. The fact that it was a small cohort [meant] the attention I needed was there.” (14:09

She continues, “It is an international platform where great knowledge is shared, great networks are made. I think it’s a really great idea investing your money in the MBA program in Monaco.” (16:21)

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