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Executive master graduates geared up to set ambitious goals

The Class of 2018 of the Parttime Master Bedrijfskunde programme at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) graduated on campus on 17 November 2018. They were inspired by keynote speaker Maria van der Heijden (MVO Nederland), and their classmates Rahiela Lalmahomed and Farida Boldewijn who shared the highlights of the programme with the audience of friends, family, and colleagues of the proud graduates.



The 75 graduates work for companies in various industries, such as banks, governmental organisations, schools, health care and even non-profit organisations. They have an average age of 36, and an average work experience of 11 years. The part-time master programme consists of two intense years of combining work, study and their personal lives.

Defining bold targets

Keynote speaker and RSM alumna Maria van der Heijden is now executive director of MVO Nederland, a sustainable business network that works towards a new way of organising the economy, where positive financial results go hand in hand with caring for people and the environment.

As a Parttime Master Bedrijfskunde alumna she says she was touched by witnessing the ceremony again, reliving the sense of excitement, pride and companionship that mark graduation. She spoke about her personal professional journey, and how our career and personal development is one of the few things we shape mainly as individuals.

“While a relationship or family you build together, your personal development starts with the choices you make,” she said. Van der Heijden challenged the graduates to define bold targets. “When you set ambitious goals, you will move in that direction.”

Thesis award

Graduate Marc Fortuin, who is a quality manager at Verbufa, won the award for best thesis, on the subject ‘Procesomschrijving innovatieprocessen Verbufa-klanten’.

Prof. Hans Oppelland was impressed with the outstanding quality of the thesis, and how the insights can be applied further than only for the company where the research was conducted.

A ‘transformation of self’

Farewell speakers Rahiela Lalmahomed and Farida Boldewijn illustrated their speech with a ‘pain versus time’ graph, showing the amount of effort it took over the last two years to get to this point. Describing the master programme as a ‘transformation of self’, they emphasized the tangible impact of their new knowledge and experience.

They also expressed their gratitude towards their surroundings – family, friends, peers and professors. “Our success doesn’t solely belong to us, it belongs to the people who believe in us, stand by us and support us,” said the graduates.

PMB UAF Scholarship

Graduate Aziz Ebrahimi, who is an international sales manager at RESQTEC, is the first student supported by the PMB UAF Scholarship to complete the programme. Miriam Majoor, student counselor at foundation for refugee-students UAF, elucidated the scholarship and what the opportunity to study means for a person that has been forced to leave their home country and corresponding future plans. “Getting the chance to study is a chance to really participate in society,” she said.

Five students graduated cum laude: Stephanie Mathas (RAI Amsterdam), Marc Fortuin (Verbufa), Jelle Bokma (Ministerie van Defensie), Brian Lammert van Bueren (Rijkswaterstaat) en Esther Boersema (Arval Nederland).

The prize for best professor was won by Professor Justin Jansen, who lectured the course Strategic Management: innovation & corporate entrepreneurship. The students voted that he was the most outstanding professor because of his natural interaction with the students and the ways in which he challenged them.

After the official ceremony the lobby was filled with laughter and a lot of flashing cameras, celebrating this achievement with family, friends, and fellow graduates. Several of them have already signed up for an upcoming alumni event. In addition to the programme’s alumni network, the graduates are now members of RSM’s 38,000-member alumni network with benefits such as continued education opportunities and networking events worldwide.

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. www.rsm.nl

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 mschouten@rsm.nl.

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Alumni , Companies , Parttime Master Bedrijfskunde , Executive education , Homepage , Newsroom , Master