CEMS students learn to create own job opportunities and success

Through first-hand information from recruiters and alumni, MSc in International Management/CEMS students at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) learned about selection processes in companies, what they should focus on when making career choices, and how RSM and CEMS can help them achieve what they’re looking for. The CEMS Career Orientation event took place on campus on Monday 15 October.

CEMS student Anoosh Iqbal said: “Developing networks is the ultimate ingredient needed towards a succeeding career. Getting a chance to have a conclusive panel discussion with company leads and alumni is one of the best opportunities you can find in your academic period and RSM/CEMS has provided us with that.”

Recruiter panel

The 45 students first got inside information about the job application process from HR professionals in a recruiter panel. Niamh Cusack, a university talent scout for Facebook, flew in from Dublin. She said a job interview is a two-way process, and that her organisation looks for detail when people explain what they have really done.

Isabel Vermeulen, recruitment manager at Simon-Kucher & Partners, told students: “It is important to show you can think outside-of-the-box. We also see the added value of the CEMS profile.”

The university recruiter at Deloitte, Tessa Engelsing, stated that Deloitte looks for client-faced professionals and that “spelling mistakes are a big no go.” And Daniel Heemskerk represented Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield and said its trainee programme offers a rotation abroad, and that “all applications are looked at by people, not machines.”

Open-minded job search

Thestudents then had the opportunity to network with the recruiters, followed by sessions about how they can benefit from RSM MentorMe and CEMS’ global alumni and mentoring platform (GAMP). 

RSM CEMS alumni also shared their perspectives on job hunting with the talented students in another panel. Alumna Aurelie Pradier, country manager and employer branding consultant at Universum, stressed that culture and open-mindedness is very important: “I never expected to end up in sales and was not sure whether I would even be good at it but now I love it,” she said. Tobias Marmann, who now works at Tesla, explained: “I was always set on a career in the tech industry ... One of the key learnings was that sometimes, you need to create your own opportunities.”

International experience

Alumnus Jeroen Visser, product manager at TomTom, told students he had started a broad job search and in interviews he developed a feeling for the companies and what he did and didn’t like. His message: “Be proactive, show initiative and ask for what you want. The worst thing they can do is say no.”

Finally, alumna Alexa Schlamp said she tried different things during her CEMS studies through internships and discovered she was interested in FMCG. “Having the international experience incorporated in the CEMS master will be valuable later when you pursuing an international career,” the manager at Reckitt Benckiser said to the students, advising them to “ask for a project that you can take on autonomously and use your key learnings as a specific example during an interview process.”

More confident

For CEMS student Christina Yaghoub Babayan Nejad, the event was an eye opener. “After having open panel discussions with company recruiters and alumni, I feel more confident in the direction I would like to drive my career,” she said.

“It was very interesting to hear the speakers' perspectives on showing initiative and creating one's own opportunities. That showed me that I should sometimes just ask for what I'm interested in,” said CEMS student Klaas Bischoff.

The CEMS Career Orientation event takes place every semester as part of the CEMS personal and professional development track which is incorporated in the curriculum of the students. It is organised by RSM’s Career Centre team.

More information

MSc International Management/CEMS

The CEMS Master in International Management (CEMS MIM) is a joint degree delivered by CEMS academic members. It is a postgraduate degree open to a select group of students enrolled in one of the leading universities in the CEMS Alliance. RSM’s 18-month MSc in International Management/CEMS programme aims to develop high-quality graduates with a well-developed global mindset, in preparation for an international career in business. Upon graduation, the alumni are members of RSM’s alumni network and the CEMS Alumni Association.

Companies have exclusive access to highly talented CEMS students through a CEMS corporate partnership.

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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