Students from the MSc International Management/CEMS at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) explored possible career paths and how to get there from direct access to company recruiters and alumni who once stood in their shoes. They learned about the labour market, and got inside information about industries and jobs at the career event on campus on 25 March 2019.

Around 45 students attended the career event, which is part of the CEMS personal and professional development track in their academic curriculum. The students learned first-hand experiences and perspectives about selection processes in companies from recruiters and alumni; what skills companies look for; and stories from RSM CEMS alumni about career choices. A recruiter panel kicked off the event.

What recruiters like

“Your resume is not the most important thing. It’s about knowing the company and getting to know the recruiters. This will help you in your application process,” said Kor Nooitgedagt, who represented Procter & Gamble. He added: “One-on-ones with your manager are extremely important. Especially in your 20s up to 30s you want to learn. You can get a lot of feedback in the company.”

Isabel Vermeulen, recruitment manager at Simon-Kucher & Partners said every day is different when working at a management consulting firm. “You don’t only do analytical research as expected from a typical junior consultant. From day one, you visit the client and have a lot of responsibility,” she said.

Hannah Deakin is a campus recruiter at Gartner. “We actually don’t use algorithms for screening resumes. We really screen them ourselves.” She said a natural interest and passion for the job and industry is extremely important. Also, companies are very fast-moving. “Our analysts are conducting their research, but when they have finished the industry will already have changed. This creates the biggest challenge of today.”

“The culture within EY is very informal. From the outside you will never get this view. But if you want to look inside a company, just go to recruitment events,” said Tessa Langejan, campus recruiter at EY. She said that consultants have the opportunity to work in both financial and non-financial industries.

Learning from alumni

Five RSM alumni joined an alumni career panel to give the students insights into working life after their studies.

“Management consultants do not have the luxury of only giving advice, said Daan Kakebeeke, case team leader advanced analytics at Bain & Company. “You’re also making sure that the implementation actually succeeds.”

Alumna Anniek de Jong, a business advisor at Shell, said a first job doesn’t define someone’s career, and that it is normal to switch to another position.

Jasmijn Hattinga Verschure, consultant at BCG said “The diversity in projects are my main driver because it gives such variety in work.”

And finally, alumna Donna Soedarso encouraged the students to “just try something out. Search until you find the job that fits you.” The marketing manager at Coty Inc. added: “Every day is different, but I spend a lot of time on coaching the team, defining the strategy and combining the needs of the retailers with our offerings.”

First-hand insights

Students said it was useful to hear this from alumni and recruiters. “I was positively surprised that the panel participants also asked us specific questions and really wanted to know how to help us the best,” said student Maija Kirveennummi. Classmate Flora Wuzella agrees: “I really liked that the entire session was very interactive, and that the recruiters gave us really deep and interesting first-hand insights.”

The career event, which was organised by RSM’s Career Centre, concluded with networking drinks at campus café In de Smitse.

More information

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) is one of Europe’s top-ranked 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.

For more information about RSM or this release, please contact Erika Harriford-McLaren, communications manager for RSM, on +31 10 408 2877 or by email at


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