“How my Executive Education Course Helped me Climb the Corporate Ladder”

“How my Executive Education Course Helped me Climb the Corporate Ladder”

How Alban Houssin used an Executive Course at EDHEC Business School in France to advance his career.

For an example of how executive education can have a transformative impact on career progress, look no further than Alban Houssin, an executive education alum from France’s EDHEC Business School. 

Houssin, currently serving as the head of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and joint ventures at Kersia, a global leader in food safety solutions, told us about the pivotal role executive education played in his professional development. 

This interview below, edited for clarity and brevity, offers a glimpse into the shifts in mindset and skills that Houssin underwent. Overall, it underscores the enduring value of lifelong learning; Houssin already has a masters in management from ESCP Business School. 

What prompted you to enroll in the executive education program you attended?

I was selected by Kersia management to participate in a 12-month executive education program offered by EDHEC. This program was created especially for Kersia employees, and about 20 of us from all over the world participated. 

I am very grateful for this experience because it opened my eyes to many things I could not have imagined before I embarked on this journey. I used to think that I knew quite a bit about management and leadership because I already had a master’s degree, but after this experience, I know that learning is a lifelong endeavor. 

I was part of the first group at my company to go through this executive training program, and now there are plans for a second group of managers to do it. I have selected someone from my team to participate. 

People worry that executive education will take too much time, but the opportunity to take a step back and work together with other managers on a strategic project is worth it. The return on investment is bigger than I imagined.

Could you share some key insights or concepts you gained from the program that were particularly impactful for you?

One of the best things about the executive program was the opportunity to work on my leadership skills. EDHEC has a program called Leadership360, which helps participants identify their leadership strengths and weaknesses. As part of this program, I was also paired with a leadership coach, who provided me with a lot of feedback and insights. 

There’s no magic potion for becoming a perfect leader, so it’s essential to keep working on leadership skills and gaining new insights into human nature and needs. The good news is that some of the new leadership skills I acquired also work with my kids. 

In what ways did the program help you develop personally and professionally?

One of the big things I took away from my executive education experience was the understanding that a corporation is only as strong as the individuals who make it work. Every employee represents a brick in the building; if one brick is damaged or broken, the building could fall. 

Going through a 12-month program with a group of fellow executives from different departments and business units taught me a lot about teamwork and relying on the strengths of others to meet challenges and strategic goals. 

It also reinforced how much the world and business in general have changed since I graduated from university. I don’t see the world the same way today as I did when I was 25, and that’s a good thing. Going through an executive program gave me the time and space to consider these internal and external changes and how best to move myself and my team forward.

How has your career progressed since completing the program, and do you attribute any of that progress to your participation in the program?

I gained the opportunity to evolve in my position at Kersia and to take on more responsibility and a bigger leadership role. I was asked to join the executive committee, which was an exhilarating opportunity, and to take over leadership of Kersia’s joint ventures in China and the Philippines. 

I know I’m putting the skills and knowledge I gained from my executive education to use in my new role — insights from professors and information from case studies we discussed in class come to mind often, and they help me to make the right decisions. 

For professionals considering enrolling in an executive education program, what advice would you offer based on your own experience?

I would encourage anyone considering an executive program to do it and embrace the learning journey as fully as possible. There is no way that you will regret this choice. 



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