Executive MBA in Cologne kicks off with personal leadership development

Professionals from various industry and cultural backgrounds have started their part-time Executive MBA programme in Cologne, which is a collaboration between Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) and the University of Cologne (UoC). They kicked off the 24-month curriculum on 3 September 2018. Participants started off exploring personal leadership development and managerial accounting, and did team building activities on campus.

The 27 students in this third cohort of the Cologne-Rotterdam Executive MBA have an average age of 34. Thirty per cent of them are women, and the participants have an average work experience of 10 years. They have a wide variety of industry experiences, including pharmaceutical, construction, management consulting, architecture, energy and sustainability, logistics, real estate, and IT.

“I chose the Executive MBA in Cologne because it’s backed up by RSM, a top-ranked school at Europe‘s gateway to the world. I was also looking for an international programme with a flexible weekend schedule in a prime location,” says participant Ignacio Bedoya, international solutions manager at Schneider Electric.

New perspectives

In the 24-month, part-time programme, the business professionals have the opportunity to learn from academics and industry experts, and also from their peers to understand how people from various cultural and industry background approach specific business issues. The programme participants as well as their employers can benefit from these new perspectives.

The international class represents 11 nationalities: German, Dutch, Italian, American, Chinese, Russian, Australian, Indian, Brazilian, Peruvian, and Bosnian.

Their wide range of academic backgrounds include degrees in engineering, computer science, business and economics, biochemical engineering, chemistry, political science, sociology, geography, research and medicine.

Personal leadership development

"The Cologne-Rotterdam Executive MBA allows us to grow as professionals through active reflection as individuals and as leaders with self-awareness,” says participant Christina Graichen, head of strategic personnel planning and development at KfH Council for Dialysis and Kidney e.V.

“Especially in the Personal Leadership Development Programme, the professor challenges you to evaluate yourself and provide an impact on others through direct feedback. There’s lots of effective learning conducted through group activities too,” Graichen added.

Innovative learning

Most of the programme’s lectures take place on weekends in Cologne. “We’re continuing on this programme’s strong growth path, offering executive education to shape and empower our future industry leaders,” says Prof. Ulrich Thonemann, managing director at the University of Cologne Executive School.

The Executive MBA is a double-degree programme offered by the University of Cologne and RSM. It is designed for executives who want the convenience of a world-class MBA in Germany. The programme is based on the top-ranked Executive MBA at RSM, and is taught in English.

Prof. Thonemann added the Cologne-Rotterdam Executive MBA offers candidates an innovative, highly international and flexible learning environment at the highest level of quality. “And, our candidates can implement their new practices into their current organisation immediately.”

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.

The University of Cologne (UoC) is the sixth oldest university in Central Europe and, with more than 50,000 students, one of the largest universities in Germany. It is also the German founding member of the Global Alliance in Management Education (CEMS). Since 2012, the university has been awarded in the German Universities Excellence Initiative for its overall concept. The university’s six faculties provide a wide range of scientific disciplines and internationally recognised research profiles. The UoC has a strong international network with more than 300 partner institutions worldwide and has international offices in New York, Beijing and New-Delhi.

The Business School of the University of Cologne, founded in 2015, is based in the Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Sciences at the University of Cologne. With around 10,000 students and a large number of professors, the Faculty is one of Europe’s largest and most prestigious of its kind. Following the launch of the EMBA programme, further executive education programmes and short seminars for private individuals or business are planned for the future at the Business School of University of Cologne.

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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