EMBA alumni re-create energetic learning culture at RSM

More than 50 alumni from the Executive MBA class of 2017 from Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) reunited in Rotterdam for an event initiated by seven classmates. The energy and joy was tangible on campus as the former classmates caught up on their professional and private lives, and boosted their business knowledge on 11 and 12 January 2019.

Photos © Saskia Fransen Photography

“The energy was something else!” said alumnus António Aranha Menezes, one of the seven classmates who initiated and organised the reunion. “To be back in a classroom with some of my closest friends and people who have made a positive impact on my life was just amazing.” He added the speakers were great and the debates were also ‘unforgettable’.

The programme included meals at Maria’s Cantina on campus, as well as business knowledge sessions.

The power of alumni

“It’s important to know what’s going on in each other’s lives and help each other,” said Menezes. “We share the same purpose; to be a force for positive change. I also feel that alumni have the power to also shape the direction of RSM and its impact on the world.”

Bas van Heel, former director of the Boston Consulting Group, presented his experiences and ideas about progress on strategic thinking and customer needs. Inspirational speaker Gijs Weenink sparked a discussion around ‘eight golden rules on how to persuade people’. And Shell’s business opportunity manager Yemi Adefulu led a session about leadership in new business development and change management.

Triggering the mind

Alumnus Pritham Nambiar said one of the reasons of the reunion was to continue to create ‘an environment like the EMBA’ that fosters a learning culture, encourages networking, and provides updates and support with business ideas and jobs. “Many of us miss RSM, so we considered that when planning the event. I loved the triggering of the mind with the different topics, and am already using some of the new knowledge in my work place.”

Alumnus Menezes, who works as a new business development manager at Chrysal International BV, added that being back at RSM gave him ‘a boost to look forward and continue to make positive changes in my life and that of others. “I love getting people together, and we’re already thinking about next year’s event!”

The reunion event was initiated by EMBA class of 2017 alumni António Menezes, Pritham Nambiar, Khanya Pilane, Kim Zwarts, Godert de Keijzer, Mario Korte and Lixian Xu.

Staying connected

Staying connected with RSM alumni keeps the network alive, brings back memories, and helps business professionals keep up with knowledge. Cohorts and alumni groups that want to organise a similar event can contact the RSM corporate and alumni relations team via

In addition, the MBA classes of 1989, 1994, 1999, 2004, 2009 and 2014 will have their RSM MBA reunion in Rotterdam on 4-5 October 2019.  

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.

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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