RSM MBA students ‘look back to look forward’ at final event with gala in 2016

Full-time MBA and Executive MBA participants who will graduate in early 2017 from Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) concluded their studies during the Future Executive Days on campus in December. The three-day event was themed ‘Looking back to look forward’, and included workshops, interactive sessions, panel discussions and high-profile speakers.

The International Full-time MBA Class of 2017 and Executive MBA Class of 2016 had separate programmes – which are part of the Personal Leadership Development programme – and came together at a networking dinner and gala at the end of the event.

The full-time MBA class’ programme kicked off with a full day of workshops. Participants could choose two out of four workshops: Women in Business led by Dory Grandia; Master the Art of Love and Career led by Blanca Vergara; Crafting Meaningful Jobs by Milton de Sousa; and Moving Your Career Forward by RSM career coaches Alina van Duijn and Hakan Abali.

Making a career

On the final day Hans Koolen, senior director cloud sourcing and commercial IT at Philips, spoke to the full-time MBA participants about what distinguished MBAs that make a career from those who do not. This was followed by an alumni panel. RSM alumni Xavier Nivera (MBA 1998), gas and energy master planning at Shell, and Andre Ribeiro (MBA 2008), senior manager digital strategy at IBM, discussed what it takes to become successful in business.

Simultaneously, the Executive MBA class reflected on their MBA journey during several sessions and workshops about career goals and difficult decisions with speakers including Milton da Sousa and executive coach Jean-Guy Crebessegues.

Balanced work relationships

The final guest speaker for both MBA classes was Caroline Oosterbaan, head of M&A and products at NIBC Bank. Oosterbaan shared her knowledge and perspectives on values and how they influence personal leadership styles. She said she hopes the RSM students turn into compassionate leaders who dare to be vulnerable, and are also creative and continue to be curious, open and honest. Oosterbaan also said she tries to live by the 5-1 rule. This means she aims to give her employees five compliments for every one negative – this enforces healthy and balanced relationships.

The Future Executive Days were concluded with a spectacular gala at the Inntel Hotel in the centre of Rotterdam. The MBA graduation for both classes will take place at the World Trade Center Rotterdam on Friday 24 March 2017.

More information

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) is one of Europe’s top 10 research-based 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 carry their innovative mindset into a sustainable future thanks to a first-class range of bachelor, master, MBA, PhD and executive programmes. Study information and activities for future students, executives and alumni are also organised from the RSM office in Chengdu, China.

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

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