Arwen Smit

Arwen Smit

Study and year of graduation: BSc International Business Administration 2013
Employer: DOVU
Job title: Co-founder and chief marketing officer

What are the most valuable skills that you took from your education at RSM?
Applying different frameworks to a problem enables you to see things differently. Those frameworks could be theoretical, conceptual, or even cultural. As was reflected in the composition of the classes in IBA, RSM encouraged diversity in methods of thinking – this has been by far the most valuable skill for me. At the end of the day, forecasting the success of a product, technology, or business idea is an accumulation of various perspectives, coming together in future behaviour. Understanding the driving forces behind trends is critical to peering a little further into the future, and staying ahead of the curve.

What was your most memorable moment at RSM?
This might sound cliché, but for me graduation was the most memorable moment at RSM. It was beautiful to see the different paths everyone had taken to arrive at this point, and the dreams they went on to pursue. The diversity in those dreams, from the financial service industry to NGOs to entrepreneurship, highlight the variety of tools RSM equips its graduates with.

How would your former classmates describe you?
Probably as someone who throws good parties. As head of events at the Erasmus Student Network our board wasn't just serving the international students in IBA, but all 3,000 international students at the Erasmus University. Maybe Dutch people just naturally gravitate towards the orange t-shirts of ESN. All joking aside, during my time at RSM I built a close group of international friends. Being the only ‘Dutchie’ in the group, I had to explain that liquorice is delicious, cycling in the rain won't kill you, and that nothing else matters as long as it is gezellig. On a professional note, I hope my classmates know that if there is ever anything I can help with, my door is always open.

How do you stay connected to the school and what do you gain from it?
After the IBA I lived and worked in the Netherlands, Sweden, France, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. In every city where I've lived, I've met up with RSM alumni. Recently I co-founded a block chain start-up looking to transform data consumption and distribution across the mobility space. One of the first places I turned to for block chain expertise was the RSM alumni network. In the future I hope to be able to share my experiences with the next generation of students.

What is your greatest passion in life?
My greatest passion in life is creating. I like building companies. I like making art. I like thinking about new technology trends and imagining how it will affect society. Creating something out of nothing really is the coolest thing there is. And even if you fail the first time, you try, and then try again, until you get it right. And, hopefully, at the end you will have created something that contributes to society.

What is your ‘I WILL’?

''I WILL change the female face of business.''