Professor Albert Veenstra, the academic director of the programme, kicked off the afternoon and reflected on the world of trade and customs within the context of the ongoing new regulatory developments, new enforcement challenges as well as the geopolitical and societal contexts. His message to the graduates was: “Go out in the world, use your knowledge and become part of the debate to solve some of these challenges, either in your company, at customs or both.”
Compliance and risk management
Keynote speaker Arno Kooij, director enforcement policy and international affairs at the Customs Administration of the Netherlands, said he was delighted to welcome the next generation of specialists into his beloved field of work.
Kooij contemplated that the focus on compliance and risk management is both of interest for the public as well as the private sector, and so, trade and government companies and customs are all in this together. He expressed that the strength of each cohort in this unique programme is the participation from government as well as business and the university, as this allows for complex issues to be studied from multiple angles and this should remain an ongoing practice.
“Well done, graduates and may this study bring you the practical use that you are hoping for and that we are hoping for. The field needs you.”
Class of 2023
Graduates work at customs administrations and logistics companies worldwide, for example in trade compliance, international trade, customs, logistics and supply chain, operations, tax and law. Their industries include transportation, security, life science, tax services, consulting, and digital communications technology. The Class of 2023 represents the following countries: the Netherlands, South Korea, India, Spain, Germany, Costa Rica and Belgium. The average age is 40 and the average years of work experience is 16. Several professionals in the class are currently still in the process of finalising their master theses and will then be able to graduate as well.
Graduate Sina Klautke, trade compliance official Europe at Xylem Services GmbH in Germany, shared her reflections and experience of the programme in a farewell speech by starting to thank families and friends for their ongoing support during their studies. As students, she emphasized, it sometimes required much commitment to study, work full time, be in different time zones and experience life-changing circumstances at the same time. She felt proud of the achievements they had made together.
RSM’s Meta Haag-Mikec, associate director of corporate and alumni relations, welcomed the new graduates to the RSM alumni community. The graduation ceremony concluded with a festive reception with guests, family and friends to celebrate the professionals’ achievements.
Executive Master in Customs and Supply Chain Compliance
Innovative developments force customs professionals, other inspections and business professionals to collaborate. They must follow the general trend towards regulatory compliance rather than command and control. This is facilitated by information systems. In RSM’s unique Part-time Executive Master in Customs and Supply Chain Compliance will explore and discuss these developments, and assess their value and implications for practice to combine safety, security and sustainability with compliance and efficiency in international trade.