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Recruiters and alumni share first-hand experiences and tips to get started on the labour market
Recruiters and alumni share first-hand experiences and tips to get started on the labour market

What happens after graduation? Students from the MSc International Management / CEMS programme at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) joined an orientation event about company’s recruitment processes and what skills they’re looking for in new employees. Panel discussions were led by recruitment professionals from companies, and RSM alumni shared stories about their career choices and what CEMS has helped them to achieve.

The CEMS Career Orientation event was part of the CEMS curriculum’s personal and professional development track to learn first-hand career insights and experiences from both recruiters and alumni. There were around 45 students, three recruitment professionals and five alumni at the career event, which took place on campus on Monday 14 October. Students were able to ask questions to get a better understanding of the labour market and its various industries and jobs.

CEMS student Benedek Nyomarkay said: “Many of us started the MSc International Management/CEMS programme with a clear career path in our minds. But these panel discussions really opened up new horizons for me that I haven't thought of before and encouraged me to consider more diverse career options.”

Passion and skills

Three recruiters from international organisations spoke to students about skills they look for in candidates during selection processes in their companies. Isabel Vermeulen, recruitment manager at Simon-Kucher & Partners, said the strategy and marketing consultancy looks to hire young professionals with entrepreneurial skills who are able to work in teams.

University talent scout Niamh Cusach, who represented Facebook, said the social networking service company acknowledges passionate people who actively engage in community voluntary work or a certain hobby. And APM Terminals’ recruitment partner Virgil Sewberath Misser said she looks especially for students who are humble and have strategic skills, and who can adapt quickly to different situations.

Alumni experiences

Five RSM CEMS alumni, who once stood in the audience’s shoes, shared some of their experiences in the business world after the programme.

Part of the career advice included development processes. Tobias Marmann from Tesla advised to be open to the unexpected when considering career planning. Ivan Ferini from Monitor Deloitte urged students to find a good mentor in their future company at this is valuable for their development. Nathalie Lidman from Bain & Company said to reflect every day on what is important to you to find purpose in your job.

Problem-solving skills

Two alumni talked specifically about skills. Francesca Pimpinella from Shell said that CEMS teaches students the ability to question and to be curious from day one, and that they should use this ability on the work floor. And Nathaniel Dijkstra from ING said problem-solving skills are especially important, for example being able to analyse and answer questions like ‘How do we turn around our business?’

CEMS student Isabella Kerl said she found the alumni’s experiences after CEMS ‘really interesting’. “I learned about the value of the large network of corporate partners which know CEMS and what it stands for. Being international and having lived in many countries was no sign anymore of ‘not being able to stick to one thing’, but was rather appreciated as an essential asset in an international career with these companies.”

Finding personal purpose

“The recruiter and alumni panels provided me with a good insight on life after CEMS,” said student Celina Scherbeck. One point that particularly caught her attention was to be open to the unexpected. “Finding your personal purpose is a process. So it’s important to take this time and reflect on what is important to you. We should all consider this when entering the job market.”

Students also learned how platforms such as RSM MentorMe and the CEMS Global Advisory & Mentoring Platform can put them directly in touch with business professionals in various industries who can share their knowledge and experience with them. And after the panels, students, alumni and recruiters connected during a networking event.

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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