Page 1

a camPuS in Bloom

2011 Generation

liFe aFter iPaD

clouD NAAM Artikel comPutinG


MArch 2011




growth growiNg up or

slowiNg dowN?

politics, per pArty

culturAl diversity ANd teAMwork DoeS SiZe really matter?

ANd iMpAct per studeNts GrowinG market: BraZil


W W W.G A A A N . N U

Š 2011 KPMG N.V., alle rechten voorbehouden.

presideNtiAl iNterFAce MArch 2011


YOUR Growth IS OUR STRATEGY Growth is this issue’s theme. Your Growth is our Strategy is the turn of phrase we use to communicate our main priority: you. We offer diverse tools for you to enhance your personal growth, in terms of gaining experiences and skills beyond your studies. Simultaneously, this represents our strategy as it refers to the plan of action designed to achieve our mission: enrich student life for RSM students. Your goal and your strategy are unique, yet we all have in common the determination to become successful. Your career starts before graduation and therefore, it makes sense to determine your strategy now. Obviously, you share this intention: an extremely successful edition of the Erasmus Recruitment Days took place last month. An all-time high of 1979 students participated this year! Have you seen them walking around in business attire? I was very happy to find out that many found their desired employer, and even if you didn’t: that’s worthwhile to know too! In a few months time, the committee made this joint initiative of EFR and STAR a huge success! Personally, after having returned from exchange in Canada and travelling in Australia and New-Zealand, I (obviously) realized there’s more to explore. Together with seven others, I decided to take on the adventure of a full-time STAR Board year. Just an example of a pre-graduation strategic move, yet an important one: it implies 100% dedication and commitment.

It feels great to gain real-life management experience while being a student, and to facilitate numerous activities for RSM students. Sounds serious? Being part of STAR actually also involves lots of fun: work hard, play harder. Days often end with enjoying dinner, a drink or partying together. Moreover, during the January Ski Trip, 55 students had a great time in the French Alps; and in the coming weeks, numerous study trips will depart for destinations like Beijing, Hong Kong, California (Silicon Valley) and Dublin. I’d like to finish this piece by highlighting the two

brand new committees within STAR. I wish both

the STAR Case Competitions committee as well as the STAR International Career committee good luck! Opportunities well worth exploring, and I predict you will take notice of the events soon enough. Spring’s approaching and with it a sense of growth and renewal. In the end, it is up to you to determine your strategy for your growth, just stay tuned to our upcoming events to see how STAR can support


All the best on behalf of the XXXIIIrd STAR Board, Jasperina de Vries Chairman STAR Board 2010-2011





MArch 2011

Interface Magazine is published by STAR (Study Association RSM Erasmus University). The editorial staff aims to promote the exchange of knowledge, experience and opinions among all those involved at RSM Erasmus University.


Editor-in-Chief Roel van der Duin Creative Director Evelien van Noordwijk Editing Niels Geesing Writers Niels Geesing, Rick van Gelder, Timothy Langstraat, Alf Lokkertsen, Yei Ji Park Graphic design and production OCC dehoog, media partners Circulation 6.000 copies Mailing Four times a year to students, employees and alumni of RSM Erasmus University; once a year to students Economics and Business Administration across the Netherlands Advertising Rosalie Seriese Address STAR Interface, RSM Erasmus University, P.O. Box 1738, Room T04-53, 3000 DR Rotterdam, E-mail: (not for change of address); Tel: (010) 408 2037; Fax: (010) 408 9023 Change of address To change your address, go to Copyright Š March 2011, study association STAR No portion of the information in this magazine may be reproduced in any form or by any means without the prior written consent of the editorial board.

text: Niels geesiNg


AFter hAviNg withstood the Arctic teMperAtures ANd torreNtiAl dowNpours thAt coMe with dutch wiNter, spriNg looMs oN the horizoN ANd with it coMes the proMise oF growth. NAture will Burst iNto liFe, with trees coMiNg iNto leAF ANd Flowers BlossoMiNg FroM BArreN BrANches. however, it is Not oNly NAture thAt AwAkeNs FroM A loNg wiNter iN hiBerNAtioN. For us students, spring brings the promise of growth on a more personal level. We develop our intellect, expand our network and seize the opportunities with which life presents us. For us at Interface, we look forward to welcoming our new committee members, whose highly valued contributions will aid the continuous process of growing the quality of this magazine, starting next issue. Following in line is the rest of STAR, which has once again extended its populace with a group of new and enthusiastic active members. At the same time, our surroundings have also accelerated into growth. All in all, there are plenty of reasons to dedicate this issue of Interface to the topic of growth. We look into the growth of RSM and Erasmus University as a whole, with a special focus on the modifications of the campus that are required to foster this growth, in an attempt to make the inconveniences of construction a little bit more

