First cohort starts Cologne-Rotterdam Executive MBA

Twenty-one professionals will be the first to participate in the new Cologne-Rotterdam Executive MBA on Monday 5 September 2016. The 24-month international part-time programme for managers is developed by two esteemed institutions; Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) and the Business School of the University of Cologne (UoC).

“The Cologne-Rotterdam EMBA combines an international focus with demanding business content and courses regarding soft skills, such as personal leadership development,” says Sara Brings, senior analyst reporting and BI at Deutsche Post DHL Group. “With all this, I think the programme provides all the content that helps forming an excellent leader. Receiving two degrees at the end of the studies from two renowned business schools will enable me to develop my future career.”

International leadership

The 24-month executive part-time MBA is based on the well-established Executive MBA at RSM, which is recognised for its truly international level of leadership and international exposure. “We look forward to the start of our very first and highly diverse Cologne-Rotterdam Executive MBA cohort. The programme offers an innovative, highly international and flexible learning experience,” says Prof. Ulrich Thonemann, managing director of the Business School of the University of Cologne.

Dean of RSM, Professor Steef van de Velde, adds: “I’m glad to see that participants appreciate the strengths of both institutions and locations. The excellent reputation and the international orientation of both schools will provide our students with new perspectives and ideas, enabling them to approach their future challenges in a more comprehensive way.”


Of the new programme participants, 29 per cent is female and 38 per cent is international; the average age is 33; and the average work experience is 8 years. They come from various sectors such as consulting and professional services; chemical and pharmacy; logistics and supply chain; software; energy and utilities; financial services and insurances; health and medical science; manufacturing and construction; and engineering and law.

Innovation and management

“Challenges and exciting questions during my projects drew my interest to work at the interface between innovation and management,” says participant Alexander Holbach, research engineer at BASF. “I would like to combine administration and strategy development more deeply with my technical background. The Executive MBA programme will improve my management skills and open my mind for new ideas.”

Learnings and discussions

 “There are two core expectations I have from the programme”, says participant Miriam Schmid, Associate Clinical Program Director at UCB Biosciences GmbH. “Firstly it is to learn about current business management and leadership concepts, and secondly I am looking forward to new impulses and insights from conversations and discussions with my fellow students and the faculty. The Cologne-Rotterdam EMBA ensures a high academic standard, with two well-known, established universities providing the programme. In addition, the schedule and the geographic proximity allow me to attend this programme beside my busy and demanding job.”

Unique programme and network

The Cologne-Rotterdam Executive MBA programme prepares leaders from any business or industry background for senior management challenges and responsibilities, in local and international business arenas. The format involves studying every other weekend, and fits around the lifestyles of executives without interrupting their day-to-day work. The MBA is highly selective, so participants will become part of a unique network of globally-orientated managers. Teaching and visiting faculty are among the top academics in the world and will present the latest scientific research in a way that is designed for practical application in business during the academically rigorous programme.

More information

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) is one of Europe’s leading research-based 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 carry their innovative mindset into a sustainable future thanks to a first-class range of bachelor, master, MBA, PhD and executive programmes. Study information and activities for future students, executives and alumni are also organised from the RSM office in Chengdu, China.

The University of Cologne (UoC) is the sixth oldest university in Central Europe and, with more than 48,000 students, one of the largest universities in Germany. It is also the German founding member of the Global Alliance in Management Education (CEMS). Since 2012, the university has been awarded in the German Universities Excellence Initiative for its overall concept. The university’s six faculties provide a wide range of scientific disciplines and internationally recognised research profiles. The UoC has a strong international network with more than 300 partner institutions worldwide and has international offices in New York, Beijing and New-Delhi.

The Business School of University of Cologne, founded in 2015, is based in the Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Sciences at the University of Cologne. With around 10,000 students and a large number of professors, the Faculty is one of Europe’s largest and most prestigious of its kind. Following the launch of the EMBA programme, further executive education programmes and short seminars for private individuals or business are planned for the future at the Business School of University of Cologne.

For more information on this release, please contact Marianne Schouten, Media & Public Relations Manager for RSM, on +31 10 408 2877 or by email at or Sabine Kuschel, Executive School of UoC, on +49 221 470 7943 or by email at

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