Alumni and executive students connect in Shanghai

Around 80 RSM alumni plus 40 participants from the Parttime Master Bedrijfskunde programme at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) joined a gathering in Shanghai, China in June 2017. They networked, and connected with Rotterdam’s Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb, Erasmus University’s president Kristel Baele and RSM’s Dean Steef van de Velde.

The executive students, alumni from several RSM programmes and Erasmus University, and corporates from companies such as IKEA, Maersk, DSM, Jaguar and Rabobank gathered at Cotton’s restaurant in Shanghai on Monday 5 June.

“It was like ‘coming home’,” says alumnus Jean-Paul Schmitz about the RSM event. Schmitz is the co-founder and CEO of AsiaAssist, which has offices in Shanghai and Rotterdam. “I acquired my business skills in Rotterdam and became an econometrist. This knowledge is pivotal in building up our company in Shanghai which brings European consumer brands online in China.”

Alumni Nikko Chen (Executive MBA 2014): “It was great to attend this event in Shanghai. I met old and new friends, enriched my ideas and rekindled my memories of RSM’s campus.

New opportunities

“Networking and effective communication are treasures to me,” said Chen, vice-president of internet company LeEco. “It’s a great opportunity to understand more about different cultures, find new opportunities, and assist others,” he said, adding it’s important to learn from live cases from industry peers, friends, classmates and alumni.

The mayor of Rotterdam, Ahmed Aboutaleb, spoke to participants about the renewed city arrangements between Rotterdam and Shanghai. During this visit to Asia, Mayor Aboutaleb also attended the signing of the renewal of the Memorandum of Understanding between Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) and Shanghai University of Finance and Economics.

RSM Dean Steef van de Velde spoke to participants about how he saw the city and country changing in the last decade and how the RSM community in China has grown over this period. He also elaborated on RSM’s presence in China through educational partnerships and RSM’s office in Chengdu. EUR’s president Kristel Baele invited alumni from RSM and other faculties to inform her about their careers and how they contributed from their education in Rotterdam.

International business

Chen said he stays connected to RSM because it gives him the chance to learn from top talents which enriches his international business insights. “RSM is one of the leading business schools, not only in Europe but also globally. The School presents ‘international’, ‘business’, and ‘talents’ as three important elements, and connecting alumni and students through its network can further create value.”

The alumni event coincided with the internationaal project as part of the part-time, Dutch-taught Parttime Master Bedrijfskunde programme’s curriculum.

The evening reception was organised by RSM and Rotterdam Commercial Representative Office (RCRO), which has helped more than 2,000 Dutch organisations do business in China through its Shanghai and Chongqing offices through its established network of governments and partners.

More information

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) is one of Europe’s top 10 business schools. RSM provides ground-breaking research and education furthering excellence in all aspects of management and is based in the international port city of Rotterdam – a vital nexus of business, logistics and trade. RSM’s primary focus is on developing business leaders with international careers who can become a force for positive change by carrying their innovative mindset into a sustainable future. Our first-class range of bachelor, master, MBA, PhD and executive programmes encourage them to become critical, creative, caring and collaborative thinkers and doers. Study information and activities for future students, executives and alumni are also organised from the RSM office in Chengdu, China.

For more information about RSM or this release, please contact Marianne Schouten, communications manager for RSM, on +31 10 408 2877 or by email at

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