Poole Class of 2021 Spotlight: Mikayla Morrison

Trying to break into the fashion industry is hard enough. Trying to do it with a degree in urban studies and public policy and a background in local government is even harder, Mikayla Morrison jokes. It is why, when learning about Poole College of Management’s Global Luxury and Management (GLAM) program, Morrison jumped at the opportunity.

“I had a conversation with a friend who had the same interests and he told me about another student who had been in the GLAM cohort of 2014 and all of the things he had done professionally after the program,” Morrison remembers. “I Googled the program and the first thing I saw was ‘Two degrees. Two continents. One powerful year!’ and I started gathering my application materials immediately.”

GLAM program participants receive two master’s degrees upon graduation – a Master in Management with a concentration in Global Luxury from NC State, and a Master of Science in Global Luxury Management from SKEMA Business School in France. Students spend the fall semester in Raleigh and the spring semester in Paris.

Prior to GLAM, Morrison was working in local government at the city of Monroe in Louisiana, where she enjoyed doing impactful community work. But a career fashion was something that never left the back of her mind, she says.

“I had to at least try and I’m glad I did,” Morrison says.

As part of the GLAM program, Morrison had the opportunity to study under top luxury industry leaders and network with those in the industry she found so fascinating. However, one of the highlights of the program for Morrison was getting to use the knowledge she was gaining in the classroom and applying it to the real world. Morrison was a part of a team with fellow GLAM students Tanaysha Smith, Columbus Hinson, Aubria Hill and Darlasia Salmon who participated in the Dior Challenge while studying abroad in Paris.

“For the Dior Challenge, my team and I were tasked with developing a digital communications strategy that would position the Lady Dior bag in a way that would make it appealing to Generation Z,” Morrison explains. “Our digital communications plan was 360 degrees with a strategy and/or miniseries for every social media platform and public relations strategy for every major city in North and South America. We wanted the project to be thoughtful, transformative and reflective of our society – so we made it a point to include BIPOC and LGBTQ+ folk. That’s something I’m most proud of.”

The team placed third overall and received high praise from the Dior digital communications team. Being in Paris for this experience took the project to the next level, Morrison says.

“We presented in front of the entire digital communications team from the Dior home office. I can’t believe it happened to me in real life and I didn’t watch it on ‘Emily in Paris,’” Morrison laughs. “The Dior team was great and very supportive of our ideas from the start, which helped a lot.”

Morrison found the experience rewarding not only because of the location and company but also the connections she made with her classmates.

“Working together as a team was amazing because we all work well together. We trust each other, support each other’s ideas, believe in each other, and can share our frustrations while also having a good laugh,” Morrison says. “I wouldn’t have wanted to work with any other group of people.”

After graduating from the GLAM program this May, Morrison will finally get the opportunity to contribute to the industry she long dreamed of – working in client relationship management for luxury jewelry and specialty retailer Tiffany & Co. And she credits her time at the GLAM program with making it possible.

“GLAM gave us a ton of hands-on experience with luxury brands and fashion maisons and a lot of industry insight,” Morrison says. “I believe we have a leg up on other young professionals entering the job market right now.