Collective experiences flow through new OneMBA cohort

The new cohort from the Global Executive OneMBA programme at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) started their 21-month studies with their first global residency, which took place in the USA in September 2017. They met their peers from all OneMBA business schools, and learned about personal leadership development, entrepreneurship and the US economy in a global context.

The 36 professionals in RSM’s OneMBA Class of 2019 represent 12 nationalities. Their average age is 40, and they have an average of 15.5 years of work experience in various industries, including finance, NGOs, chemicals and the food industry.

Personal leadership development

Their programme kicked off on RSM’s campus from 13-15 September with the Personal Leadership Development course, led by Dr Tom Yannuzzi and Dr Elizabeth van Geerestein. Following the introduction days, the RSM participants travelled to the USA for their first global residency week with the entire global OneMBA19 cohort. The trip started at one of the OneMBA partner schools, Kenan Flagler Business School, University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill and concluded in Washington DC.

“Students in the OneMBA programme are some of the most engaged and enthusiastic I've seen,” says Mabel M. Miguel, professor of organisational behaviour at UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School. “The Class of 2019 is no exception; they have been together as a global group for a few short days and you can already feel bonds forming that will last well beyond the end of their academic experience.”

The OneMBA participants first met and worked in the global teams they’ll be working on assignments with, and attended lectures by UNC’s top faculty members, covering topics such as global execution models, US economy in a global context, and people on the move.

‘Living our cultural differences’

EGADE Business School (Mexico) OneMBA student Amparo Pagés Ureña said it was excited to connect with ‘all these great executives’ during the opening week of the OneMBA programme. “The global residency challenged the way I perceive the business world, and it was also a strong networking experience. This programme will let me learn and live our cultural differences by working on projects in seven-member teams.”

Damir Pavlovic agrees. “The diverse group of people is amazing, and I wonder what I can learn about myself in interaction with all of them,” said the RSM OneMBA student, who is a product manager at CGG Jason in the Netherlands.

Insights from Amazon

The 122 students from all five OneMBA business schools travelled on to Washington DC for lectures from Wednesday 20 September. The programme included sessions on entrepreneurship, the American business environment, and innovation. Miriam McLemore, enterprise strategist at Amazon Web Services, shared her inspiring leadership journey and business insights with the class.

“This programme is even more impactful than I had assumed,” says Sven Thiessen (RSM OneMBA 2019), who is head of logistics and supply chain manager for Zalando in Berlin. “The first residency was insightful, motivating and inspiring, and it confirmed that I have made the right decision to join this programme.”

‘A recipe for success’

Classmate Edelbert Martinus, IT analyst at Aramco Overseas Company BV, was also impressed: “It’s an energetic and highly motivated classroom filled with different experiences, cultures, nationalities and one goal. May all journeys start like this because to me this is definitely a recipe for success.”

“All of these top-tier professionals with all this work experience … I immediately felt those 500+ years collective experience started to flow into me,” said Katherine Baranova (RSM OneMBA 2019), senior project and change manager at NN Investment Partners. “It was an inspiring start with a highly motivated group. I can only imagine what we can do together over the next 21 months,” agreed classmate Bart van Eijck (RSM OneMBA 2019), senior vice-president global sales and marketing at Polecat Risk Intelligence in London.

In addition to this first global residency in North America, the OneMBA Class of 2019 will participate in three more global residencies during the next 21 months of the programme, all taking place in the dispersed regions of the OneMBA partner schools (Latin America, Asia and Europe). 

Global Executive OneMBA

The Global Executive OneMBA is the only Executive MBA programme designed with equal input from five premier business schools located in Asia, Europe, North America and South America. Designed for senior executives and professionals, the prestigious 21-month programme offers people the opportunity to experience business through the lens of the world’s most important economic regions, making it unparalleled in its development of knowledge, leadership abilities, global networks and experience of international business where it happens, as it happens.

The OneMBA is one of four MBA programmes offered by RSM. The other three are the International Full-time MBA, the part-time Executive MBA, and the part-time Cologne-Rotterdam Executive MBA.

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

Alumni , Companies , Executive education , Homepage , International , Newsroom , MBA , EC for women and organisations , China