bearable. At the same time we question in what part the energetic vibe this expansions brings is due to the increasing amount of caffeine consumption amongst students and what the consequences for society might be. In the broader spectrum of things, we see spectacular growth in markets and economies around the world, with the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India & China) nations taking centre stage. On page 36, we take a closer look at the growth potential of one of these nations, Brazil, and the way in which STAR helps local companies exploit this potential through the International Business Study project. Furthermore we delve into learning an increasingly prominent language with the growing importance of another BRIC nation, and we see why this language may not be worth learning. A side effect of this growth is increasing levels of globalization and cultural diversity. This diversity brings us many beautiful advantages, but can lead to difficulties and problems all the same. Learn to identify these differences and cope with the difficulties that arise in cross cultural teamwork. As a side note to all these wonderful examples of positive change, we also look at whether there is such a thing as too much growth. If there is one thing the crisis taught us, it is that too big to fail may just as well mean too big to function. Is happiness and beauty often not found in the tiniest of things? In this light, we look at whether growth by any means is desirable, both on a personal and a company-wide level. In the end, it all comes down to you as an individual. We hope that spring will bring great and positive development to your life on a social, intellectual and personal level. But above all, we hope this issue of Interface will contribute to this growth, for your growth is our strategy.





MArch 2011

8 12

in Short



liFe aFter iPaD

After the car, the radio and the television, it is now time for the next big thing in the world of technology: the tablet. What else will follow? As some of you might know, there will soon be elections in the Netherlands. But what parties are involved, and what do they stand for? Here are the main parties this election, and their stances.

9 2 8 11 16 18 20 24 29 30 34 38 40 46 47 48

Advertisers index:


12 17

cultural DiVerSity anD teamwork


GrowinG uP or SlowinG Down?


clouD comPutinG


DoeS SiZe really matter?

kPmG ernSt & younG unileVer Gemeente rotterDam kPn akZonoBel Pwc unileVer

Since the world is experiencing ever more globalization, people are encountering many culturally diverse environments. During your time studying at university, it might cross your mind that you are getting closer and closer to growing up, To becoming an adult. however, is that really what you want? For quite a while, cloud computing has been discussed in the information technology world. It is now growing in popularity, especially for businesses. With the strong growth in the flourishing economy of the 90s and early 80s, business grew larger than ever before. Is bigger truly better.

niBc neStle Deloitte DSF StuDyStore achmea Pwc





MArch 2011

36 28



the 2011 Generation


cultural DiFFerenceS


caFFeine ProBlemS


During the 2000s, it became clear what country will be the most prolific throughout the twenty-first century regarding economical and political matters: China. Recent explosions in tuition fees for university have triggered massive unrest amongst the youth throughout europe Differences in cultures probably never change, however, your own understanding of cross cultural management might improve your job and group work later in life. Caffeine has long been the stimulant of choice for students. Whether it is in a cup of coffee, a can of energy drink, or guarana pills, it does not matter, as long as it contains that much-needed burst of energy. But what has prompted this steep rise in caffeine usage, and what consequences does this have for society?

BraZil SeiZinG the BuSineSS moment

By 2050, the Brazilian economy is projected to be one of the 5 largest economies in the world.

28 39

a camPuS in Bloom


why Some aSSetS are BeSt leFt FroZen


knowleDGe: Port oF rotterDam’S PreciouS carGo

Every year, Erasmus University and RSM climb in the world’s rankings of top schools, and every year the number of students continues to grow. To accommodate this growth, the Woudestein campus will undergo some major changes in the coming years. What lies ahead?

There are significant opportunities to be found in climate change and sustainability for businesses with the right approach and attitude.

A new multi-disciplinary initiative seeks to serve as the main knowledge partner of the port of rotterdam. its ultimate goal? to make rotterdam the best port in the world.

iN short iNterFAce

MArch 2011


IBA Study Trip It’s almost time to go!

