Making a mark in RSM’s MSc Finance & Investments Advanced

In a class full of talented students, how can any student stand out? Great study skills are certainly important, but some students distinguish themselves through other qualities. The MSc Finance & Investments Advanced at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) is a case in point. The first ever cohort for this extended, 16-month advanced programme started in September 2016, and will graduate in December 2017.

What extra activities can be added to an already-full academic timetable? And what benefits do they give? The programme’s career development manager, Vildana Gačić, said student Mike Gruenwald is one of the most active students on campus.

Mike has organised events for the entire class. “He took the majority of the responsibility of planning a couple of company visits during the cohort’s study trip to Frankfurt,” said Vildana Gačić. “His communication and organisation with our contacts at the companies were impeccable. He also managed to organise social activities for his fellow students during the trip; they went out for dinner, and for karaoke and clubbing.”

Getting ready for launch

Great preparation for the social side of a study trip is great, but preparation for class is a priority. For advanced programmes such as the MSc Finance & Investments Advanced, this also means preparing for launching a career. The master programme puts particular emphasis on personal career coaching, and enables participants to get close to potential employers in the sector. Working with attention to detail and finishing off each career-coaching task present students with more possibilities for job hunting after graduation, and Mike is already busy connecting with some of the 500 dedicated RSM mentors via RSM MentorMe, as well as in his own network, to learn more about their companies, explained Vildana.

Measure yourself

Exams, assignments and tests are used everywhere to measure every student’s progress, but students can also measure their performance against students from other business schools, other universities, and in other countries. Mike has taken part in the first rounds of the international CFA Institute Research Challenge for 2017, an annual competition organised by CFA Institute that provides university students with mentoring and intensive training in financial analysis. They made it through the first round and qualified for the finals for the Benelux countries in Prague in April. If they win that, then they earn a place in the European championship. Mike is also a member of the B&R Beurs Erasmus Investment Society, which is run by students. Mike co-founded and now chairs an investment team of 17 master students from Finance and Investments Advanced and Quantitative Finance , plus four Bachelor students. “We analyse and pitch investment opportunities, and mentor the bachelor students on our team,” he said.

Being busy, showing leadership

Organising so much for the class comes naturally to great communicators, and some people have natural leadership skills. But it’s also possible to develop leadership skills and to practice being a communicator by volunteering to help organise extra-curricular activities. Plus, everyone can be punctual, pay attention to detail, be well-prepared, and happy to help if they put in the effort, said Vildana Gačić, adding that it’s always better done with a smile.

Next steps. I will…

Mike’s career plan will kick into action when he graduates. He has already made a bold statement for the future with his I WILL portrait, stating that he will ‘turn his values into actions’. Every student at RSM can make an I WILL statement. I WILL is RSM’s forward-thinking initiative that encourages the RSM community to think about the future and how they can be a force for positive change. Students’ I WILL statements are added to their specially-taken I WILL portrait photos as way of stating publicly their goals for the future. Mike says: “I enjoy working in a fast-paced environment alongside diverse people. In my career, I would like to use my finance skills to make a positive impact in corporate development settings.”

Deadline for applications

New students embarking on the next iteration of the MSc Finance & Investments Advanced in September 2017 can expect a similar curriculum with core courses and living management cases with leading financials and corporates. Career development coaching will start early in the academic year to help students to achieve the best career-boosting internships and job applications. Applications for the September 2017 intake of the MSc Finance & Investments Advanced close on 31 March 2017.

More information

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) is one of Europe’s top 10 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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