MSc graduates urged to stay open to unexpected career tracks

Almost 600 graduates from 12 MSc programmes at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) celebrated their combined MSc graduation with family and friends at convention centre De Doelen in Rotterdam on Saturday 17 October 2015. This event was the second of its kind for RSM’s 12 full-time MSc programmes.

In total, 1,283 young professionals graduated from 12 of RSM’s MSc programmes this year, and 570 of them participated in the event to celebrate the completion of their studies and their new status as RSM alumni. The ceremonies took place in two packed theatres, where the students entered the rooms proudly and energetically to up-tempo music and an encouraging applause of their friends and family.

A large ceremony with a 1,900-member audience took place in De Doelen’s main theater, the ‘Grote Zaal’. The keynote speaker was Allard Castelein, CEO of the Port of Rotterdam Authority. Castelein urged the students to work hard but not lose sight of work-life balance, and to be prepared to change career tracks in order to follow their hearts.

Two graduation ceremonies

Maksym Bilyachenko, graduate of RSM’s MSc in Strategic Entrepreneurship programme, addressed the audience on behalf of the graduates. Prof. Leo Kroon, chairman of RSM’s Examination Board granted a diploma and congratulatory handshake to each of the 399 graduates present at this ceremony, who represented 10 full-time MSc programmes: Business Information Management, Chinese Economy and Business, Global Business and Stakeholder Management, Human Resource Management, Management of Innovation, Marketing Management, Organisational Change and Consulting, Strategic Entrepreneurship, Strategic Management, and Supply Chain Management.

Staying open to opportunities

The ceremony for the 171 graduates from RSM’s MSc in Accounting & Financial Management and MSc in Finance & Investments programmes took place in De Doelen’s Willem Burger theatre. The keynote speech was given by alumnus René Hooft Graafland, former CFO of Heineken and current RSM Advisory Board member. He advised students that what they may imagine will for their futures now, is not necessarily how things will turn out ultimately. Hooft Graafland said they can enrich their own lives and experiences by leaving themselves open to the opportunities they encounter throughout their lives, as opposed to trying to plan everything now, and in essence blinding themselves with strict plans to unforeseen possibilities.

Graduate Anna Livia Huber gave an address on behalf of fellow graduates of the MSc in Accounting & Financial Management, followed by conferral of diplomas by Prof. Erik Peek, chairman of RSM’s Department of Accounting & Control.

Graduate Teus Jan van Ekeren from RSM’s MSc in Finance & Investments, gave an address representing his programme, followed by the conferral of Finance & Investments diplomas by Prof. Peter Roosenboom, chairman of RSM’s Department of Finance.

The event concluded with a festive cocktail reception in De Doelen’s grand Port of Rotterdam foyer.

Graduates start career

RSM’s most recent annual Graduate Placement Report indicates that employers and HR teams need to move fast to recruit MSc graduates from RSM. Almost three-quarters of respondents from the Class of 2014 found a position within three months of job searching. And astonishingly, more than half secured their first step on the career ladder before their graduation

The 570 of new MSc graduates and their classmates who did not attend the ceremony are now members of RSM’s active alumni network, consisting of more than 29,000 members worldwide. They can benefit from lifelong learning opportunities and networking events all over the world.

More information

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 an office in Taipei, Taiwan.

For more information on RSM or on this release, please contact Marianne Schouten, Media & Public Relations Manager for RSM, on +31 10 408 2877 or by email at

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