Going Dutch in London at local chapter event

When alumni from Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) reconnected at a London alumni event, conversations ranged across positive change, multilingualism, data and, of course, Brexit.

Story by Lucy Jolin​

There was certainly a Dutch flavour to the recent London alumni event at Proeflokaal Rembrandt: it has got the biggest selection of Dutch beers outside of Benelux, after all. But while the backdrop was resolutely lowlands, the atmosphere was truly global, with alumni hailing from all over the world gathering to talk about everything from business to Brexit to building materials. 

“I care about this school because it has given me so much more than undergrad,” said business consultant Adam Lewis (MBA, 2019), who took the opportunity to connect with fellow graduates.

“The MBA is so intense and the connections you make are completely different – and they are all people who are interested in the same things. Networking events like this are always great, but they can be hugely useful at specific points in your career. At the moment, I’m working on taking my business forward, so I want to meet everyone, because you don’t know who will be able to offer the right help or give you unexpected insight or inspiration.” 

Insights galore

There was certainly plenty of unexpected insight on offer. In one corner, management consultant Anand Moharir (MBA, 2016) and Danilo Alves de Oliveira (MBA, 2016) discussed a subject close to every global citizen’s heart: language. Both are multilingual and they reflected on how essential it is to learn the language of the city you live in.

Door opener

Alvaro Hurtado (MSc Business Administration, 2008) and Mihaela Roman (MSc International Management / CEMS, 2014) were pondering the impact of Brexit. 

“London is a good place to be right now, but after Brexit? I don’t know,” said Roman. Hurtado agreed that it’s a fluid situation. “It requires a lot of adaptability going forward,” he pointed out. They agreed, too, about the benefits of the RSM master programmes. “For me, it was a door opener,” said Hurtado. “It gave me opportunities that otherwise I wouldn’t have had access to. It gives you a pedigree.”

Global programme

Of course, key RSM people were also on hand to share insight and future plans. Sue Martin, director of alumni relations, explained the role of her team and the international chapters. Her aim, she explained, is to build a truly global programme – and to help alumni tell their stories. 

Next up was Dean Steef van de Velde, on his last visit to the UK before he steps down from his role. “The biggest change has been a mission change,” he said of his eight-year stint. “Our conviction is that business has to play a key role – we can’t leave it to NGOs, philanthropists – and that you can do well, and do good.” 

And Eva Rood, director of positive change, introduced alumni to the real changes that her team has helped to bring about, from the news that RSM is developing an escape room to the fact that ‘plant librarian’ is a genuine RSM job title. She urged her audience to consider the power of one – that we all need to do the best we can, no matter how insignificant that effort might seem.

More information

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This article was first published in the summer 2019 edition of RSM Outlook – RSM’s alumni and corporate relations magazine. You can download RSM Outlook here.

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) is one of Europe’s top-ranked 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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