Following in the footsteps of the tradition of amazing STAR IBA Study Trips that went to Hong Kong, Seattle and New Delhi, the 2011 edition will visit Beijing! After a marketing campaign at the campus that undoubtedly will have caught your eye at the time, and a busy info drink in de Smitse, we were able to select 40 motivated IBA students who will join us to the land of mysteries. With only a few weeks left before our departure on the 25th of March, we are busy composing a program that includes cultural, educational and business world aspects. Besides the cultural highlights like the Forbidden City and the Great Wall, we will go on company visits to see how the theory taught to us in the lecture rooms works out in the real-life environment of an international metropolis. Furthermore, we will explore Chinese student life at one of our partner universities, and in the evenings there will be time to get to know each other and the local Chinese a little better in one of the many local bars! And of course, there will also be some time for the girls to score their fake Louis Vuitton bag. As you can see, a lot of activities for the 10 days we will be in Beijing, and enough opportunity for the RSM students to experience the ins-andouts of Chinese life and culture! For the 6.960 RSM students that unfortunately won’t be joining us, don’t worry, you will probably see the hundreds of photos on Facebook and read about our adventures in the next edition of this magazine! ■ The STAR IBA Study Trip Committee 2011 – Lennart, Berdien, Tim, Aranka & Jasper The IBA Study Trip Committee 2011 is sponsored by Naumac.

Weten wat je kan, begint met weten waar je naartoe wilt.

Inge Tjeerdsma Senior Staff Audit

Een succesvolle carrièrestart is meer dan een goede cijferlijst. Het begint met karakter en inzicht in jezelf. Ontdekken wie je bent, weten waar je naartoe wilt groeien én hoe je dat voor elkaar krijgt staat altijd aan de basis. Ernst & Young coacht jou actief op weg naar jouw succes. We bieden je volop kansen in de wereld van assurance, tax, transaction en advisory. Ontdek ze op

iN short




Lund, Sweden

23 February

2-9 April

Gothenburg, Sweden

1 March


Uppsala, Sweden

6 March

6-14 May





April 3rd week


Beginning May


May 3rd week

Zagreb, Croatia

June 2nd week


July-August (2 weeks)

Tokyo (Keio)

July-August (2 weeks)

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

September beginning (2 weeks)


mid September


mid September


beginning October

Tel Aviv

beginning October

Ljubljana, Slovenia

October 3rd week




November - end


Not known

Lviv, Ukraine

Not known


MArch 2011

PLACES TO SEE, PEOPLE TO MEET IN: swedeN, spAiN, huNgAry, BelgiuM, JApAN, vietNAM, deNMArk, gerMANy, polANd, isrAËl, chiNA, turkey, czech repuBlic, switzerlANd, AustriA, FiNlANd, ukrAiNe, iNdoNesiA, estoNiA ANd hollANd?



Places to see, people to meet in: Sweden, Spain, Hungary, Belgium, Japan, Vietnam, Denmark, Germany, Poland, Israël, China, Turkey, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Austria, Finland, Ukraine, Indonesia, Estonia and Holland? Some things in life do not need any marketing; they sell themselves. STAR’s International Week 2011 project is exactly one of those things.

Does it sounds too good and you are looking for the catch. Save your time! The International Week project is based on the old principle of give and take. So we as International Week Committee 2011 organize our Dutch Week and as a result we can send 2 students to the other weeks around the world. 25 unique weeks at great locations around the globe are connected to this network. When each hosting committee sponsors the whole week you end up with 25 weeks. This means we have 25 weeks around the world to fill with 2 RSM students each time. As you can understand we cannot visit all these weeks by ourselves, so we can send you! Be our diplomat! All of the above countries organize a week for just €25, for 2 students from each of the other affiliated countries to visit. The hosting committee will organize a week filled with cultural experiences, company visits and student life. So you are in a group with students from 25 countries and you are shown student life in the country of your choice. Make friends, build a network and learn how life is over there. Experience it not from the tourist book, but firsthand by joining the students that live there. In the meanwhile you will discuss International and European challenges with your IW group. Naturally you

