Executive Education

EMBA alumni and banker, Nils Claessens charted his course towards becoming General Manager at KBC Bank & Verzekering

Reading time :
10 Apr 2024
Banking sector buildings photo credit Miquel Parera

Discover how EDHEC's EMBA helped Nils prepare for a General Management role.

Nils Claessens, a banker from Belgium who resides in France, has navigated through various managerial roles across continents. His professional journey took a significant turn when he decided to embark on an Executive MBA at EDHEC Business School in 2022-2023.


Nils was enthusiastic about being interviewed as an EDHEC alumni because he wanted to encourage those interested in pursuing an EMBA to do so for all the right reasons. When asked why he chose EDHEC, Nils spoke passionately about the school's ambition and the allure of its programme. "The comprehensive curriculum, diverse courses, the business trips, international cohort, and the genuine warmth of the staff all contributed to making it an exceptional experience." The EDHEC Executive MBA proved to be a balanced programme designed to meet the needs of senior executives and experienced professionals like himself.

The EMBA broadened my scope and my view on business, management, leadership, and strategy in addition to personal development. For me, these are the biggest assets of the EMBA at EDHEC.

Nils Claessens


Cohort strength, leadership, and overcoming challenges


For Nils, the people he encountered during his Executive MBA journey were instrumental. "It was an amazing group of talented, intelligent, hardworking, yet also fun individuals." He fondly recalls the lasting friendships formed within the experienced and dynamic international cohort, describing his classmates as "a group of diverse members whom I will never forget."

But his EMBA experience was about more than networking and academic advancement. It was about transformation and leadership evolution. The EMBA experience also led to personal and professional growth: "It broadened my scope and my view on business, management, leadership, and strategy. My personal development happened in parallel. For me, these are the biggest assets of the EMBA at EDHEC.” He added that developing a strategic mindset and global vision is required if one wants to become a good leader and evolve beyond simple managerial roles. These are essential assets for coaching one’s team and encouraging their development, as they also benefit the company as a whole.


Discover the EDHEC EMBA


Embarking on an EMBA journey also presented its fair share of challenges. Nils acknowledges the significant impact it had on his life. "It is demanding. There's a substantial workload, time commitment, and energy required." Yet, he views these challenges as opportunities for personal growth and prioritisation. "It encourages you to organise your life more efficiently and to appreciate the things that really matter: relationships with friends and loved ones."


Nil’s success story and advice to future EMBA candidates


Nils' ambition to transition into a general management role materialised post-EMBA. "This successful transition was a direct result of the EMBA programme. I moved confidently from my role as Head of Operations to General Manager France of KBC Bank & Verzekering.”

"For prospective EMBA or MBA students, my advice is: seize the opportunity and pursue it with determination. It's a transformational experience that not only enriches your life but also enhances your career trajectory whether you are an entrepreneur or working in a corporate environment. Stay organised, align your priorities, and you’ll gain great value from the programme.”

Nils' experiences testify to the transformative power of EDHEC’s Executive MBA. While developing a more strategic mindset and creating enduring connections, Nils aligned the programme to match his own business and career goals. He chose appropriate electives and used the Transform360 personal and leadership development support to his advantage. As a result, he cultivated a confident leadership style that aligns with his core values and principles.

Are you ready to write your own success story? 


Embark on a transformative journey that empowers you to lead, innovate, and thrive in a global business landscape. Don't just dream about success – make it your reality with EDHEC's Executive MBA programme. 


Download brochure 

Other articles you may
be interested in

17.05.2024 - EDHEC
EDHEC’s open executive programmes ranked among the Top 5 worldwide by the Financial Times
EDHEC’s executive programmes continue to move up in the Financial Times…
17.05.2024 - Executive Education
Strategic Vision and Leadership: Zachary Cho Earns Top Honors from Poets & Quants
EDHEC's Zachary Cho Recognised Among Poets & Quants' Top MBA Graduates of…
13.05.2024 - Executive Education
Innovation at the Heart of Healthcare: Dr. Gregory Fretz on the Power of EDHEC's EMBA
Expert interview with Dr. Gregory Fretz, Head of Poliklinik KSGR in Switzerland…