Students from the MSc in International Management/CEMS programme at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) attended a negotiation skills seminar at Henkel’s new global supply chain headquarters in Amsterdam. The seminar was organised by CEMS Club Rotterdam and Henkel, and took place on 5 October 2015.

A group of 18 CEMS students were welcomed by multinational Henkel, a corporate partner in the CEMS Global Alliance network, to show off their negotiation skills. During the intensive, interactive day-long training, the students focused on industry insights, key theoretical and practical negotiation knowledge, and hands-on negotiations rounds. The seminar was led by Torsten Röwekamp (CEMS alumnus, 2003), global category team leader at Henkel and his purchasing colleagues. Henkel operates worldwide with leading brands and technologies. Its new office in Amsterdam is located in The Edge, the world’s most sustainable office building.

Winning negotiation strategy

After learning about Henkel and the supply chain industry, there was a first round of theory about negotiating during an interactive discussion. Motivated and eager to perform, the students then participated in the first out of a total of three practice negotiation sessions. Surveyed by Henkel purchasing managers, the CEMS students applied their new knowledge in fierce negotiations, pitched against each other.

 “We learned that one of the key ingredients to a winning negotiation strategy is to ‘open extreme, yet realistic’,” said Arne Grob, a German student in RSM’s MSc in International Management/CEMS programme and project co-ordinator at CEMS Club Rotterdam.

Business talent

After the first negotiation session, new theory was conveyed and had to be applied in the next more advanced session, leading up to a final comprehensive and complex negotiation session involving two strategic rounds. Each session ended with instructive feedback and coaching by the staff, which not only helped the students to master the negotiation rounds but made their experience even more enriching.

“I found the seminar incredibly helpful to understand real-life negotiations, and to discover Henkel’s work environment,” said Italian CEMS student Marco Merlini. Over the last couple of years RSM, the CEMS programme and Henkel fostered and enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship. The students benefit from the possibility to gain relevant practical insights directly from high-class professionals, and Henkel connects to RSM's CEMS excelling and motivated business talent. 

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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