will end each day with a well deserved party. Your week days, from 10.00 till 03.00, can you handle that?? Do you have to meet any requirements? You just have to be well motivated to represent Holland, the RSM and STAR at your International week of choice. The weeks are spread throughout the year, so there is always a week somewhere in the world you can attend. The International Week is a unique project for the RSM and STAR, as we are the only Dutch organizers. Check out our website under projects at the STAR site, look at or check us out at T5, and we are convinced we can give you a challenging global experience! As you can see in the table, most weeks have not yet announced registration deadlines. However we very much encourage everyone to apply even though deadlines may not be certain yet, to increase your chances of being accepted! First come, first serve! Travel the World! Daniël Tromp, Silke Kranz, Tom Vermaas, Hendrik Buma, Hannah Loef & Steffi Boots ■ International Week Committee 2011 or check out our website: www.

iN short iNterFAce

MArch 2011




ccording to the latest statistics, the average Dutch person drinks 7.6 liters of pure alcohol every single year. Traditionally drinking heavily has been associated with blue collar jobs, workers on the docks and in the factories. But is this really true? For years, research has been done into the effects of drinking on those with blue collar jobs. Television ads show us plain men, carpenters, painters, people with regular jobs drinking in pubs. The image of a hard-working man who, after a long day’s work, goes to the bar to get a drink is forever burned into our collective retina. But recent research shows us that that image is entirely wrong. In research by Satoshi Kanazawa, he found that there was a strong correlation between intelligence, and the amount people drink. But instead of the negative

correlation most people would expect, that as people get smarter, they drink less, instead people began drinking more as their IQ increased. Why does this happen?

studies have found the same: the better your education, the more likely you are to drink.

He says that it all happens because the more intelligent you are, the better you are at dealing with ‘novel’ concepts, like quantum mechanics, neurosurgery and, apparently, alcohol. Binge drinking falls in that same category, since the excessive consumption of alcohol is a relatively new thing. But while his logic might not seem very sound, he is definitely on to something.

So no, drinking does not make you smarter. But being smarter does make you drink. And while this might not come as a surprise to most, it does give you a handy excuse for the next time you’re found face-down in the toilet bowl:

More studies are showing the same thing. Well-educated professionals have a higher tendency to drink, and this is not just skewed by results from University students. In the United Kingdom they found that people who were highly educated were 4 percent more likely to binge drink. Other

“I’m not an alcoholic, I’m a genius!”

How to Eat Out Healthily ACCORDING TO THE FAMILY FOOD SURVEY, FAMILIES WHERE THE HEAD OF THE HOUSEHOLD IS UNDER 30 YEARS OLD WERE SPENDING OVER 40% oF their Food Budget oN eAtiNg out. wheN eAtiNg out, people hAve less coNtrol oN the portioNs ANd sizes oF their dishes ANd how the Food is prepAred. Food eAteN out teNds to hAve More FAt, ANd those who eAt out oN A regulAr BAsis geNerAlly hAve higher iNtAkes oF cAlories ANd sAlt. reseArch hAs Also showN thAt eAtiNg with FrieNds cAN MAke people overeAt.


Unlike packaged food, food bought from restaurants and cafes doesn’t show nutritional information, so searching for the healthiest choice may not be the easiest or most obvious. Some general tips to enjoy eating out healthily can be:

• Ask the waiter/waitress or the chef if you are uncertain about what the dish is or what it contains. • Think ahead by having lighter meals during the day when you know you are eating out later in the evening. • Do not eat an extra course simply to show politeness. • Share the course with a friend if you think the portion is too large. • You are more likely to eat at an ‘all you can eat’ restaurant that normal ones, so keep this in mind! • Choose side orders of salad or vegetables, and add color in your plates with fruits and vegetables which are not only low in calories but also contain many vitamins and antioxidants. • Cut off visible fat from meat. • Choose dishes that are grilled, baked, steamed, poached, or cooked in own juice rather than fried. • Avoid butter in it’s own juice, cheese, or cream-based sauces. • Check the dressings on salads and ask for it to be served separately. Make sure the sauce does not contain a high amount of fat. ■

