Currently: EMBA’09 participant and Senior Engineer for oil and gas pipeline contractor Subsea 7, based in Rotterdam. Timothy is also a winner of the Intermediair Scholarship, which provides €15,000 to two high-potential executive MBA participants each year.
What made you want to do an MBA?
I’m an engineer with ten years of experience in the field of oil and gas exploration. I find that once you reach a certain level, if you want to move up you need business skills. I chose an MBA because I would like to take my career into more of a management direction.
What is it like being part of an internationally diverse group of students and faculty?
One of the good things about the RSM EMBA is that it attracts a really international mix of students who for one reason or another are based in the Netherlands. Only a third of the students are Dutch. You are learning with people from Taiwan, China - some even fly in from the Ukraine and Germany for our weekend courses. It’s not easy to get this international exposure and experience working in a company where there are few nationalities.
What are some of the challenges and opportunities of working with such a diverse group?
At RSM there is an interactive and dynamic environment. We are assigned to small mixed teams of different backgrounds and nationalities. You learn that people from different backgrounds and cultures operate in different ways - and that you need to work together to come to a consensus. The challenge is that you have to work with people that you might not automatically connect with. For example, some people might take more time to make decisions. One member of our team was challenging to work with, but we resolved our difficulties and found a way forward as a group. On the other hand there are a lot of opportunities for networking. The intensity of the study brings people closer together. You find that working together through the stressful times is a good basis for longer-term relationship building.
What lessons can you apply to your present job?
At Subsea 7 I am involved in bidding and tendering to build offshore pipelines, for big oil companies. The EMBA has taught me a lot about group dynamics and about how to work effectively with people from different cultures and backgrounds. In my present job I travel a lot to China where people approach things differently. If you want to succeed in a global business you have to embrace different cultures and countries.
You are the recipient of the Intermediair Scholarship. What does that mean to you?
Students who are self-financing are eligible to apply for two available Intermediair scholarships of €15,000 Euros each, which roughly equates to a third of the course fees. All applicants had to write an essay on the impact of global inequalities of income and health on life expectancy, and then present it to a panel of judges. I think my method of straightforward presentation connected with the judges. And the process was like a taster of the challenges that I would find on the MBA.
How else have you financed your studies?
I had a very close look at my finances so I knew that my family and I could manage financially. One good thing is that the Dutch tax system reimburses you for university study. It is the equivalent of half of your fees. For me, the biggest challenge in being part of the programme is not one of money, but of time.