Learning essential, no-nonsense business skills in a short time

As a sales manager, the pressure of the moment is always on, says Matti van Schooneveld, an EMEA sales manager at MAGNETO special anodes BV. He adds that RSM helped him to address, improve and overcome structural issues below the surface of the wider organisation to excel the day-to-day work of his team.

“I learned essential business skills in a very short time. The modules were to the point: no nonsense and key take-aways that I can use daily.” Matti was happy he could choose his own modules that fit his interest in the Diploma Programme for General Management, and that you can follow courses at different times making it easy to fit them in his work planning. “And the interaction with professionals from different backgrounds was a real bonus. These people have a wealth of knowledge and experience.”

Applicable mapping method

Matti said he picked up the most from the Applied Research Project (ARP). In this final part of the diploma programme, you learn to structure your thinking around a certain issue and its possible solutions. “The mapping method behind the ARP is very widely applicable, and I use it on a weekly base to structure thoughts for myself and for colleagues.”

His project dealt with improving delivery times. “I wanted to identify and resolve some of the issues that may lead to a compromise in delivery time as a result of non-optimal internal structuring of processes and systems. And as a result of this, changes have indeed been made in our organisation with respect to how certain processes are organised.”

Finding business solutions

Matti said that this strategic project has led to implementing solutions to improve the revenue and gross margin in some of the markets his team operates in. “I learned to break down cross-departmental issues within our organisation in small steps, and I learned to describe an issue in a complete, systematic and insightful manner. The same holds for its possible solutions,” he said, adding that he improved his presentation skills too, convincing relevant stakeholders of the necessity of change.

While the company will use ‘the best’ solution found in the project, there were other acceptable solutions that are likely to shorten lead times. “The company will work on a couple of those solutions in the future too to keep on improving our company.”

Tools to supplement technical knowledge

Besides the ARP, Matti expressed that all other modules were meaningful as well. “Finance helped me understand simple financial terms like profit and loss balances, and income statements. It’s much easier for me to interact with the general manager and finance director now.”

Anyone with a high-level management function in an organisation that did not have prior training or knowledge in business management will benefit from this diploma programme, said Matti. “If I take myself as an example: I hold a PhD in chemistry and understand the technical part of our work and product. But I never received training in day-to-day business management aspects. This programme gives you basic and very helpful tools to improve in these aspects. It does so in a fast manner and allows you to broaden as a professional.”


Matti van Schooneveld completed the Diploma Programme in General Management in 2020. For more information about the programme, see www.rsm.nl/dpgm.