Inspiring first impressions of RSM and Rotterdam for new MBA students

First impressions of the new cohort in the Full-time International MBA at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) during their first week were ‘inspiring, mind opening, and impressive in the diversity of background’. New students also noted the drive and energy, experience, and co-operation of their peers — who are full of enthusiasm and passion, they said. The international port city of Rotterdam also received praise from the new arrivals for being ‘super-friendly’ with beautiful rivers.

The class of the full-time MBA will finish its studies in December 2016 and graduate in March 2017 after the year-long programme. Class participants are highly international and originate from 35 different nations in Asia, Australasia, Africa, North America and Latin America, as well as all over Europe. Out of the 106 students, 102 come from countries other than the Netherlands. This year’s cohort is made up of 63 per cent men, 37 per cent women, with an average age of 29 and with an average of more than six years of work experience behind them.

Their backgrounds are equally varied. Only 1 per cent come from marketing and sales, 3 per cent from law, 10 per cent from the humanities and the arts, 13 per cent from science and medicine. Economics and business, and engineering are the fields from which most MBA students come – each of these two fields contributes 37 per cent of the total number of candidates.

Director of MBA Programmes Ann Van Dam welcomed the new students with a presentation which encouraged them to throw everything into the year-long full-time MBA experience, which would be transformative, she said.

Their orientation week also included Personal Leadership Development (PLD) sessions, a workshop focused on team building and leadership through West African drumming, a dinner hosted by Dean Steef van de Velde, and a tour of Rotterdam, as well as plenty of academic introductions.

These students have the opportunity of following five advanced courses prior to the electives, which determines the direction of their studies by further developing knowledge and expertise in a selected area. By following other electives in the same field, students can thereby follow a specialisation within their MBA degree. Advanced sustainability and advanced supply chain management have been added to the three advanced courses offered last year, advanced strategy, advanced marketing and advanced finance, reflecting changes in the business world.

Looking ahead, the students are anticipating different elements of the programme: Petar Kolev from Bulgaria is looking forward to the Living Management Project and going on study exchange to expand his MBA network, and Juan Maldonado Alcazar from Mexico considers the whole year to be a big step towards making his dream happen.

RSM MBA students, alumni, and faculty members write throughout the year about their experiences —during the admissions process as well as during studies, socialising and graduations — on the RSM MBA blog.

More information

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) is one of Europe’s leading business schools, 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 Chengdu, China, and 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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