Celebrating Our Community


"When CEMS started, the first letter in the abbreviation stood for “Community”. The “C” is the starting point of CEMS; a word that the alliance has taken as its point of departure. The strength of CEMS is the recognition that individual organizations are stronger, more inspiring, and more interesting when they team up. Communities help us achieve things we are not able to in isolation. Communities help us pool our strengths, share our work, and leverage each others’ capabilities.”


Lars Strannegård

CEMS Chair, President Stockholm School of Economics


How did CEMS Start?

CEMS is first and foremost a community. A community is a social unit that shares space - locations, mindsets and attitudes. What makes the CEMS community so wonderful is the longevity and sense of belonging that still shines through thirty five years on.

Founded in 1988, the team that worked on bringing a shared management education across countries together. Jean Paul Larçon, CEMS founder from HEC, shares the team's thinking from the 80s, "At the time European education did not exist, management education had flourished in the various European countries according to totally different styles. We wanted to bring these worlds together!"

CEMS brings worlds together

This idea of bringing these worlds together was a huge challenge especially considering that the ambition was always to be as integrated as possible.

The international popularity of the MBA model versus the very different degree programmes, teaching traditions  and cultures that made Europe meant that CEMS needed to offer something more to be visible and powerful.

A bold and disruptive approach was adopted and a programme promptly implemented in 1989 when the first students and academics started what we now know and experience.

As CEMS grew and grew, the Academic Members and Corporate Partners began to realise the potential of such a community. This world, this alliance, meant that people, companies, countries, cultures could learn about the business world together and learn from each other. This boldness of thinking from the founders proved successful and bore a community with more than just management education at its heart. The notion of being able to learn globally at tertiary level, immersing students into different cultures and countries, capturing the learning capacities from top level academic institutions and involving real time businesses meant that the graduate would be a well rounded leader.

Trust throughout the decades

Nicole de Fontaines, CEMS Executive Director and also an active member of the very first founding team looks back at the intention and highlights a key thread clearly visible throughout CEMS. "I’ve learnt through many years at CEMS that between people of different cultures, trust is an absolute necessity."

Today we see and celebrate a community reaching across the whole world with nearly 20,000 alumni. From four Academic Partners coming together, HEC, Bocconi, ESADE and Cologne and a handful of Corporate Partners to a global community connected by something more, something special. "Since its inception, the CEMS alliance has grown twofold! The strong community spirit truly is magical!" as Nicole de Fontaines explains.

Take a look at the CEMS Honorary Members - Click on "CEMS People" above - many thanks for your kindness and commitment to CEMS.

Cairo Annual Events

After two years without a global CEMS event due to the 2020 Pandemic, December 2022 saw the much anticipated return of the popular annual events. Plenaries, meetings, gradutation ceremonies. 

"I am delighted that in 2022 the School of Business of The American University in Cairo hosted the CEMS Annual Events with its diverse range of social and networking activities and its long-anticipated graduation ceremony, which took place under the majestic plateau of the Great Pyramids of Giza. It was truly special to see the members of the CEMS community from many countries around the world gathered together for the first time since 2019. The spirit and vibes among the participants were extraordinary throughout the week. The events demonstrated that nothing beats meeting, communicating, and celebrating in person with colleagues, friends, and of course, the members of the graduating classes of the MIM program and their families during this special occasion. As a school team, we hope the events and the graduation ceremony offered the CEMS community a unique, enriching, cultural, and memorable experience.”

Sherif Kamel, Dean, American University in Cairo School of Business, CEMS Deputy Chair

CEMS Graduation Ceremony 2022

CEMS Annual Events

"It was such pleasure to come together as a CEMS community to celebrate the graduation of our 2020, 2021 and 2022 cohort, after a couple of very challenging years. I could not think of a more magical venue than the plateau of the Great Pyramids of Giza, nor a more welcoming reception offered by our gracious hosts from the American University in Cairo. It was truly a memorable experience and a wonderful opportunity to connect, celebrate our student’s achievements and work together to build and enhance the CEMS Alliance and our world leading Masters in International Management. I look forward to welcoming you all to London for the CEMS graduation of 2023."

Christine Côté, Chair, CEMS Academic Committee CEMS Academic Director, The London School of Economics

Over 1200 people attended the CEMS Annual Events

CEMS Career Forum

A much anticipated return to this popular event. Held at ESADE, Barcelona, Spain, the 2022 Career Forum saw our students find their next step with our Corporate Partners. 

Thanks to the organising teams and to ESADE for hosting a wonderful event.


Hilti is a long standing CEMS Corporate Partner. While corporate culture takes years to build, the company has managed to blend the entrepreneurial spirit of a small agile start-up with the great processes and structures of a big corporation.

Hilti has seen first hand how the CEMS profile is a key asset to their business. "What is unique about our culture at Hilti is the combination of two elements: caring and performance, which at a glance may seem like opposing elements. The caring element focuses on a team orientation, putting people at the centre, integrity, honesty, and inclusion. On the other side, we have a strong performance orientation that comes along with competitiveness, courage, going the extra mile, and taking risk. What’s fascinating is that the “warm” element of caring goes hand in hand with “cold” element of excellent performance, which creates unique essence of our culture."

In October 2022, Stockholm School of Economics kindly hosted the annual CEMS Club Conference for the fall semester and invited CEMS students to discuss their CEMS Clubs and share best practices.

Gartner provided presidents with information, tips and insights to better perform in their roles as CEMS Club Presidents.

Congratulations to the CEMS Clubs below:

  • Alumni: #1 St Gallen, #2 Prague, #3 Vienna
  • Corporate: #1 St Gallen, #2 Prague, #3 Vienna
  • Marketing: #1 Bergen, #2 Prague, #3 Lisbon
  • Responsibility: #1 St Gallen, #2 Prague, #3 USA
  • Socializing: #1 Prague #2 USA, #3 Seoul
  • Desired: #1 Prague, #2 USA, #3 Lisbon
  • Best club: #1 Vienna, #2 St Gallen, #3 Prague



Nina is the founder and CEO of Bloom Money, a technology platform to provide migrants with familiar financial services.

She graduated from the LSE's Global Master's in Management in 2017 and pursued a career in FinTech working at Mastercard, Starling Bank, Bud, and Klarna.

Nina is listed as a Women in Fintech power list. Awarded the 2019 CEMS Junior Alumna of the Year for upholding CEMS values.



FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE CEMS WORLD - See our video from 2016