A talent academy bringing together young professionals from the Dutch business community in Brazil set up two years ago by Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) and the Dutch Brazilian Chamber of Commerce has won the coveted Best Business School Partnership Award at the Association of MBAs (AMBA) and Business Graduates Association (BGA) Excellence Awards 2022-2023. The Award was accepted on behalf of RSM by Sue Martin, RSM Director of Corporate and Alumni Relations, and was one of two awards for which RSM was shortlisted.

Two years ago, RSM and the Dutch Brazilian Chamber of Commerce (Dutcham) ran the first Orange Academy. To date, 24 talented people have been selected from top Dutch companies operating in Brazil to share expertise, crack a business case, and grow their personal and business skillsets. The collaboration was a strategic choice to help the Dutch business community in Brazil to develop real leadership among local talents, create an open mind and, ultimately, grow young Brazilian professionals into future business leaders with a sustainability-focused mindset.

Benefits for everyone

The 8-week programme run by the Orange Academy has strengthened the relationship between Dutch companies based in Brazil and provided a bridge for young professionals to gain actionable insights to implement the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in their workplaces, reinforcing RSM’s mission to be a force for positive change in the world. 

The Orange Academy has produced benefits for everyone involved. Companies taking part have seen increased employee engagement and retention, and Dutcham has increased its membership because Brazilian companies are eager to expose their high-growth talents to the eight-week programme, which has attracted additional sponsorships. Participants in the Orange Academy have indicated their interest in studying further with one of RSM’s MBA and executive education programmes, and RSM has also generated corporate connections with Dutch companies in Brazil and with their counterparts in the Netherlands, opening the door for future research projects and collaborations.

Award for being proactive and innovative

AMBA’s Best Business School Partnership award recognises organisations that have adopted a proactive, innovative approach to strategic collaboration. The finalists were shortlisted by AMBA & BGA’s senior management team, which was then reviewed by a panel of judges comprising AMBA board members, business experts, deans and management leaders.

Shortlisted: MBA Entrepreneur

An RSM alumnus also appeared on the shortlist at the Awards ceremony, for the MBA Entrepreneur of the Year 2022-2023 Award, which celebrates the achievements of successful alumni in innovative world-class business strategy and showcases business schools that nurture a spirit of enterprise and ambition and promote it within their cohorts of MBA alumni. To win the award, nominees have to impress high-profile judges who are already at the forefront of global entrepreneurship.

Michael John Magdongon (RSM MBA 2017) was shortlisted for the award for building Strabo, a fintech platform that helps internationals track and manage their finances in different countries. Users can manage all their finances in one place. Michael identified a gap in the market and delivered an innovative solution.

More relevant than ever
Dean of RSM, Prof. Ansgar Richter said: “Our mission statement is more relevant than ever: it reflects what we believe should be the guiding principles of future business leaders and managers and the Orange Academy aligns perfectly with these ideas. So thank you to Dutcham for creating and hosting this amazing project.“

Andrew Main Wilson, Chief Executive of the Association of MBAs and Business Graduates Association said: “On behalf of the AMBA and Business Graduates Association team, I would like to congratulate the finalists and winners of this year’s Excellence Awards.

“This year, the competition was stronger than ever. The entries who have made the final shortlist in each category should feel proud of their achievements. 

“Additionally, the students and graduates who have been shortlisted as finalists today have all used their qualifications to achieve a spectrum of impressive results, in terms of the positive impact they have made to business, education and society as a whole.

“It was thrilling to be able to celebrate the AMBA networks achievements in person at our Gala Dinner – our first in-person awards ceremony since 2020.

“I also want to take the opportunity to thank our sponsors, Barco and Kortext. Their support for our awards – and the business education sector – is greatly appreciated.”

Highly commended

Two business schools were highly commended for the Partnerships award that was won by RSM: Dongwu Business School, Soochow University in China for its partnership with Soochow Securities; and POLIMI Graduate School of Management in Italy for its partnership with The Mind At Work. Other finalists for the award were: AESE Business School in Portugal/PwC Portugal; UPF Barcelona School of Management, Pompeu Fabra University in Spain/Caixa Bank; and Telfer School of Management, University of Ottawa in Canada/Kinaxis.

The AMBA & BGA Excellence Awards 2022-2023 were hosted on 9 December at the Biltmore Hotel in London and brought together leading lights from the global business education community to celebrate excellence and commend achievement among business schools, MBA students and graduates, suppliers and employers. The ceremony was attended by more than 210 business school leaders, as well as category finalists, judges and members of the media.



Ellen Buchan, Insight, Content & PR Manager, AMBA & BGA:  e.buchan@associationofmbas.com

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. www.rsm.nl

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 harriford@rsm.nl.

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