Name : Adriaan Nicolai
Current job title : consultant at Deloitte
Year of graduation : 2013
Nationality : Dutch
Why did you choose this MSc?
“Firms operate in highly complex environments in which they need to engage with a variety of stakeholders. This presents complex challenges, for example related to environmental and social sustainability. I chose this master because it investigates such challenges, and adds the perspectives of the public sector and civil society. It's a perfect elaboration on my BSc in Business Administration, which was mainly focused on the internal aspects of organisations. The result is a comprehensive understanding of the differences and similarities of these stakeholders and clarifying how synergies can be accomplished. The interactive lectures and group assignments, combined with discussions on the topics as presented in the lectures, stimulates you to think critically about the concepts and ensures that you apply it on real-life cases. The relatively small group size fosters a personal and inclusive working environment. The professors know the students by name, which contributes to the group discussions. And last but not least, this master programme is characterised by a diverse group of students, contributing to an inspiring learning environment.”
How would you describe the programme and RSM?
“This master programme is highly interactive, fostered by all the group assignments and the presentations you give to the group. It also provides you the freedom to focus on aspects that are related to the course literature you find most interesting. The result is a group of students who are working on topics they are passionate about. RSM is definitely a proper example of what a business school is all about: making the connection to businesses. RSM enables you to, next to the core courses, choose electives from of other masters’ programmes and add it to your curriculum. Finally, RSM offers a variety of initiatives, platforms, associations and communities that you can get involved in. This allows you to further develop and challenge yourself.”
What was the biggest challenge in this master?
“One of the challenges was time management. Specifically for your thesis, you want to dive into the topic, master the content and conduct inspiring interviews with people who are experts in your chosen field. At the same time, you have to pass the courses and finish your thesis within a couple of months. This forces you to use your time wisely. Secondly, a group of students characterised by their diverse backgrounds, combined with the varying options for choosing your electives and on top of that a programme name which has changed quite frequently, results in a challenge to communicate a clear and coherent identity of this master programme itself and its students to the potential new students and employers.”
What made the greatest impression?
“The elective ‘climate change strategic role-play’ definitely made the greatest impression. The first part was about preparing the role-play negotiations: together with 14 other RSM students, in-depth information regarding numerous climate change related topics is shared and discussed. The second part – the role-play negotiations – took place in Barcelona. For two days, students from all around Europe gathered to practise the climate change negotiations. The course exemplifies the complexities of multi-stakeholder negotiations. Next to that, this course makes an impression by showcasing the effect of a pressure cooker: being limited in the time granted, you have to become innovative to reach your goals.”
How did your studies at RSM shape your career?
“An academic study is more focused on learning soft skills than hard skills. I believe that by graduating, you’ve proven to be able to work independently, be critical about the information presented to you, take ownership of your personal development, combine information from various sources, create structure and write in a coherent manner.”