Name: Brent van Rossem
Programme: OneMBA Class of 2017
Job title: Founder and Managing Director
Company: Omnibrand Consultancy BV
1. Why did you decide to join the OneMBA?
“I wanted to understand how I could reflect on my professional experiences over the past 17 years from an academic perspectives – the good, the bad and the ugly. In my career I’ve been exposed to international companies performing in a global market. The OneMBA programme provides the right balance between global diversity, culture, business and academic insights.”
2. How is the OneMBA experience affecting your work?
“Currently, I have the privilege to be part of a global post-merger integration for one of my clients in which I feel supported by the insights generated in the OneMBA classes. For example, the course ‘leading and managing global organisations’ has given me a better understanding of how I can account for cultural differences in leadership decisions.”
3. What is the return on investment you expect from the OneMBA?
“If the OneMBA brings me to a next level of impact in relation to my work for global companies, it has definitely returned my investment. It will not just bring that, but also a personal leadership development to better understand how I can build meaningful business relationships across the globe which is invaluable to me.”
4. How has the Personal Leadership Development Programme (PLD) affected you?
“I have a background in HR so I thought personal leadership development would be a walk in the park. I’ve now learned that it has brought self-reflection and human interaction to a next level. I see my impact on others in a whole new light. I used to try to influence others by passionately sharing my opinion. Now I think that better understanding other people’s mental models will enrich my message which in turn increases my impact.”
5. Do you notice different cultural approaches to working within global teams?
“Clearly. In our global team we provide each other with feedback through peer reviews and one on ones. I’ve noticed that the Dutch have tendency to be openly critical towards each other. This is contrary to high-power distance cultures, like China and Mexico, as they prefer during one-on-one informal interactions to avoid that other people lose face in front of the professors. I’ve also noticed that during global team calls, it takes more time to find solutions to specific problems because our understanding of the world is so different. In our European group, we look at the world in similar ways and solutions are found more easily. However, the benefits of finding solutions in a global perspective is that they’re usually more creative and inclusive.”
6. With your busy schedule, how do you manage the cross-continental projects?
“I need to be flexible, especially with time differences between my global peers, and in my private life. Usually my global calls are on Sunday afternoons, and calls within Europe in the evenings. We also interact through smartphone apps and other means of digital communication.”
7. How are you experiencing the Global Residencies?
“The global residencies are perfect moments to become a team with your global peers. Last time it even felt like coming home. We’d been talking though Skype for six months, and by going through the motions of the OneMBA programme together, it felt like we knew each other for years. The power of these global residencies is that you get the opportunity to listen and talk to inspirational speakers from the respective continents who provide insights in how to do business in their environment.”
8. What has been the best part of OneMBA for you so far?
“We’re currently working on corporate finance in a global context and it’s much more than financial statements alone – it provides a comprehensive picture of financial value creation in global companies. I have already been able to bring the insights to direct use in my work.”
9. After the OneMBA, what does the future hold?
“The MBA has really broadened my horizon. I now feel more confident in taking on bigger and more complex challenges. I’d like to lead companies to expand internationally.”