Sofie van Herpen

Sofie van Herpen

When I started studying, I wanted to gain a broad background in economic sciences. Therefore I decided to choose the bachelor programme “Business Studies” at Tilburg University. During this three-year programme, which offered courses such as marketing, mathematics, finance, organisational behaviour and business, I gained a broad understanding of business economics. To further expand my horizons, I studied abroad at Bradford University (UK) for one semester. In addition, after I obtained the bachelor ‘s degree, I worked full-time for an international student organisation for a year. Looking back, that year proved to be very valuable for me from many perspectives. During that year, my interest in supply chain management started to develop.

Supply Chain Management (SCM) is a rather specific domain that appeals to one’s imagination. The importance of efficient and traceable supply chain networks is ever growing and I wanted to study this specialty in more detail. The SCM programme offered by Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University was very appealing to me. Apart from the excellent national and international reputation of RSM, the programme seemed challenging and diverse. A new city, a new university, and a Master programme that seemed to match my needs…

… And it certainly lived up to my expectations. The SCM group of 2009-2010 was a relatively small group of around 70 students, and we got to know each other rather quickly.  The first semester consisted of a diverse mix of courses in different areas of SCM, such as warehouse management, design of the supply chain and distribution networks. Several guest speakers from the industry were invited to our lectures, but we also visited some companies, which gave us a better understanding of SCM in business life. In the second semester, we were able to choose from a set of electives which allowed us to further develop our interest in specific topics, such as strategic sourcing and sustainable supply chains. As the groups were even more compact in these courses, there was a high degree of interaction between students and tutors. Another valuable part of the programme was the research clinic, which prepared us for the last phase of the programme: writing the Master thesis.

At the moment, I have been working for Cargill for almost two years as supply chain trainee. I have definitely benefitted from the knowledge I acquired during my time at RSM. It helps me to approach cases in an analytical, conceptual way throughout the different SC domains I have already encountered in the business environment. In some cases, I can actually apply models that we discussed in the SCM programme. All in all, RSM has provided me with an excellent basis for a career in supply chain management.

Sofie van Herpen, Alumni Supply Chain Management (2011), currently Supply Chain Management Trainee at Cargill.