While some might not think there is much of a connection between the luxury industry and technology industry, Amanda Solomon found the knowledge she gained by participating in Poole College of Management’s Global Luxury and Management (GLAM) Program has helped her tremendously in her career as a part of tech-leader Cisco’s Customer Experience Organization. GLAM is a dual master’s degree program offered through the Poole College of Management and the Skema Business School – one of the top business schools in France.
Solomon, who grew up in Wilmington, N.C., and received her bachelor’s degree in fashion and textile management from NC State, knew she wanted to expand her knowledge to other industries outside of textiles.
“Once I went to the information session and realized I could really create my own path in areas like food and beverage or travel, I was interested in pursuing the GLAM degree,” Solomon says. “I also told myself that I wanted to do a master’s program that had a study-abroad component and the GLAM Program checked off that box. I had studied abroad as an undergrad and felt it was one of the best experiences that shaped me during my college experience. So, combined, I knew the GLAM program was a good fit for me.”
Beyond simply learning about how large and small luxury companies scale and evolve to meet their global market needs, along with the industry’s various niche market segments and how companies need to appeal to them, Solomon was able to study abroad in France – giving her the opportunity to work with individuals from different cultures.
It was during her time with the GLAM Program she also began to truly appreciate the important role technology plays in running any type of business – something she’s been able to apply in her current role at Cisco.
“I participated in Cisco’s Sales Associate Program, geared toward people who recently graduated and were early in career, which led to me learning about the company’s Customer Success Initiative, which evolved into what is now called the Cisco Customer Experience Organization,” Solomon says. “By my own accord, I decided to leave sales and join the customer success organization. There I helped customers learn how to best utilize the technology they purchased. Many of these companies were large companies I had learned about in the GLAM program. Customer Success allowed me to upsell customers on technology that would be beneficial for them, as well as accomplish their goals using the technology they already purchased.”
After helping customers for a couple of years, Solomon found herself interested in joining a team that would allow her to be more strategic and apply her knowledge and experience within a management function.
“I was fortunate enough to join a product management team within Customer Experience where I worked on Cisco’s latest and greatest enterprise networking solutions,” Solomon continues. “Since I joined product management, I have held a couple of different roles. Currently, I help create content that customers pay for and use on their individual customer journey.”
When she looks back on her time as part of the GLAM program, Solomon will not only remember the incredible network of people she met, but also the experiences and opportunities that came with it.
“Because I was part of the first GLAM class, we had a lot of feedback that most likely shaped how the program continued for the years to come. I will always remember how we were encouraged to ‘think differently’ and to look for opportunities,” she says. “I purposely chose interesting projects to pursue which led me down my own path.”
Solomon credits her time with the GLAM program in helping her carve out a unique career path that not only utilizes her skills but also appeals to her interests.
“It’s so cool that my role now has allowed me to come full circle and utilize my GLAM degree. Every day I work with team members located all over the world, working together to create helpful material that customers will pay for and use. I collect customer feedback and figure out how to incorporate their critiques back into the customer journey,” Solomon says. “In the GLAM program, we learned about being consumer-centric, evaluating the customer’s needs every step of the way. That is exactly what I am doing at Cisco.”