Name: Loraine Bout
Programme: EMBA Class of 2020
Job title and company: Regional Intelligence Manager EMEA & APAC at Sensitech
Previous degree and university: Master of law at Erasmus University Rotterdam
Loraine grew up in Zeeland, and moved to Rotterdam 23 years ago to study for her law degree. She travels a lot for work, and enjoys going on city trips, reading, art and hiking. She has a partner in Vlaardingen, and likes going to the gym but has less time for that since she started her Executive MBA.
1. Why did you decide to do an MBA?
“I spent my entire career working for the Dutch government, and started working in a company two years ago without having a corporate background. Things are going well but I wanted the academic side of the corporate world and of the day-to-day things you encounter as a business leader. Instead of doing things from a gut feeling, I wanted to make sure I’m making the right decisions based on theory as well.”
2. Why did you decide to join RSM’s Executive MBA?
“I know the university from my other studies, and I like Rotterdam. RSM is also a highly ranked school. But the biggest factor for choosing RSM is because it’s very internationally focused.”
3. How are you managing to balance studying with work?
“I only started the EMBA a few months ago, so I’m still trying to find a good balance. You tend to focus on the things that have a deadline – both at work and study. But your home life doesn’t have a deadline. You have to remember to focus on that too. I try to wake up earlier than before to get some studying done before work. It helps that my manager is supportive. In addition to financial sponsoring through the UTC Employee Scholar Program, I’m getting three hours a week ‘off’ to study. And my commute is long so I’m working from home more.”
4. How is the EMBA experience affecting your tasks at work?
“I have a lot of ‘Aha!’ moments and am more aware of different approaches how to handle things in my job and my company. Some things make more sense from a financial perspective now. Also how I can plan more strategically for the longer term, and based on what. The theory really comes into practice through RSM’s EMBA.”
5. How has the Personal Leadership Development Programme (PLD) affected you?
“I recognise what I’m doing. Even though I do most from a gut feeling, it’s reassuring that my gut is backed up by theory. That’s nice to see!”
6. What has been the best part of the EMBA so far?
“The international aspect. I’m meeting so many different people from different cultures and backgrounds here. It’s so enriching. Especially the input that people have during courses. You have a certain way of looking at a problem, but others might have a different approach to the same issue. The professors who give the courses are also very inspiring. Even courses that I considered ‘dry’ are extremely inspiring and encouraging the way RSM professors bring the knowledge across.”
7. After the Executive MBA, what does the future hold?
“While the Netherlands will always be my home, I’m also open to step out of my comfort zone and have the experience of living abroad. I would love to grow further into a more global type of leadership role, where I can lead people of different backgrounds and cultures into the same direction. I want to inspire others to step out of their comfort zone. To become comfortable with being uncomfortable. That’s the place where you’ll learn the most.”