Article iNterFAce

MArch 2011


LIFE AFTER iPAD At the eNd oF the NiNeteeNth ceNtury, chArles h. duell oF the uNited stAtes pAteNt ANd trAdeMArk oFFice supposedly sAid “everythiNg thAt cAN Be iNveNted hAs BeeN iNveNted.” eveN though it wAs lAter showN he did Not ActuAlly sAy this, it is A greAt exAMple oF sweet iroNy which we so eNthusiAsticAlly lAugh At todAy. AFter the cAr, the rAdio ANd THE TELEVISION, IT IS NOW TIME FOR THE NEXT BIG THING IN THE WORLD OF TECHNOLOGY: THE TABLET. WHAT ELSE WILL FOLLOW? text: rick vAN gelder




he most obvious tablet computer which comes to mind is, without a doubt, the iPad. Even though touch screen with handwriting input was already patented back in 1942, it was not until 2010 that the tablet computer made its breakthrough. As Steve Jobs proudly presented his latest masterpiece, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab quickly followed in a desperate attempt to prevent yet another Apple market domination. Needless to say, Samsung failed. As Apple currently holds over 90% of all market share regarding tablet computers, the ball is in Apple’s court once more. While nobody can be sure, it is interesting to speculate about possible future gadgets and what these might or might not contribute to our daily lives. Wireless connection has been standardized over the last couple of years. And in 2010, it became clear to the audience that touch screen is here to stay as well. Now it is time for a new, freaky invention by Apple’s brightest. One possibility, which might be introduced not too far from now, is what I would call ‘operating your stuff from a large distance -technology.’ Here’s how it, kind of, works. Using sensors you put on the tips of your fingers, a wireless connection to your computer is established. When browsing vacation photos, simply wave your hands to scroll and navigate. Sound appealing? Good for you then; this technology should not take much longer to implement. And while those sensors on your fingers might look silly at first, just think: the first headphone must have looked pretty stupid as well. A development which is somewhat more popular in numerous sci-fi films is controlling a machine by mind control. Wouldn’t it be amazing to make your computer play a song simply by thinking about it? Yes, yes: that would be quite something. The frequency of this idea in popular culture is, however,

“aFter the car, the raDio anD the teleViSion, it iS now time For the neXt BiG thinG in the worlD oF technoloGy: the taBlet. what elSe will Follow?” only exceeded by its great unlikelihood and complexity. First of all, if this technology were to be developed and implemented in daily life, it would be massively protested and subject to constant debate – for various reasons. Privacy issues, most importantly. These protests might be the result of fear, brought to you by the same 1980s sci-fi films we discussed earlier. Somehow, technology always seems to go wrong in these films and mankind winds up being exterminated by malevolent robots. While mind-controlled computers may be an option in the next coming decades, it will certainly be a big challenge to get it on the market. Whether or not computers will take over both mind and body if we push it too far, it is interesting to await what the iPad of 2050 will be and how it operates. It is a matter of time. The new Bill and Steve will arrive, forever thrashing communication technology as we know it. Life after iPad. It’s there, and it’s promising. ■


MArch 2011


MArch 2011



As some of you might know, there will soon be elections in the Netherlands. But what parties are involved, and what do they stand for? Here are the main parties this election, and their stances. Text: Timothy Langstraat

SP (Socialistische Partij)

Figurehead: Emile Roemer Party stance: The SP is a party for true socialists. The most left-wing party in the current system, they believe in true economic equality for all and helping the needy, if necessary by severely increasing taxation for the rich. Their slight nationalistic stance has led them to vote against the European Union, and foreign workers should only be allowed if no one else can do the job. They are opponents of the education reform, and believe that instead of raising school fees, money should come from those who can afford it.

Interesting fact: They got their start as a Marxist/Leninist party GL (GroenLinks)

Figurehead: Jolanthe Sap Party stance: GroenLinks is the major ‘green’ party in parliament. Their proposals usually focus on equality, as well as conserving the Earth’s natural resources. They believe the state should support the needy, but more with opportunities than with money, and that the army should be seen as a peacekeeping force. The proposed education reform is not supported by them. They proposed giving out state pensions only to those having worked for 45 years, as a measure to reduce spending on pensions.

Interesting fact: Evolved from the same Marxist/Leninist party as the SP

CDA (Christelijk Democratisch Appel)

Figurehead: Maxime Verhagen Party stance: Over the last few years, the CDA has repeatedly profiled themselves as a fiscally responsible party. They want to reduce government spending and reduce government size. They are opponents of the Dutch drug policy, and want to criminalize selling marijuana again. The current education reform is ratified by them. Their Christian background is not always obvious, except when it involves obviously religious topics, such as freedom of speech, and how much freedom is allowed when criticizing religion, and abortion.

