OneMBA students and alumni visit Airbus in Hamburg

Participants and alumni from the OneMBA programme at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) gathered in Hamburg to explore logistics and quality management at Airbus in February 2015. The 40 participants investigated the supply chain and organisation of the company during the event, which was organised by the OneMBA Alumni Association EMEA chapter.

The students and alumni from RSM’s Global Executive OneMBA programme were impressed by the way a large organisation can work together with many cultures from many countries around Europe with so many country legislations and government policies.

OneMBA alumnus Antonio D’Acunto from the Class of 2013 says he was “blown away” by the magnitude of the preparation complexity. “Airbus has proven they are able to build a plane in parts around Europe by co-ordinating the assemblies to come together from a logistic and supply chain,” he says. “Everyone remembers our MBA games about this were not easy.  Airbus makes it work and the end result is a super product which must stay reliable for more than 20 years.”

Quality management at Airbus

The OneMBA group gathered at the German headquarters of Airbus in Hamburg on 6 February. The site employs around 15,000 people and plays a decisive role in the development and engineering of all Airbus aircrafts. OneMBA alumnus Eric Rosa Rebelo (2011), who is the Head of Plant Quality –A380 Family at Airbus, gave a presentation about Airbus’ quality management.

During a tour at the plant, the OneMBA group explored the A380, the market’s biggest passenger aircraft, and learned about materials used in the industry. OneMBA student Carla Blekkink’s previous degree is aeronautical engineering. She knew what to expect, but was impressed by the assembly halls and the manufacturing system. “Moving the fuselage and aircraft from workstation to workstation, and not the other way around, showed how well planned and managed the assembly process is,” she said.


The participants also discovered that it is a conservative industry. “Because of quality and safety regulations new developments take a long time and are very expensive,” said Blekkink. “So it makes sense that Airbus puts a lot of effort in continuous and incremental improvements instead of developing an entire new model which is far more costly and risky.”

The event concluded with German food during a networking dinner in a restaurant next to Hamburg’s city hall. “Meeting more OneMBA alumni and candidates during dinner after the visit to Airbus and spending sociable time with them was great fun and interesting,” said Blekkink. “I’m sure I will join more study trips in the future.”

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. The prestigious 21-month programme offers senior executives and professionals 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.

OneMBA Alumni Association

The visit was organised by the OneMBA Alumni Association for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), which was created three years ago to support its alumni running enterprises ‘sustainably and responsibly’ in this large region. Its current board is represented by OneMBA alumni Eltje Verloop (2008), Peter Brijs (2013), and Tessa van Iperen (2014). Early arrivals from the OneMBA group joined RSM Dean Steef van de Velde and RSM alumni who live and work in the Hamburg area on Thursday 5 February. The Local Chapter Hamburg is a diverse group of alumni who graduated recently or more than 20 years ago from RSMs’ MSc, OneMBA, Full-time MBA and Executive MBA programmes.

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) is a top tier European business school and ranked among the top three for research. 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 carry their innovative mindset into a sustainable future thanks to a first-class range of bachelor, master, MBA, PhD and executive programmes. RSM also has offices in the Amsterdam Zuidas business district and in Taipei, Taiwan.

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