RSM Leadership Mentors

RSM Leadership Mentors

The transition from high school to university can be stressful and demotivating, and new students easily feel lost in a vast sea of anonymous faces. To guide our first-year bachelor students through the demanding first two blocks of their study we rely on our RSM Leadership Mentors. These mentors are second- and third-year students who have successfully settled into RSM, and know the ins and outs of the school and what it’s like to live in Rotterdam.

Tasks and responsibilities

Each RSM Leadership Mentor is assigned a group of 24 first-year students whom they coach, mentor and advise throughout the first four months of the academic year. In addition to traditional interaction in the classroom mentors also have one-on-one coaching sessions with each mentee and arrange a number of social activities within their groups.


To become an RSM Leadership Mentor, each candidate must join an intensive four-day training at the end of the summer holidays to prepare them for the task ahead. During the training, participants gain a better understanding of the purpose, format and content of the mentoring programme. They will also learn the fundamentals of coaching theory and how to apply this in practice, as well as how to lead a group of first-year students.

Benefits for the mentor

Being an RSM Leadership Mentor is a challenging, but also rewarding experience. While it can be tough to give guidance to a group of first-year students, it also accelerates the personal leadership development of each mentor.

  • The skills gained through the training and the hands-on experience will benefit our mentors far beyond their current role, and can give them a competitive edge on the labour market.
  • Mentors expand their horizons and get to meet new people whom they otherwise might not interact with.


Student who are eligible to become an RSM Leadership Mentor will receive an email with information on the application procedure in the spring. After they apply, they go through a selection process including a team exercise and a personal interview with the selection committee.

What our RSM Leadership Mentors say

  • “I’ve taught horseback riding since I was 16 years old. I like the interaction with the animals but it has also always interested me to find a teaching method that fits for each person. I applied right away when I saw I could became a mentor at RSM. The mentor training gave me the chance to develop my skills in helping others, become more confident, and widen my knowledge. I can apply these skills in other parts of life too. That’s what makes me happy!”

    Timoryan de Vlieger, second-year BSc student

  • “The mentor training was an enriching experience. It was practical rather than purely theoretical, and all participants could learn from each other. My desire to become a mentor stems from two reasons. Two years ago, I started at a university in Italy and dropped out after four months because I felt insecure about my ability to pass any exam. There was no mentor who could explain to me that the first months at the university can be overwhelming and hard. I believe that such a person could have changed everything. So I want to transmit confidence to prevent anyone from feeling that he does not have what it takes to pursue an academic career. Secondly, I want to become a professor or a human resources specialist and guide people in acquiring confidence. So for me, this mentor programme is an enriching experience for personal and professional reasons. I cannot express my gratitude to RSM for giving its students such opportunities and care. I hope that at the end of the mentor programme, all my mentees will have the confidence needed to face the challenging world of university and to enjoy their new life.”

    Giulia Falchi, second-year IBA student

  • “I remember my first day as a student, wandering around the Erasmus University campus. I had lived in the countryside in the far south of the Netherlands for nearly my entire youth, and now the world around me had changed radically. I was used to tripping over first graders at secondary school, and complete silence at night. It wasn’t easy to go from that world to being one out of a thousand students and having uncountable responsibilities. The mentor programme was absolutely vital for me. It gives new students a personal space within the huge university, where they can have their questions answered, their uncertainties explained, and make new friends. My personal experience inspired me to join the mentor programme. The training was informative, effective and most definitely worth spending a week of the summer on. My goal is to help the new students discover their own personal space, and to teach them how to deal with their changing worlds. I want to help them become good, responsible students who make the most out of the years that lie ahead of them. The mentor programme helped this farmer develop into a proper student. I am confident to help my students achieve the same.”

    Rik de Paauw, second-year BSc student