CBA Executive Banking School Spotlight: Erica Wills


As we gear up for another amazing term at CBA's Executive Banking School (EBS), we’re connecting with our 2023 honors alumni to share their experiences at EBS and their advice for the next class of students.

Our honors graduates are the top of their class in a three-year program providing future bank leaders with the comprehensive, holistic perspective of retail banking required to lead effectively amid industry shifts.

This week’s spotlight is on Erica Willis, Executive Director at JPMorgan Chase!

What was the highlight of your time at EBS

The highlight of my EBS experience was the opportunity to learn from my classmates. While I refined my technical knowledge in the classroom, it was the wealth of insights from their diverse career paths that left a lasting impression on me. Each EBS student brings a unique narrative, and the time we spent sharing and learning from one another will undoubtedly help shape my future career decisions.

Which course had the most significant impact on your career?

The Year 3 simulation was an incredible learning experience that opened my eyes to the challenges and complexities of running a retail bank. Many decisions are one-way doors with significant and far-reaching consequences, requiring consensus among various leaders and departments. Our struggle to make these decisions as a group of six students, confined to a classroom setting and shielded from real financial stakes, helped me appreciate the leadership at my own bank and how they define, communicate and execute strategy across thousands of employees every day.

What advice can you give to incoming students?

I recommend disconnecting from work and fully immersing yourself in the learning and networking experience. Seek out students with different experiences from yours and learn from them. Given the volume of content taught in a short timeframe, it’s helpful to pick a few topics that will benefit your career growth, and dive deep. The professors are invaluable resources who are willing to support your learning journey beyond their lectures to make sure you master the material.

Read our previous features with Mark Salatino, SVP of Consumer Segment and Solutions at U.S. Bank, Thomas Davidson, VP of Enterprise Payments at Huntington Bank, and Christina Del Grosso, Director of Distribution Strategic Initiatives at BMO.


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