OneMBA Class of 2020 starts studies with strong community feeling

Twenty-nine professionals kicked off the Global Executive OneMBA programme at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) with their first local residency on campus, followed by the Global Residency North America in Washington DC in September 2018. They met their peers from the other OneMBA partner schools, and together they explored personal leadership development, the US economy, global execution models and the museum scene of Washington DC.

The start of the OneMBA programme was ‘impressive and inspirational’, says RSM OneMBA participant Wenliang Dong, who is chief operating officer at ORCA Therapeutics BV. “We’re all from diverse cultures, but the degree of openness, the positive attitude of the class and the environment stimulated co-operation, the creation of new connections and a lot of new friendships,” Mr. Dong said, adding that he looks forward to the journey of growing professionally as well as personally with the whole group in the next 21 months.

‘Remarkable people’

His RSM OneMBA classmate Florence Gedeon agrees. “What fascinated me the most about the opening week in North America was the remarkable people that I met and the strong sense of community that was engendered by the OneMBA programme. Also, the cultural outings and what we learned are an unforgettable experience,” said the financial controller at Inter IKEA Systems BV.

RSM’s OneMBA Class of 2020 consists of 29 professionals representing 11 nationalities, with an average age of 41, and an average of 17 years of work experience in various industries, including health life sciences and pharmaceuticals, insurance, consulting, FMCG, energy and utilities. They work in various companies, including DSM, Boskalis, EY, Capgemini, Royal HaskoningDHV, IKEA, Amplifon Netherlands and Rabobank.

During the introduction module at RSM the OneMBA2020 participants attended the first sessions of the Personal Leadership Development course, led by faculty members Dr Tom Yannuzzi and Dr Elizabeth van Geerestein, and were introduced to each other and the OneMBA curriculum.

Exploring business and personal branding

The RSM participants then travelled to Washington DC, USA, for their first global residency week with the global OneMBA20 cohort, composed of 88 professionals from RSM and the other OneMBA partner schools. This Global Residency North America took place from 18-22 September 2018 and was organised by Kenan Flagler Business School, University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill.

As part of the Global Residency, the 88 new OneMBA participants from the Classes of 2020 attended lectures by UNC’s top faculty members, covering topics such as global execution models, the US economy in a global context, innovation, entrepreneurship, and managing multinational organisations.

They also learned new perspectives on how to deliver innovation to the Federal Data Exchange Community through a panel discussion with speakers Rogelyn Mclean, senior counsel at the US Department of Health and Human Services; Jess Pahn, senior expert at McKinsey Consulting; and Michelle Garber, vice-president Lifelong Program at USAC. This panel was moderated by Jessica Zufolo, Senior Advisor Strategic Partnerships at USAC and current participant of the OneMBA Class of 2019.

There were also sessions on ‘personal branding’ by Beth Goldstein from Babson College, ‘pursuing happiness’ by Dr. Bill Collins, and insights into the World Bank by practice manager Ernesto Lopez-Cordova.

The participants, of which more than 40 per cent are women, also met their first global teams. In these teams they’ll be working on assignments for the current module of the programme.

The OneMBA Class of 2020 will participate in three other global residencies during the next 21 months of the programme. These residencies will take place in the other continents represented by the OneMBA partner schools (Latin America, Asia and Europe), an opportunity for participants to experience first-hand the diverse economical, societal, organizational and cultural aspects of doing business in each region. 

More information

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.

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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