Global business and sustainability alumni reunite at RSM

Alumni from the sustainability management master programme at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) returned to campus in early November to share their professional and personal journey after graduating from RSM.

The event was attended by about 25 RSM alumni and staff members. The alumni were from RSM’s MSc Global Business & Sustainability programme (GBS), formerly known as the MSc in Global Business & Stakeholder Management. Heleen Westerman (alumna 2000) and Lonneke Roza (alumna 2009) told their fellow alumni about where their careers had led them since completing their master studes ar RSM.

Development projects

After graduating from RSM, Westerman became a manager for a housing organisation. In Suriname, she discovered she was very capable of dealing with uncertainty and decided to stay. She worked for a travel agency, a higher education institution and did policy work at a development organisation. During her time in Suriname, she wrote Het gras groeit niet harder door eraan te trekken (The grass doesn’t grow faster if you pull it), a book about running development projects.

Social inclusiveness

Westerman also worked on several other projects, such as a bed and breakfast in Suriname and a travel website, and lived in Suriname, New York and the Netherlands. She currently provides lectures about social inclusiveness and project management at the Erasmus University’s Institute for Social Studies and Rotterdam University of Applies Sciences.

Corporate social responsibility

Dr Lonneke Roza, also an alumna of the GBS programme, has recently completed her PhD in RSM’s Department of Business-Society Management. Her research videos about corporate community involvement and volunteering can be found on RSM Discovery.

Dr Roza told fellow alumni about her passion for involving practitioners in research, and working with corporations. She currently works at The Hague University of Applied Sciences, where her mission is to engage 25,000 students and 2,500 employees in corporate social responsibility. Ultimately, Dr Roza aims to create a knowledge and valorisation centre for corporate foundations. 

Master programme curriculum

Rob van Tulder, professor or international business-society management at RSM, and Dr Steve Kennedy, academic director of the GBS programme, also shared some news about the master programme.

In addition to student numbers doubling for this programme, the MSc in Global Business & Sustainability curriculum continues to develop, including new electives about sustainable business models, social venture creation, and communicating sustainability.

The evening concluded with a dinner and networking drinks.

RSM organises many events for alumni throughout the year to come back to campus for networking and lifelong learning opportunities. In addition, alumni can attend Local Chapter events around the world.

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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