Participants of the International Full-time MBA and Executive MBA at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) attended the “Future Executive Weekend” on 27-28 November 2015, aiming to reflect on their MBA journeys and make career plans for the future. The event concluded with a spectacular MBA gala at the Hilton Rotterdam on 28 November.

About to embark on a new chapter in their careers, the MBA students reflected on their studies and made actions plans for the future. During the Future Executive Day, which took place on campus on 27 November, the International Full-time MBA Class of 2016 worked in groups. They discussed how their personal goals changed compared to the beginning of the year, in terms of career, family, work- and life balance, and social responsibility by reflecting on their I WILL statement and Personal Leadership Development reflection paper.

Becoming great leaders

“If you want to be a great leader, you should learn to stand back and take stock of where you are coming from, where you are, where you want to go and how you’re going to get there,” said Olukemi Gbadebo, a Nigerian full-time MBA student. “At RSM, I’ve learned how to appreciate diversity, and how to help my team and classmates to realise their strengths,” she said, adding RSM also taught her to appreciate herself more.

Achieving goals

In groups, the full-time MBA students created videos about their achievements and goals. “This was a great collaborative learning moment,” said Prasun Agarwal, a full-time MBA student from India. “I realised how much I have learned here and that if I keep moving with the same effort I will achieve my goals.”

Agarwal said his time at RSM “has been by far the best year of my life,” adding that this MBA experience with students from 33 different nationalities has been “amazing” and that RSM’s curriculum provides “a perfect combination of theoretical and practical knowledge.”

Gaining confidence, courage and knowledge

In addition to the curriculum, Agarwal’s highlights of the RSM MBA include the MBA Tournament, and the week-long sailing armada in Greece. “I gained confidence, courage and knowledge of business intricacies, experienced different cultures, and most importantly met some amazing people and had an opportunity to work with them this year,” he said. “The RSM MBA adventure has been so smooth and memorable that it feels like I just started yesterday and it’s all because of the atmosphere at RSM – it’s like a family.”

The Executive MBA Class of 2015 reflected on their learning experiences with leadership coach and director business development Hetty Brand-Boswijk, and RSM academic director Marc Smelik. The Full-time and Executive MBA classes joined together for an executive session in the Erasmus Paviljoen on campus with RSM Dean Steef van de Velde and Marco van Kalleveen, board member of TNT and of the RSM Advisory Board. The session was followed by networking drinks.

Keeping sight of big picture

Van Kalleveen’s talk was “enlightening”, said Gbadebo. “He said that if you don’t take charge of your own journey, someone else will and will tell you where to go,” she explained. “He’s right. It’s very easy to get caught up in every day ‘life things’ and lose sight of your own big picture. It’s up to you to guard your flame and not let life blow it out.”

The next day, a grand gala at the Hilton Rotterdam concluded the Future Executive Weekend for both classes. The students will receive their degrees during the MBA graduation ceremony, which will take place at the Beurs-World Trade Center in Rotterdam on Friday 18 March 2016.


Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) is a top 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 Chengdu, China, and Taipei, Taiwan.

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