Finance students re-energised by ‘stress-free success’ workshop

Students from the MSc in Finance & Investments Advanced programme at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) attended four sessions of personal development as part of their curriculum. In the last session, which took place on campus on Tuesday 26 September 2017 and was led by RSM alumnus Alexander Keehnen, the students explored personal productivity and stress-free success.

In the personal development sessions, the highly talented finance students became more self-aware, and had the opportunity to define their values and goals to make a personal action plan. They learned about stress management, explored ways to optimise their productivity, and discovered how to prioritise. They also reflected on personal and career goals and values, and learned practical tips on how to implement all these mechanisms in their daily study and personal life. 

Personal productivity

“I started to cultivate my habits, and examined my study and my short-term personal goals. Through those workshops and activities, I know more about myself as well as my team,” said finance master student Vivian Shan.

In the last of the series of sessions, RSM alumnus Alexander Keehnen delivered a workshop about personal productivity and stress-free success. Keehnen, who completed RSM’s BSc Bedrijfskunde (business administration) in 2005 and the MSc Human Resource Management in 2007, started his company Stress-Free Success where he is also a personal productivity coach. The session included group discussion and lively activities in the classroom.

Study and career goals

“I was impressed with Alexander’s openness to questions and admit that life cannot be stress-free. The discussions between him and the students were very insightful,” said MSc Finance & Investments Advanced student Frédérique van Arnhem, adding that the alumnus’ energy level, interaction and way of teaching inspired the class.

“I especially liked the assignment in which we had to think about recurring activities. I had never done such a thing where I had to incorporate the duration of activities as well. I got a better overview of how I spend most of my time and what I could possibly change,” said Van Arnhem. “I’m certain that there is a significant overlap between stress during your studies and stress during work life.” 

Conflicts of opinion

Her classmate Pim Krol agreed: “The activity in which you needed to structure your work day of recurring activities was quite insightful.”

Alumnus Alexander Keehnen said it was special to be back on campus almost 10 years after graduating. “I love how the students challenged me and each other on certain concepts that were discussed. When I coach my clients, I explain them that conflicts of opinion are fantastic opportunities,” said Alexander Keehnen.

MSc Finance & Investments Advanced

RSM’s 16-month, 90 ECTS MSc Finance & Investments Advanced programme is a selective and advanced-level programme offering demanding content to recognise students of exceptional ability. It features more personal and closer interaction with businesses and organisations in the industry as well as highly interactive and small classes.

The students in this second cohort of the prestigious RSM programme represent 18 nationalities; they are from the Netherlands, Taiwan, Poland, Germany, Austria, China, Hungary, Finland, Russia, Portugal, France, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, India, Latvia, Serbia, Ukraine and the UK. Of the 39 participants, 28 per cent is female, and the class’ average age was 23 when they started the programme in September 2017.


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 , Homepage , International , Newsroom