Name: Olav Andriesse
Programme: OneMBA Class of 2016
Job title: Managing partner and attorney at law Company: LEXSIGMA Law Firm
Previous degree: Master of Law at Erasmus University Rotterdam
1. Why did you decide to join the OneMBA?
“I was looking for inspiration from people in other disciplines and businesses. I also really craved business knowledge to add to my law experience to rebrand myself. People tend to label me as ‘the lawyer’. I want to show the world I have other knowledge and experience. The OneMBA provides me with an alternative label: the businessman. Also, it gives me two years to figure out if I want to leave the law, or move up towards the business side of law.”
2. How is the OneMBA experience affecting your work?
“Lawyers usually approach a file merely from a legal perspective. I notice that I’m taking a more strategic and business view towards my clients to better understand how they think. I can now provide a higher quality of services and more than just legal advice. It’s more practical, and bridges theory and practice.”
3. What is the return on investment you expect from the OneMBA?
“In addition to having more knowledge and feeling inspired, RSM’s major advantage is a huge and very active network. My current class, and also the classes before us, have already proven their value in the 10 months I’ve been in the programme. It’s easy to contact people from previous OneMBA classes, and I know it’s received in a positive way.”
4. How has the Personal Leadership Development programme (PLD) affected you?
“It’s one of the strengths of RSM’s MBA programmes. Personal leadership development differentiates it from the other OneMBA schools. Personally, I already had a lot of experience with coaching and personal leadership programmes when I started the OneMBA. I’m used to dealing with the very personal items involved in the PLD programme and the importance of, for example, self-awareness for your personal development. I can also see that it really affects my classmates and it is great to be part of the group experience. It definitely adds value to the programme in Rotterdam.”
5. Do you notice different cultural approaches to working within global teams?
“Absolutely! When you start the programme, one of the courses covers leading and managing global teams. It’s all about cultural and personal differences and how to view someone within their own perspectives and background. All OneMBA schools go through the same course. Even though we all think we are used to dealing with multicultural teams, we are all surprised about our differences. The OneMBA almost forces you to make mistakes and solve them at the same time with your global team. It’s really learning by doing.”
6. With your busy schedule, how do you manage the cross-continental projects?
“First three months were a huge challenge. Then you find out that you really have to prioritise between work and study hours, and figure out how much you can do. After three months, you’re accustomed to learning again, juggling with your time, and making the arrangements with your family that should have been made earlier. I now feel more in control. They’re busy two years, but it’s manageable.”
7. How are you experiencing the Global Residencies?
“They’re the best! It’s really energetic. People fly from all over the world to meet their peers. You work closely in global teams and during the global residencies we meet the people we’ve worked with a lot and share experiences; it’s just great to see them in person. Global Residencies are very demanding, from an academic and social perspective. In Amsterdam and Istanbul, we looked at Europe from the eyes of a stranger – it challenges your assumptions. It’s a great combination of learning and having fun.”
8. What has been the best part of OneMBA for you so far?
“The group dynamics of my class in Rotterdam. All 31 of us have grown to appreciate each other even though we all have different backgrounds, nationalities, and personalities. I look forward to every class. This is unique about the OneMBA programme: you learn from each other. During our economics class, we learn so much from the experiences of the banking professional in our team. Although the local residencies are hard work, I always look forward to seeing everyone and get so much energy.”
9. After the OneMBA, what does the future hold?
“I’m not sure yet. I see the OneMBA as a transition. This could be within the law, but it can also be a whole new field. I want to use this time to get insights from professors, and my classmates and their industries. I know I’ll have a new view on my professional life after the programme. The OneMBA will change my current life, that goes without saying.”