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Proud graduates and their families and friends celebrated the completion of their MBA studies at the Van Nelle Fabriek in Rotterdam on 24 March 2023. The professionals graduated from the Full-time MBA and Executive MBA programmes at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM).

The ceremony for 121 MBA graduates from the full-time programme took place in the morning. The class represents 38 nationalities. Graduates Niranjana Das and Meha Shah, both from India, took the stage for their graduation speech to the MBA Class of 2023. Niranjana plans to pursue a career in supply chain management in the Netherlands. And Meha will soon begin her new business finance role at SAP Germany.

The ceremony for 109 Executive MBA (EMBA) graduates took place in the afternoon. The class represents 37 nationalities. Graduates Santiago Gómez Quero from Spain and Gretchen Rudolph from South Africa spoke to their classmates to reflect on their studies and life-changing experiences. For Santiago, the highlight of the EMBA was the rare combination of business analytics and people leadership. Gretchen is a senior director focusing on the new energies sector at a Dutch bank. Together with her EMBA classmates, she’s setting up a foundation providing for underprivileged girls in South Africa.

Just the beginning

At both ceremonies, graduates also heard from Prof. Ansgar Richter (RSM’s Dean) and respective Academic Directors, Dr Jochem Kroezen (MBA) and Prof. Erik Roelofsen (EMBA).

“The only constant is change,” said Dean Ansgar Richter to the graduates. He gave examples of global challenges like the pandemic, climate change, war and economic crises which have accelerated decision-making at a pace that is unprecedented for global business. “Tomorrow’s business leaders must be agile and future-ready. I hope you now feel empowered and equipped to use your new analytical, strategic and leadership skills to create positive change in this new world of business.”

Praise and awards

A great number of participants graduated cum laude (Latin for ‘with praise’) and summa cum laude (‘with highest praise’). This means they completed their studies with a grade point average (GPA) of at least 8.6 (cum laude) or with a GPA of 9 or higher (summa cum laude). In the MBA Class of 2023, there are 24 cum laude graduates and 4 summa cum laude graduates. In the EMBA Class of 2022, there are 22 cum laude graduates and 2 summa cum laude graduates.

Both MBA cohorts nominated and voted for classmates and lecturers for student and faculty awards. The MBA Student Award went to graduate Meha Shah, and the EMBA Student Award went to Gretchen Rudolph. They both received a plaque, and eternal bragging rights. The MBA Faculty Award went to Dr Birgul Arslan, and the EMBA Faculty Award went to Ronald Poppe, lecturer for Advanced Finance Management.

All MBA and EMBA graduates are now members of RSM’s alumni network with more than 45,000 alumni from RSM’s bachelor, master and MBA programme. They have access to lifelong learning opportunities, RSM events, opportunities to connect with current RSM students and alumni worldwide, and many more benefits to continue to make an impact.

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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