Shimar Saxena

Nationality: Indian
Age: 26
Last job title: general manager financial planning, Swamukt Energy
Previous degree: Bachelor of business administration at Trent University, Canada

Why did you choose RSM for your MBA?             

“I worked for a company that worked with sustainable energy, and RSM organises many initiatives involving green business and sustainability. It has a good standing in the Financial Times and European raking. I immediately felt at home, because the communication between me and RSM was great. It felt like RSM’s arms were open towards me from the first contact. The internationalism in classes also interested me.”  

What has been the most challenging assignment or activity?      

“Normally, you work in teams of people from the same industry, because you work for the same organisation. Now, you’re forced to work in teams with people from all kinds of industries. During management science, we got an assignment in the evening which was due the next day. These pressure moments with new teams and new personalities are challenging.”                

How has the Personal Leadership Development programme (PLD) affected you?

“It forces me to sit down and reflect. At first, I didn’t think it was a reflective way of learning about myself, but having things on a page is useful. You learn to recognise your goals. As a leader, the PLD programme makes me more confident in my role as to what I want to achieve, and provides me with the answers to how to achieve my goals.”  

Do you notice different cultural approaches to working within global teams?

“In the first term there was a huge contrast, for example the impact of cultural approaches of my Japanese and Bolivian team mates towards the result. Some people think more before saying something, others think out loud. Different ways and expectations of respecting each other creates different insights. This is unique at RSM.”                

Can you define the 'RSM MBA experience'?

“It moulds your mind into the corporate framework in a hospitable environment with friendly people, students and professors. They want to help us achieve; faculty is always helpful and on top of things. We have a lot of fun and learn so much during activities such as the MBA Tournament in Paris and the Living Management Project. I’m excited about the study trip to Sao Paolo next month. The ways in which RSM reaches out to so many international institutions to expand our horizons is rewarding.”                

What transformation in your professional life are you hoping to achieve from completing the full-time MBA?               

“I feel that I advanced too fast in my previous corporate roles, and that I lack some advanced corporate knowledge critical for those senior positions. I hope the MBA will bridge the gap to such a position so I can feel even more confident about my solutions to corporate uncertainties. I want to have answers to questions and feel more professional. I’m also interested in consulting in strategy and finance.”                

What advice would you give to others to make the most of their MBA experience?  

“Take part in all the sessions by the Career Development Centre. You might not want to get up early for it on Fridays, but it’s important. For example, it helps you optimise your online visibility so employers can find you. And be active in class – don’t be afraid to be wrong. You’re here to learn and better yourself. Also, remember to have fun!”    

How do you feel about living in Rotterdam/the Netherlands?  

“It’s amazing, even though it rains regularly. People are really nice. Rotterdam is a beautiful city with hidden places, and I love riding a bicycle here in the Netherlands. There are a lot of good places to unwind, like bars, clubs, cafes, parks and lakes.”    

After the full-time MBA, what does the future hold?     

“I hope to stay in the Netherlands and get into a company that has some recognition, or a multinational. I also want to keep learning. It’s great to learn in practice. A job’s prospects and how I can grow are important. I want to work hard and achieve success.”