Nationality: South African
Last job title: Risk and Compliance Officer at DSM in South Africa
Previous degree: Bachelor of commerce internal audit at the University of Pretoria
Why did you choose RSM for your MBA?
“RSM appealed to me because of its international environment, as well as the programme’s one-year duration and curriculum structure. Also, when you email RSM, you are communicating with an actual person. I felt a great vibe and very welcome at the school. It’s not just classes, it’s the bigger picture. With the Personal Development programme and RSM’s holistic approach to business education, there’s a lot of opportunity for personal growth.”
What has been the most challenging assignment or activity?
“Acclimatising to the intensity of the MBA was tough. Everyone tells you it’s going to be hard, but you don’t realise how much it is until you start. You go through a full day of classes, then study on your own, be social, work on assignments … all in one day. It’s a high pace and an intense experience.”
How has the Personal Leadership Development programme (PLD) affected you?
“It’s a fantastic opportunity and a great add-on of the MBA. You have to engage and be part of the activities to get the most out of it. It’s great to gain tools you can apply in the business world and your next job. Also, the I WILL campaign is unique about RSM. It reminds you why you’re here and what you want to achieve. I reflect on my I WILL statement a lot – it’s ‘I WILL live each day with courage and a belief in myself and others’. I hang on to it, and feel there’s a lot of power in it.”
Do you notice different cultural approaches to working within global teams?
“I am learning a lot about cultural awareness and the importance of understanding where your team mates are coming from. We then find a common understanding and reach our goal. The learning at the MBA is from your classmates.”
Can you define the 'RSM MBA experience'?
“I just really, really love the school. There are a lot of opportunities at RSM and so much happens, such as the MBA Tournament in Paris and competitions. I like that RSM is on a campus with other faculties. There is a holistic, positive approach. It’s rare that you get the opportunity to step out of your comfort zone, out of the path that you’re on, to experience something completely new and completely unique. We have a lot of fun, my class feels like a family. We do a lot together, school-related and also activities such as celebrating the Dutch King’s Day.”
What transformation in your professional life are you hoping to achieve from completing the full-time MBA?
“I’m specialised in risk management. I want to go into change and process management. It’s a great benefit to have a broader view of different business areas, from HR to finance, and marketing to supply chains. I want to take this overview in my next role as a better-rounded professional.”
What advice would you give to others to make the most of their MBA experience?
“Take advantage of every opportunity, even if it’s scary and outside of your comfort zone. This is a safe environment to try new things, and you might not get these opportunities again, such as TEDx talks and business case competitions.”
How do you feel about living in Rotterdam?
“I love it. Rotterdam is a small, safe city which makes me feel happy and comfortable. It doesn’t take a lot of time getting anywhere, on tram or bicycle. The Netherlands is a great place to explore, and it’s also easy to get to other countries in Europe. I aim to visit at least 10 of them. Oh, and the people in Rotterdam are very welcoming, no one laughs at you when you try to speak Dutch.”
After the full-time MBA, what does the future hold?
“I would love to stay in the Netherlands, and work in change management and process improvement. I’m job hunting, which is a competitive task but there are some opportunities. RSM’s career development centre gives you tools to find the job you want.”