Business recruiters, alumni and master students from Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) exchanged career orientation experiences at an event on campus in March 2018. The 50 MSc International Management/CEMS students explored how they can start their careers, and learned new perspectives on particular industries and companies.  

The CEMS career panel combined both sides of career orientation, says CEMS student Sara Böcking from Germany. “There was a recruiter’s perspective on what they look for in applicants, and CEMS graduates shared their experience of how to navigate the first years of your career. This combination made it really interesting and left us with a clearer perspective regarding the first steps in our professional lives after graduation.”

Competencies and skills

The career orientation event was part of the CEMS personal and professional development track. Moderated by Dr René Olie, Associate Professor of International and Strategic Management at RSM and Academic Director of the CEMS programme, the mandatory evening session helped CEMS students learn about the selection process, what competencies and skills are needed for particular jobs, how to shape their careers and the challenges of applying for a job.

The recruiters panel consisted of HR professionals from CEMS corporate partners: Shannel Ahmadi, international talent acquisition specialist at C.H. Robinson; Alinde Middel, recruitment and people development manager at A.T. Kearney; Isabel Vermeulen, recruitment manager at Simon-Kucher & Partners; and Kor Nooitgedagt, account manager non-food team (Cash & Carry) at Procter & Gamble.

‘Dive into the companies’

Recruiter Vermeulen told the students: “You should meet people from the companies; they make the company different from other companies in the same industry. Do an internship to find out what you like.”

Nooitgedagt agreed: “Visit workshops and do an internship to see whether there’s a good match between you and the company. And be sure to broaden your scope beyond the obvious industries and companies.”

On the CEMS alumni panel were Wigge van Bemmelen, advisor corporate affairs at Stedin; Juliette ten Brink, account develoment executive at Mulesoft; Debby van der Schuit, communications advisor at eIDAS, Sandra Tersluisen, business analyst, global e-business development at Reckitt Benckiser; and Giulia Greppi, strategy and transformation manager at Damco.

Various perspectives

“Recruiters from diverse companies provided insights into what they look for in a candidate, and the CEMS alumni shared what they seek for in a job, said CEMS student Xiaomin Tung. “Bundling these perspectives, the event has answered common questions that arise for soon to be graduates.”

The event strengthened the ties between RSM alumni and students; there were networking opportunities and it helped students to make better and more informed career choices. In addition to discussing day-to-day tasks in their positions, alumni provided practical tips for career developments and how to deal with challenges on the work floor.

CEMS is a global alliance of academic and corporate institutions dedicated to educating and preparing future generations of international business leaders. The CEMS academic and corporate members work collectively to develop knowledge and provide education that is essential in the multilingual, multicultural and interconnected business world. The joint CEMS Master’s in International Management is the main vehicle for achieving this goal.

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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