Ambitious senior managers kicked off the first run of the Global Executive MBA (GEMBA) at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) last week.

Of the 26 executive MBA candidates in the class, 38 per cent are female and 49 per cent are international, representing 13 nationalities. The average age is 41, and the group has an average of 17 years’ work experience in various industries. This diverse, yet senior group has come into the programme with a learning mindset and a willingness to share their considerable business  experience with each other.

RSM GEMBA class of 2024

Dean of Executive Education Professor Nicola Kleyn welcomed the participants with an inspirational address. She said the need for senior business people to learn more about strategic leadership has always been there. “Given our turbulent global environment, it’s become even more important to  support senior leaders to navigate rapid advancements in technology and growing pressures to build sustainable high performing organisations that are forces for positive change.”

Closing the Introduction programme last week (12 – 16 September), top executive guest speaker Simone Huis in ‘t Veld, Board Member Euronext NV and CEO Euronext Amsterdam, addressed the cohort with an inaugural speech. She focused on her current strategic leadership role as CEO and spoke about the strategic challenges and solutions she has encountered personally while in this role.

The GEMBA programme, with its intense – and additional – focus on Strategic Leadership Development (SLD), will run over the next 21 months. The programme will accelerate the participants’ careers and help them make a positive impact on their business.

GEMBA Academic Director Professor Hans van Oosterhout commented at the end of Introduction week: “I am very excited about such a great start with the GEMBA programme. It gives us the opportunity to position it as RSM’s most senior executive MBA programme and one of Europe’s top global executive MBA programmes.”

Student remarks

“My start of the GEMBA programme at RSM was all about People – great people with broad experience, industry knowledge and curiosity to learn! With strong academic insights and an intensive programme, it surely will be a great 21 months of studies for me,” said GEMBA student Stepan Afanasyev, Senior director Planning & External Manufacturing EMEA at Bausch + Lomb.

“I feel I'm at the right place for what I like to develop as the next step in my career and business,” commented GEMBA student Diana Lo-A-Njoe, Consultant Senior Scrum Master at Waternet.

“Opening Week of the GEMBA programme was both engaging and insightful. It was incredibly energising to begin collaborating with, and learning from, such a talented and diverse group of peers; and the Strategic Leadership Development course prompted meaningful reflection on my ongoing growth as a leader,” added GEMBA student Claire Koplimaa, Chief of Staff at Qventus.

Go to the RSM website and discover more about the Global Executive MBA programme.

More information

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) is one of Europe’s top-ranked 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 can become a force for positive change by carrying their innovative mindset into a sustainable future. Our first-class range of bachelor, master, MBA, PhD and executive programmes encourage them to become critical, creative, caring and collaborative thinkers and doers. 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 Erika Harriford-McLaren, communications manager for RSM, on +31 10 408 2877 or by email at