Alumni share ‘key to career success’ with finance students

Highly talented finance students connected with alumni at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) in a career panel on campus in November 2017. They discussed career tracks and opportunities for when the students complete their MSc Finance & Investments Advanced programme.

The panel session started with a discussion about the alumni’s career journeys after RSM so far, and how each of them landed their current role. The RSM alumni had all completed the MSc Finance & Investments programme at RSM. They talked about how the professional world differs from the life as university student and what to expect once entering the workforce.

Finance in practice

The students had the opportunity to discuss finance careers more in depth with each alumnus in rounds of 20 minutes.

“In these break-out sessions my classmates and I discovered what each position really consists of; and what is expected from the role, how the practical work is done and what the culture is in a particular company,” said Ismael Yerbanga, a student from Burkina Faso in RSM’s MSc in Finance & Investments Advanced programme.

Ismael added the different experiences and backgrounds of alumni guests contributed to a broad coverage and diversified insights into scenarios that a typical finance master student can expect to go through upon graduation.

Using knowledge to your advantage

“Each alumnus has faced challenges in one way or another, and has managed to move forward in their respective chosen paths,” said Ismael. “What ultimately stood out of this career panel is that life is a journey full of surprises, and no matter how you reach your future position you will certainly learn and acquire valuable experience that will shape the person you will become. The key to success is therefore to ensure that you use the set of skills and knowledge that you accumulate along the way to your best advantage.”

The RSM alumni on the finance career panel were: Tim Nieuwendijk, customer finance manager at Philips; Aleksandar Kushev, equity analyst at NN Investment; Martin Karschkes, private equity associate at HPE Growth Capital; Gianluca Valentini, finance entrepreneur and consultant for various ventures; Rudolf Oosthuizen, trading cycle analyst at Optiver.

The event concluded with networking drinks to give the students and alumni more time to mingle and discuss their career opportunities.

Alumni who are interested in joining career panels to help students start their professional life can contact RSM’s Career Centre via, or learn how else they can engage with RSM and students.

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 46 participants, 28 per cent is female, and the class’ average age was 23 when they started the programme in September 2017.

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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