During the Living Management Project 2015, MBA students from Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) tackled real-life business challenges for multinationals, including LG, Heineken, Cargill and Philips. From 29 June until 17 July 2015, the MBA student teams discovered how management, team and personal effectiveness contribute to business solutions.

The real-life business challenge is a highlight of RSM’s International Full-time MBA programme. Each of the 10 participating companies brought a business challenge to the table, and worked with two teams of six MBA students to address this issue. This year’s participating companies were Arcadis, Audionova, Cargill, Heineken, LG, MBA-Exchange, Monsanto, Nationale Nederlanden, Philips, and Photanol.

Exploring new industries

“The Living Management Project was one of the outstanding moments of my MBA experience,” said Georgian MBA student Madona Mikadze. “It developed me not only in an academic direction, but also affected me as a team player.” Mikadze’s team took on a business challenge for Cargill. She said the palm oil industry was new for everyone on the team, which was a challenge at the beginning. “But as we delved more into research about the industry and the company, it became very exciting. At each stage there was a new discovery, a new insight. I wouldn’t have had such a chance to broaden my knowledge towards totally new and unrelated fields in my professional experience,” she said.

Leadership development

Each team collaborated with its client organisation for a short and intensive period to develop recommendations to tackle the business challenge. With help of coaches, students experienced significant leadership development through various structured reflections on their team and personal effectiveness.

Nigerian MBA student Olukemi Gbadebo’s team made recommendations for Heineken, which involved doing research into operations management and management science. In the RSM MBA blog, she said the team dynamics made all the difference. “We relied on every team member’s skill and prior expertise … we were all committed to making the team succeed.”

Different perspectives

Mikadze agrees. “It was a real gift” that everyone in the team had a different perspective on the complex project, and that the team prepared well before meetings with the client, she said. “The client was very co-operative and interested in our work, which gave us more incentive to work even harder,” said Mikadze. “Even for the most experienced professionals, an outside view regarding their main operations is fresh and interesting. I felt accomplished at the end of the project.”

“The project has given me a renewed confidence in my abilities and has reinforced my belief that a good team can make all the difference,” said Gbadebo. “It has forever changed the way I look at the world and my role in it.”

Upon conclusion of the three-week Living Management Project 2015, which was led by RSM faculty member Nicolas Constantinesco, teams presented their findings and recommendations with a panel of the organisations’ representatives and RSM faculty members.


Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) is a top-tier European business school and ranked among the top three for research. 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 carry their innovative mindset into a sustainable future thanks to a first-class range of bachelor, master, MBA, PhD and executive programmes. RSM also has offices in the Amsterdam Zuidas business district and in Taipei, Taiwan. www.rsm.nl


For more information on RSM or on this release, please contact Marianne Schouten, Media & Public Relations Manager for RSM, on +31 10 408 2877 or by email at mschouten@rsm.nl.

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