The purpose of CEMS is to forge a global mindset within emerging business leaders. The result of these efforts is a graduate that is equipped with the knowledge, values, connections, and most importantly, the global mindset needed to lead — ensuring our constantly changing world changes for the better. 

In this series of interviews, we celebrate the incredible accomplishments and successes of CEMS alumni that are contributing to make this world a more open, sustainable and inclusive world. The CEMS Alumni of the Year is a joint campaign by the CAA in close collaboration with the CEMS Student Board, which gives the CEMS community the opportunity to learn about CEMS alumni and vote for your favorite candidate as the CEMS Alumni of the Year.


Meet Thibaut Kleiner, who is the May candidate for the CEMS Alumni of the Year 2016 election. Thibaut graduated from CEMS in 1995 from HEC Paris with his exchange at WU (Vienna University of Economics & Business). He is currently the Deputy Head of Cabinet, Cabinet of Commissioner Oettinger, European Commission, Brussels, Belgium.

How would you describe yourself in a tweet?

Believes in Europe, ideas, openness and sharing. Will take you to the next level. HEC, CEMS, WU-Wien, LSE.

What are the three most important things that have personally shaped you?

1. Conversations with my grand-father, born German in the annexed French Lorraine and friend with Robert Schumann.

2. Moving to Paris at the age of 18, because this is where it happens.

3. Leaving my job in the financial sector to start a PhD in London with the view to work for the EU.

How did the CEMS network contribute to your professional achievements?

CEMS network has been very useful to find information about career opportunities and to open doors when I looked for a job. It helped me for my PhD research, where I used it as case study. And for my recent activities dealing with entrepreneurship and startups.

What advice would you give current CEMS students?

Your career will last 30 years. It is easier to take risks when you are young and have nothing to lose. Be daring and try harder. Think about your personal and professional development and not only at the immediate future, and don't hesitate to leave to try something different.


The voting for the Alumni of the Year 2016 will take place end of October among the CEMS community and will take place in our social media communication channels, where the winner will be announced in the begin of November.