David A.J.Krätz (Germany) - International University of Monaco IUM
Luxury Goods and Services probably isn’t the first thing that springs to mind when it comes to studying a master’s. It is a niche program offered by the International University of Monaco (IUM), the only university in the tiny city-state of just 40,000 people.
However, when you consider that 30% of Monaco's population are millionaires, it’s easy to see how a vibrant luxury market exists. David A.J.Krätz is a graduate of IUM, and his time in Monaco was a transformative experience for him.
Ferraris, multi-million dollar houses, and yachts
“In Monaco, you are surrounded day in day out by luxury; I would call it the capital of luxury,” David told MASTERGRADSCHOOLS.
“Everything is so centralized. It’s such a small place, so you get confronted with this on a day-to-day basis. When you take the bus to school, 20 Ferraris pass by. On your way to university you pass the Port of Monaco, where you see all those multi-million, billion-dollar houses and yachts...you are surrounded by pure luxury.” (01:34)
After arriving in Monaco, David saw more than expensive property and vehicles - he saw a potential career: “I guess because you have so many touchpoints with [luxury] from Monday to Sunday, it’s almost an essential to enter the luxury market after because you get triggered by it. You see what’s out there, you see the money, the potential. For me that was the trigger point to get closer into that kind of society, get a better idea of it.” (02:17)
Breaking into a €217 billion industry
Converting that exposure to an industry with an estimated global value of €217 billion into a career is another challenge altogether, but there is no better place to do that than at IUM. Studying at a university with close connections to the industry helped David to crystallize his career ambitions and focus on the area that was right for him.
“You get a sneak peek into so many different industries and it triggers your interest," he explains. "IUM helped me to find out what’s really my thing because I was extremely stubborn on focusing on the luxury automotive industry, and nowadays I love driving cars, but I would not work in that industry anymore.”
“In that sense, IUM helped me a ton, because although I didn’t find out in the university what I would want to do, I found out what I don’t want to do anymore. And I think that’s equally as important.” (02:54)
Lessons on how to choose a master’s
The lessons that can be gleaned from David’s experiences are applicable to any potential master’s student, no matter what and where you’re hoping to study. He chose to study in a university and city-state that are both intimately linked with his target industry - giving him unrivaled insights into what he describes as a "fast-moving" market that "never rests."
David is starting to reap the rewards of a careful choice of master’s and the career advice offered to him by IUM. Despite not even being aware of the existence of the luxury private jet market before coming to Monaco, he’s now hoping to revolutionize it:
“I’m still extremely young, but I found out in university that my eventual goal must be to reinvent the luxury private jet market. There is a ton of competition out there; there is so much supply and often a bit less demand.”
“I want to change that market. In the long run, it is difficult because it is a massive market and there are so many different factors that play a role in it. But I can see myself changing that.” (14:43)
Advice for prospective IUM students
David appears to have a bright future ahead of him in the luxury industry, but he still looks back on his time at IUM with great fondness. He says, “I sometimes wake up in the morning and wish to be back there. It is a unique experience and everyone that I studied with, we all wish we could go back and do it all over again!”
His advice for anyone thinking of studying at IUM?
“Enjoy that you are in such a unique place. Enjoy the program, enjoy the combined knowledge of your professors, of students that you get there from all over the world. Take everything you can from the university because they have so much to offer.”