Javier Herrera

Javier Herrera

Full-time MBA class of 2015

Nationality: Spanish

Age: 35

Job title: Commissioning manager at Abengoa in Abu Dhabi

Previous degree: MSc in Engineering at University of Seville

Why did you choose RSM for your MBA?

“During the five years I’ve been working on international projects in Tunisia, Algeria and Abu Dhabi I worked with people from different backgrounds in a range of societies, cultures and traditions. I considered myself very flexible but also learned the difficulties of working with such different people. RSM’s focus on diversity brings people together from all over the world and teaches you how to deal with such diversity.”

What has been the most challenging assignment or activity?

“The Living Management Consultancy Project was tough because we had to work with people from five different continents at the same level. In other situations there were hierarchy levels. There was no pyramid now. We all used different approaches, and had to make decisions and a structure together.”

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

“It’s a continuous learning process in which you have to reflect on a regular basis. People should keep the learnings of the lessons in mind in everyday life. It’s a great way of thinking and gives you a better perspective.”

Do you notice different cultural approaches to working within global teams?

“Everyone’s society is different. For example, people who are from structured countries like Germany care more about punctuality. We all learn from each other. The skills I’m learning at RSM are good for working in an international landscape. In the past I’ve learnt what I should not do, and now I’m learning what I should do.”

Can you define the 'RSM MBA experience'?

“I’m enjoying it so much. When I did my master degree more than 10 years ago, I never sat in the first row. Now I’m in the front so I don’t miss what the professor is saying. It’s also great because of the diversity of the people I’m meeting. I don’t need to leave Rotterdam to discover the world.”               

What transformation in your professional life are you hoping to achieve from completing the full-time MBA?

“I wanted to continue what I was doing but on a higher management level. But now I’m discovering that I have a passion for finance. Now I don’t know if I want to switch to a finance career or if I will continue engineering.”

What advice would you give to others to make the most of their MBA experience? Is there something you wished you knew before coming to RSM?

“When visiting other business schools, I noticed that their teaching methods are less in contact with the world. They also seem to have more competition, but at RSM you feel more like part of a family. Here, you get the tools to understand the world, and people are more mature, have more experience, and there is not much competition among each other.”

How do you feel about living in Rotterdam/the Netherlands?

“For the first time in my life, people around me are really tall like me. Seriously though, I was surprised at the Dutch people. They are really nice and open to foreigners. It’s easy to make friends too. Rotterdam is big enough to be entertained, but small enough to find your way around and feel at home. It’s a well-connected city and easy to travel around Europe.”

After the full-time MBA, what does the future hold?

“I initially planned to go back to the Middle East. But now I’d consider staying in the Netherlands. Minus the weather, the quality of living here is very high. Ideally, I’d like to combine engineering and finance. This MBA is opening a whole new world.”