RSM’s new Executive MBA cohort explores personal leadership

One of the largest Executive MBA classes at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) started their studies in January 2016. More than half of the 122 students from the Class of 2017 is international, representing a total of 32 nationalities. Their first week at RSM included classes and introductory activities.

Executive MBA participant Vijay Kiran from India wrote in his blog that he had a “fantastic first week.” Kiran was particularly impressed with the way of learning at RSM. “The teaching method focused on ‘why’ rather than ‘what’ with lots of class participation,” he said, adding that the courses or lecture sessions primarily focused on real-world cases.

Team building

The Executive MBA (EMBA) programme kicked off on Saturday 30 January 2016 with a workshop focused on team building and leadership through West African drumming. The following Monday, the students were welcomed by Kristel Baele, Erasmus University Rotterdam’s new president; Eric Waarts, RSM’s dean of degree programmes; and Karim Jazzar, RSM’s director EMBA programme. In addition, participants from RSM’s Executive MBA Class of 2015 talked to the new cohort about the lessons they learned and how they made the most of their studies.

Personal leadership development

From Tuesday 2 February until Saturday 6 February, the EMBA Class of 2017 had classes about personal leadership development, managerial accounting, business decision methods, organisational behaviour, managerial economics, and management science.

Kiran said he was most surprised by the Personal Leadership Development (PLD) class. “I gained some good insights about leadership,” he said, explaining that is was about goal orientation, values-based leadership, and interpersonal strengths, problems and sensitivities. “I look forward to the future sessions to see what more I can learn.”

Diversity in nationalities, education and industries

Students in the new cohort of RSM’s EMBA are from Australia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Egypt, Estonia, France, Greece, India, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Morocco, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Rwanda, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, the USA, Turkey, Ukraine, and the UK.

Not only are the cultural and geographical backgrounds diverse. The students, who have an average age of 33, have various educational backgrounds, including engineering, business and economics, humanities and law, and science and medicine. Their average work experience is nine years, and they work in a wide range of industries, including IT, energy, health and pharmaceuticals, electronics and consumer goods, consulting, and NGOs.

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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