Nirmal Kumar

Nationality: Indian
Age: 31
Job title: Supply chain process manager at SBM Offshore
Previous degree: MSc Ship and Offshore Structures from the University of Strathclyde


1. Why did you choose an EMBA at RSM?

“I’ve always wanted to do an MBA. Preferably part-time, because then I can implement what I study in real-time at work. RSM is one of the top business schools in Europe and has a multicultural cohort. I knew I could get different perspectives not only from the professors but also from my fellow mates.”

2. What expectations do you have studying for your EMBA in a world in motion?

“The world is moving faster than ever before. I expect myself to be future-ready and confident to encounter these changes. The EMBA provides me with skills, knowledge and the confidence to prepare myself to be a future leader.”

3. How would you describe your RSM MBA experience?

“It is a wonderful experience! It has tested my ability to balance between work, family and study. It has widened my perspective, which has helped me understand business situations better. I can now handle them with confidence and make impactful changes. We try out so many new things in the MBA, for example marketing simulations. And the cases are all about experiences too.”

4. What has been the biggest adjustment for you, while living in Rotterdam?

“I’ve lived in Rotterdam for three years, and was also an expat in Singapore and the UK. The initial years are tricky when you relocate as an expat. But Rotterdam was relatively easier to fit in. At first, not getting run over by a bike was a challenge. The Dutch language could be difficult, but on the other hand, Rotterdam is extremely international, so it’s easy to get by.”

5. What has been the most challenging so far?

“Switching between my roles. On one day, I have different roles and extremely different responsibilities, at work and for my MBA. Another challenge is engaging quickly during our teamwork and transforming ourselves into high-performing study teams. We are succeeding so far.”

6. How has the Personal Leadership Development programme affected you?

“PLD helped me to be aware of myself. I would say self-awareness is a basic necessity for every leader. As a part of the PLD, I had to recall my past and evaluate and reframe it. This process  made me realise my strengths and weaknesses in an effective way.”

7. If you had to choose one Sustainable Development Goal (SDG), which one would you choose?

“I work in the marine, oil and gas sector, so I’m going for SDG14: Life below water. I joined my employer because I was impressed by the company’s vision and strategy. I’m proud to be part of an organisation that makes an effort to keep the oceans clean and protect the marine ecosystem, and I want to contribute to this goal.”

8. Has your MBA journey changed your outlook on what your career will be like post-MBA?

“The MBA journey has provided me with confidence and knowledge, which made me approach business issues efficiently. It also changed the way I lead. I listen more, and ask my team a lot of questions to get them thinking about solving problems differently. I think of more long-term solutions, as opposed to short-term, in a more sustainable way.”

9. What advice could you give to people who are considering doing an MBA?

“Be ready for a big commitment. There’s a lot of learning, and you’ll be pushed to test your limits. Make good arrangements with family, friends and colleagues. It would be best if you have a lot of support. But it’s worth it. Go for it. The knowledge, experience, and outcome are going to be amazing, and you’ll be a great leader after the EMBA!”