Jeroen Borst

EMC Class of 2020

Boosting legislation logic while optimising data sharing and IT

After 12 years at global transport and logistics company Kuehne+Nagel, customs manager Jeroen Borst is making a move to KGH Customs Services, a Maersk company. Read how RSM’s Executive Master in Customs and Supply Chain Compliance  boosted his knowledge, expanded his network and accelerated his career.

Why did you decide to join this specialised programme?

“It’s the only master education with a focus on not only customs legislation, but also managing your supply chain from a customs perspective and a compliance perspective. There are other masters in customs, but RSM goes much further. It’s a broad programme which covers IT, auditing, and various aspects of customs legislation.”

What part did you value most?

“I most enjoyed working together and collaborating with other professionals within the authorities or logistics business. Everyone brought different experiences, and came from different countries. We had five modules per year, and we felt like a tight-knit group each time. We graduated in 2020, but our app group is still active, and we contact each other about content and ask each other’s advice. We still had this warm feeling at an alumni event last year.”

It sounds like a high-impact programme. How did you combine work and study?

“It requires a lot of discipline. Luckily, there’s a good programme structure. The content is offered in a smart manner. You need to deliver assignments or read chapters according to a clear scheme. It’s manageable if you follow that. It takes time though. Sundays were blocked for studying. But you choose the programme, so you deliberately choose to invest time to develop yourself.”

Who would you advise to join the Executive Master in Customs?

“It benefits customs managers who work in companies and freight forwarders, logistics firms, and customers who deal with cross-border trade and are responsible for compliance. An interesting part of the programme is a pillar on IT development. There’s so much innovation going on in IT to maintain compliant in your supply chain. So this programme is for people not only focusing on customs compliance but also responsible for improving their supply chain and optimising sharing of data.”

How did the executive master affect your career?

“It helped me to unravel the logic behind legislation. There’s so much legislation in our field of expertise. Once you understand it, then it’s much easier to grasp what’s happening. We also focused on agreements made in the supply chain. There are so many actors and responsibilities. It’s important to understand who does what and who is responsible at what time. Knowing this helps during daily practice. And you gain a huge network: your classmates have contacts too, they can all help answer technical questions.”

You’re about to start a new position at KGH Customs Services. How did your master studies help you in this career move?

“I’ll be responsible for customs operations in Northern Europe. For this, it’s essential to have knowledge about sharing data, and how to assess the reliability of data. I now know what to do with the fast IT developments and data-sharing options in customs and supply chain compliance. RSM helped to get a broader picture of the legislation and what tools are there to help optimise the supply chain. I can use this daily in my work.”