During the visits, the finance students attended presentations by management on their organisation's vision, outlook for the future and career opportunities. Students also took part in an array of activities that gave them the opportunity to showcase their negotiation, problem-solving and presention skills, and had time for informal networking with employees.
Ariën Hazeleger, an FI-A student, said: “These trips are inspiring and an excellent chance to get a feel for an organisation: to hear their vision and get a sense of the company's culture. They are also an opportunity for us to show them what skills we have and to develop potentially important contacts.”
International opportunities at Unilever
At Unilever, a group of 38 students were given an overview of the company's worldwide operations and brands, as well as its internship and traineeship opportunities. Erik van Vliet, finance director of customer development, shared his personal career journey, including his experience working for Unilever.
Students faced the challenge of preparing their own lunch using Unilever products after taking part in a Kahoot quiz to determine which teams got first pick of different products. Finance trainees from Unilever made a final judgement of their meals.
A case challenge followed, during which students pitched ideas to executives on how to strategically market a premium and a low-budget dessert ice-cream in ways that would simultaneously increase their sustainability – a demonstrate the knowledge they have gained on the programme.
Networking, negotiations, and conference calls at Rabobank
Susan Eeftink, head of HR Rabobank, opened the visit to Rabobank by presenting to the group of 20 RSM students the company's vision on the future of the workplace, including the impact of globalisation, technology, and the skills that will be needed for future success in the job market.
A tour of Rabobank's extensive art collection followed, and a presentation by the company's economics research department on the Chinese housing market bubble, as well as the possibility of a ‘Nexit’ (Dutch exit from the EU). Lunch presented an informal opportunity for students to network with employees from Rabobank.
Students then took part in an M&A case challenge for a carve-out of four brands from a large alcoholic beverage conglomerate. After being split up into buy and sell advisory sides, students drafted a deal proposal and a valuation of the specific carve-out, which they pitched in a 'conference call' with Rabobank M&A analysts, who acted as the client. Lengthy and intense negotiations took place between the buy and sell sides before a successful deal was reached, making for a realistic simulation of a real-world negotiation and an excellent learning experience. The event concluded with networking drinks.
Tackling complex insurance issues at Achmea
Managers at Achmea Insurance brand Interpolis welcomed twenty RSM students to the company with a presentation on the organisation and its different insurance sectors, as well as the various career opportunities that exist within Achmea.
To help students get to grips with the complex health insurance sector that exists in the Netherlands, the senior manager of Financial Control gave a presentation on the privatisation of the Dutch healthcare system and how risk equalization ensures all Dutch citizens receive high quality healthcare.
Students were then able to demonstrate their own skills by working in teams to crack a challenging case: how to optimally focus on a segment in the car insurance sector to maximize the company’s profitability, while taking ethical and reputation issues into consideration. After pitching their solutions to executives, students spent time networking with employees.