Six MBA study tours explore specialised business globally

Students from two MBA programmes at Rotterdam of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) travelled across the world on six separate study tours as part of their MBA curriculum between 29 August and 2 September 2016. Each study trip had a specialised business theme, including supply chain management, finance, business in China and sustainable business in Latin America.

As part of the curriculum, students in RSM’s International Full-time MBA Class of 2017 and Executive MBA (EMBA) Class of 2016, are required to participate in at least one international study tour. These study tours are an integral part of acquire new knowledge and perspectives on other countries and specific business topics. Each MBA participant chooses from a pool of exciting and inspiring study tours all over the world to expand their global business knowledge.

Big industry players

This year’s international study tours were to Hamburg, Germany; Milan, Italy; London, UK; Beijing, China; Washington DC, USA; and San Jose, Costa Rica.

“RSM arranged guest lectures with some of the best professionals in the field as well as company visits to some big players in the industry,” said Hala Abu-Jaber, a Jordanian full-time MBA student who went to London to investigate the financing of companies over their lifecycles with 25 other MBA and EMBA students. They visited ING and the Royal Bank of Scotland. “We attended lectures, dined, visited companies and studied together so it was also a great way to network and interact with classmates and EMBA students.”

Supply chain management

Abu-Jaber added the study trip gave her a new focus. “The trip has helped me narrow down my job search. I also made new friends and expanded my network with people from whom I can benefit personally and professionally.”

In Hamburg, 35 MBA participants explored supply chain management. As part of the study tour, they visited Airbus, Port of Hamburg, Philips Medical Systems, and Kuehne + Nagel. German MBA student Sandip Juthani was impressed with Hamburg’s “fascinating industries, great cultural diversity and the history of the port and its contribution to the entire city.” He said the study trip showed him that “we have to find a way to manage the hyper connectivity of today's supply chain efficiently and sustainably.”

Strategic marketing for luxury goods

The business theme in Milan, where 38 participants travelled to, was strategic marketing for fashion and luxury goods. Company visits included tours at OTB and Moreschi. “Unlike what people think, Milan is the fashion capital but specifically in terms of manufacturing and retail,” says Neeti Ghildiyal, an Indian MBA student from the Class of 2017.

“There is so much more to luxury brands. Each brand has a unique story and these brands are storytellers,” said Ghildiyal, adding that it is difficult to create a unique brand positioning and maintain it through the years. “It was amazing to see how the brands evolved yet maintained their heritage and how marketing played a big part in that.” Mexican MBA participant Juan Maldonado wrote a blog post about his experiences in Milan.

International trade

Another group travelled to Washington DC to investigate the intersection between public and private sectors. “The city is vibrant and the timing – right before a presidential election – made the tour extremely exciting,” says German full-time MBA student Benedikt Wagner. The 50 students attended lectures at Georgetown University.

“These lectures were led by great speakers from various backgrounds and professions. We had the opportunity to hear about first-hand experiences in the fields of advocacy and campaigning directly from Capitol Hill,” said Wagner, adding that he learned that companies which engage in international trade need to keep policy makers, who might be able to change the rules of the game, close. Wagner said he particularly enjoyed connecting with his classmates and Executive MBA students. “Learning from their vast experience and talking to them on a personal note during a night out was a nice opportunity.”

Simultaneously, 45 MBA and EMBA students explored business in China on their study trip to Beijing. And a group of nine Executive MBA participants travelled to San Jose, Costa Rica to investigate sustainable business in Latin America.

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.

For more information about RSM or 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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