From circular service models to new markets, and from big data opportunities to hospital logistics: MBA students from Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) tackled real-life business cases for 12 companies as part of the programme’s curriculum. They worked in teams on campus and at the companies’ offices or factories in the three-week Living Management Project in July 2018.

The 135 participants from RSM’s International Full-time MBA Class of 2019 acted as consultants for companies in various industries: Avionics, Cornelder Holding, Danone, Exact, Feyenoord Stadium, GSK, iClusion, PerfoTec, Philips, PVH, Skeye and UPS.

The 12 companies, from multinationals to start-ups, came up with challenges that varied from topics such as healthcare, marketing, supply chain management, and software development.

Thought-provoking perspectives

“Obtaining fresh ideas and different perspectives was truly thought-provoking and the recommendations will certainly help us to evolve further,” said Heike Reinstaedtler, head clinical and medical quality of GSK Vaccine.

The CFO of Stadion Feyenoord, Carl Berg, challenged students to come up with a plan to maximise the meeting and event centre in the football club’s new stadium in its first five years of operation. Berg was impressed by the students, and said they provided Stadion Feyenoord with ‘all kinds of creative and useful insights’.

Tangible tools

Oliver Groschupf, director products and technology at UPS Europe, agreed. “It was an enjoyable, intense project which led to insightful and rich conclusions and recommendations in an extremely small timeframe,” he said. The UPS project challenged students to research which opportunities in hospital logistics UPS should pursue to grow its healthcare revenue in Europe. 

“As a start-up company, you don’t always have the time to reflect and think through what you’re doing,” says Hanneke Janssen, CEO of iClusion and RSM alumna, who asked the MBA student for advice on the best earning model. “Being consulted by 11 brilliant RSM MBA minds was very inspiring, and brought us further insight and tangible tools to bring us closer to our goals.”

From theory to practice

Students were supervised and trained by 12 faculty members and 6 coaches during the three-week project.

“The Living Management Project gave us the opportunity to apply what we learned in the classroom to a real-world problem,” said MBA student Emily Eckhous, who worked on a supply chain-focused problem for Danone. “The company was genuinely interested in hearing our ideas and possibly implementing our solutions to their segment of the business. When you work for someone who needs your help, it really boosts your motivation to deliver results.”

In addition to the consulting project, students participated in multiple ‘team fun’ activities such as paintball, go karting, and karaoke.

More information

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) is one of Europe’s top 10 business schools. RSM provides ground-breaking research and education furthering excellence in all aspects of management and is based in the international port city of Rotterdam – a vital nexus of business, logistics and trade. RSM’s primary focus is on developing business leaders with international careers who can become a force for positive change by carrying their innovative mindset into a sustainable future. Our first-class range of bachelor, master, MBA, PhD and executive programmes encourage them to become critical, creative, caring and collaborative thinkers and doers. Study information and activities for future students, executives and alumni are also organised from the RSM office in Chengdu, China.

For more information about RSM or this release, please contact Marianne Schouten, communications manager for RSM, on +31 10 408 2877 or by email at

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