Name : Tijn Willems
Current job title : advisor in cleantech and sustainability at EY
Year of graduation : 2014
Nationality : Dutch
Why did you choose this MSc?
“During my first year at Erasmus University in 2008 I got interested in sustainability after a guest lecture from one of the founders of Vandebron. Global Business & Sustainability is one of the few masters in the Netherlands which focuses on the managerial aspect of sustainability. Due to the unique character of the master and the way it matched my interests I instantly knew that I had to choose this master.”
How would you describe the programme and RSM?
“The variety of subjects like leadership, integrity, communication and strategy which are all linked to sustainability provide a sound basis within the master. The master also provides a lot of practical case studies where you have the opportunity to work with companies on topics related to sustainability. With these case studies you gain insight into the working environment of real multinationals and the issues they are dealing with. The world is changing, and more and more companies are realising they need to change the way they do business. This master and its lectures help you gain the insights needed to be an added value to these companies.”
What was the biggest challenge in this master?
“The biggest challenge during this master for me was to recognise its value. Compared to other masters within RSM, like marketing or accounting, you do not learn how to become a marketeer or an accountant. You do not master a specific skill set of any kind. During the master I've had a lot of doubt about the real value of the degree, but since I finished the master I've recognised the value of the degree. It’s not a specific skill set you master but it is a specific mindset you'll create during the master. This mindset and the related vision on business have given me the opportunity to find a job that suits my values. From my own experience I can say that companies are looking for graduates with a new vision or mindset who could make a change within the company.”
What made the greatest impression?
“During the first course we had the opportunity to work with an international distributor of fresh organic fruits and vegetables. We were asked to help the company with a marketing campaign to gain more market share. The fact that we had the chance to actively work together with the company and even present our ideas to their CEO at the start of the master has made the greatest impression to me.” How did your studies at RSM shape your career? “In addition to the basic skills I have mastered during my studies like presenting, communicating and how to perform a decent research, I have also developed a specific mindset. This mindset about the value companies could and should create for society has shaped my career so far.”
What are your future plans?
“I plan to help companies create value not only for themselves, but especially for society.”