Rene Idzenga

Rene Idzenga

Name: Rene Idzenga
Programme: EMBA Class of 2020
Nationality: Dutch
Age: 46
Job title and company: Senior bank supervisor at De Nederlandsche Bank (Dutch Central Bank)
Previous degree: master of law from Leiden University.

René is a family man; he likes to spend time with his wife and two teenagers. He also likes to hang out with friends and ride his motorbike. René has a diverse professional background having been a lawyer and banker before his current job. He volunteers as a non-executive director for social housing.

1. Why did you decide to do an MBA?

“I’m always eager to learn new things and meet new people. Having had a legal education, an MBA provides an opportunity to learn more about financial and organisational matters. Also, the EMBA at RSM is very international and diverse, so there are lots of opportunities to meet interesting new people from other countries and different backgrounds. I have not been disappointed in that. For example, before I started I didn’t know any engineers and now my life is full of these people!”

2. How are you managing to balance studying with work?

“Work is not the biggest challenge, I manage it with colleagues. My biggest concern is family time, this is very important to me. Time management is tough, the EMBA is more time-consuming than I anticipated. Mainly because of group assignments. At the same time, group assignments have been my greatest learning experience because we’re working with people from so many different backgrounds. I’m learning a lot. We just have to be more effective and efficient. Building on the experiences of the first term, I’m optimistic that it will work.”

3. How is the EMBA experience affecting your tasks at work?

“DNB is a knowledge institution, and they’re willing to invest in me as part of my development. And at the same time, I can apply a lot from the MBA directly in my work, either at DNB or at the banks that I supervise. Also, DNB used to be a national affair, but with the European framework for bank supervision, it’s becoming more of a multinational type of organisation. EMBA also helps to act effectively within such an international environment.

4.”How has the Personal Leadership Development Programme (PLD) affected you?

“In part, PLD gives confirmation of what you already know, which is good. For another part, PLD helps to explore new things about yourself or to straighten things out that are not so clear, for example in the personal coaching sessions. This is even better! I also learn a lot from my fellow students. I’m 46 years old, but in the EMBA setting I learn new things about myself and learn how to be more effective in diverse environments. I’m learning about social and group dynamics every day.”

5. What has been the best part of the EMBA so far?

“If I have to mention one thing, it would be the study trip to Cape Town. This brought everything together; an inspiring new environment, new content and intense co-operation with classmates. The experience in South Africa really expanded my mind frame, as we focused on the townships and the bottom of the pyramid. And of course there was the fun part of socialising and making trips in this beautiful country.”

6. How do you hope the RSM MBA helps you to be a force for positive change?

“I’ve always had a strong commitment to society. I currently volunteer as a non-executive director for social housing, and have acted as volunteer in a role as judge and individual coach for underprivileged young people. And also my work at DNB has a strong engagement component in keeping the financial system sound and safe for society and safeguarding people’s personal savings. By making me grow, EMBA reinforces what I do, not only professionally but also personally.”

7. After the Executive MBA, what does the future hold?

“I’m very happy in my current job, so I have no pressing need to make a next step. But I’ll use the EMBA programme to work on myself, and think about my longer term ambitions. In any event, EMBA makes me better and makes me feel more confident to be ready for whatever comes my way.”