Name: Mirjam Roos
Job title and company: International Sales and Marketing Director at Infotheek
Previous degree and university: Master of law at Leiden University
Mirjam Roos lives in Leiden with her partner. She loves reading, fitness, golf, listening to music and hanging out with friends. Mirjam travels a lot for work, so she values spending time at home. She also likes travelling to her family in the USA, and exploring the Nordics.
1. Why did you decide to join RSM’s Executive MBA?
“I wanted to grow my business acumen. I studied law, and working in sales, marketing and HR for most of my career. So I wanted to explore business too. I completed a customised programme from RSM at my company. Also, my brother studied at Erasmus University Rotterdam and he loved the spirit. In addition, Rotterdam is easy to reach from Leiden. And the ranking was good.”
2. How did people around you react when you decided to go for it?
“People thought I was crazy. They tried to protect me, because I also have a busy, international job. But now people think it’s amazing. I love studying, and it’s something I really wanted, so everyone supported me. I did warn people that I wouldn’t have as much time for social activities anymore.”
3. How are you managing to balance studying with work?
“I haven’t had too many issues in the work-life balance. It’s all about making a good schedule: which evenings are devoted to study and which evenings for other things to clear my head. I work on study assignments on the evenings and weekends, and when I’m on planes and at airports. I’m lucky; my partner cooks for me every night.”
4. How is the EMBA experience affecting your work?
“Extremely positive from the beginning! I was very excited about accounting and statistics, these are new territories for me. You can immediately make a correlation with work; I now ask better questions, and it’s more fun to work with this. It’s also very practical. During acquisitions, I understand figures better with the given information.”
5. What is the return on investment you expect from the Executive MBA?
“I expect that it will help my career. I can’t put this in numbers. It will help my company because I will gain a more helicopter view of what we do and my role in this.”
6. What can you say about your classmates?
“I never expected to build such a professional and social network. You work hard, and you play hard. It’s not all about work and study, there’s enough time for jokes with classmates and professors. People are so diverse, from professional and cultural backgrounds. I’ve made quite a few great friends.”
7. Which class have you enjoyed most so far – and why?
“I love managerial accounting, I would have never expected this. The lecturer was funny and witty, and expected a high level of awareness at the same time. He combined real cases and theory. And economics – interest and exchange rates, and stock markets – makes you better understand the crisis, it’s a life-long lesson.
8. What did you learn from the international study trip?
“We were in Johannesburg. I learned the power of smiling – I was amazed how much people smile even though they don’t have much. I realised the apartheid isn’t discussed enough in the western world. Its impact in South Africa is enormous. I also learned about innovation in developing countries from local entrepreneurs. It was a real eye-opener.”
9. What advice would you give to others to make the most of their Executive MBA experience?
“You can only survive the EMBA if you also have your private life, social life and sports. I try to stay in the here and now, and pay attention to every course. It will be over before you know it, so make the most of it.”
10. After the Executive MBA, what does the future hold?
“I hope to achieve career goals within my company. I also daydream of coaching young female leaders one day. Hopefully I can start my own business doing this in about 10 years or so.”