Last job title: Sales representative at Franklin Templeton Investments in Zurich, Switzerland
Previous degree: BSc in Business Administration at Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts
Why did you choose RSM for your MBA?
“I wanted to do my MBA at one of the best business schools in Europe, and RSM is in the top 10. This ranking is important to me. I feel that I have a skill base but wanted to improve my interpersonal skills and soft skills. RSM offers the Personal Leadership Development programme. Also, I’m half Dutch but haven’t lived here before so I wanted to experience that. I like that people in the Netherlands are very open and the economy is good.”
What has been the most challenging assignment or activity?
“Group work and time management. The most challenging assignments are the ones where you have to build the knowledge first. For example, when learning about HR and operations management, others already have that knowledge, but it’s great to learn from them. There are so many different people, so we have to find timelines that fits everyone’s schedule, and then your own timeline next to it so we have produce high-quality group work.”
How has the Personal Leadership Development programme (PLD) affected you?
“It’s an intense programme, and it’s good to take time off to think about what you’ve done so far and where you want to go. We learn to critically reflect on that. We improve our soft skills. You learn what your strengths and weaknesses are, so you can improve these.”
Do you notice different cultural approaches to working within global teams?
“With more than 100 students covering around 35 nationalities, everyone’s different approach is very apparent in group work. Some like to get things done as fast as possible. Others want good quality. People also prepare in different ways. There are always surprises – things you don’t understand in the beginning but when you talk about it, you realise what’s important for every person in the group.”
Can you define the 'RSM MBA experience'?
“One of the greatest things of the experience is that there’s always something to do; you go to Paris for the MBA Tournament, and there’s the group work, sports, meetings with companies … there’s always something going on.”
What transformation in your professional life are you hoping to achieve from completing the full-time MBA?
“I want to move on from a junior position to a role where I have more decision power and can work more independently, for example as an analyst. The MBA is helping me not just because of the academics, but also the interpersonal skills. With my new leadership skills, I feel more confident about leading people and working in groups, and to convince people of my decisions.”
What advice would you give to others to make the most of their MBA experience?
“For RSM’s goal-setting initiative, the I WILL campaign, my statement is ‘I WILL invest in knowledge and experience’. This is exactly what the MBA is about: creating new experiences by attending as many classes, company visits and events as you can. It’s all about getting to know people and companies. It’s a perfect blend between knowledge and experience.”
How do you feel about living in Rotterdam/the Netherlands?
“Rotterdam is a very modern city with a lot to do. I miss the Swiss mountains, but the Netherlands offers other things we don’t have at home, such as beaches and dunes. People are open, friendly and international, especially here in Rotterdam. Although I speak Dutch, it’s great to see that many people speak English. So when we go out, my classmates can communicate with everyone too.”
After the full-time MBA, what does the future hold?
“The MBA is a door-opener. Everyone comes out of the programme stronger and more focused about what is important to them, and what they want to achieve in the future. It’s great for people who want to make a transition. The MBA offers a lot of opportunities to go abroad and change your field. The world has no limits.”