Interesting fact: Have only not been in power for two cabinets since being founded in 1980. VVD (Volkspartij voor Vrijheid en Democratie)

Figurehead: Mark Rutte Party stance: The VVD, the liberals, is currently the leader in the coalition government. They proposed cutting costs by 30 billion euro’s, and wanted to lower taxes to stimulate the economy. They want to cut costs by reducing the government and stopping subsidies for immigrants, both for their integration courses and government funding. The deductable for mortgages should be left in place, and untouched. They are proEurope, and believe in intensive bonds with the European Union. On education, they are supporters of the current plans to stop grants for master’s degrees and to increase the cost of both bachelor’s degrees and master’s degrees for those who take too long.

Interesting fact: Mark Rutte is the first prime minister to represent the VVD



PVDa (Partij Van De arBeiD)

Figurehead: Job Cohen Party stance: The PvdA is the labour party of the Netherlands. They fight for maintaining the social safety net they helped build over the years, and will often choose ‘soft’ options over harsh measures to maintain both social as well as economical safety. They believe that instead of raising college fees, study grants should be scrapped for children of high-earning parents. Economically, they adhere to the Keynesian belief of injecting money into the economy rather than cutting costs, and believe the rich should be taxed relatively higher in these times of economic downturn.

Interesting fact: Have delivered the most cabinets in Dutch history after the CDA. D66 (Democraten ’66)

Figurehead: Alexander Pechtold Party stance: They believe that the current society isn’t democratic enough, and are constantly trying to improve the people’s say in politics. They propose changing the voting system, and instating referenda to ask what people want more often. Economically, they are progressively liberal: they believe in fewer restrictions on companies, but also in aiding those in need. They believe in investing billions of euro’s in education, and naturally oppose the proposed cuts.

Interesting fact: Are often called ‘the party without a stance’


MArch 2011

PVV (Partij Voor De VrijheiD)

Figurehead: Geert Wilders Party stance: The PVV, headed by Geert Wilders, is an interesting party. They believe in strong social security, but not for immigrants. They want to cut government size, and not stimulate extra spending. Staunch opponents of Europe and immigration, they want to reduce ties with Europe to a minimum, and disallow any immigrants to enter the country. They believe Islam is a dangerous religion, and one that should not be allowed to exist in its current form. They often hold a skeptical view of climate change.

Interesting fact: The party has only one member: Geert Wilders As you can see, the Dutch political landscape is dotted with a large variety of parties with various different backgrounds. Coming March, these parties will meet each other head on in a battle of democracy, in which the winning party will take control of the Senate. The outcome will be decisive for the Netherlands’ direction on the tumultuous sea of international and national politics. Who will win this epic battle of left versus right? ■

De stad die durft,

geeft initiatief de ruimte.

project organiseert. Hiervoor zijn we ons nu aan het oriënteren bij Bureau Frontlijn. Dit bureau doet allerlei projecten in probleemwijken en biedt onder andere hulp aan gezinnen met jonge kinderen. Voor ons project denken we aan het organiseren van een dagje uit voor deze gezinnen of het geven van training aan

Rotterdam is in veel

We bouwen bij de gemeente Rotterdam aan de

de ouders. Wat me zo aanspreekt aan Rotterdam is,

opzichten een voorloper,

stad én aan de samenleving. We houden de regie

dat het een stad is die durft, die uitprobeert. En

goed in handen, maar geven veel ruimte voor

daardoor een echte voorloper is op vele gebieden.

initiatieven. Met 13.500 medewerkers zijn we een

Als trainee ontmoet ik heel veel mensen, bouw snel

grote werkgever in het Rijnmondgebied. En met

een groot netwerk op. En ik kom overal in de

een stad die durft. Zonder durf had de modernste haven ter

een paar duizend uiteenlopende functies ook een

organisatie. Als je ziet hoeveel mogelijkheden je hier

wereld niet in Rotterdam

veelzijdige. Samen werken wij voor bijna 600.000

hebt! Zelf heb ik economie gestudeerd, maar met

gelegen. Zonder durf

Rotterdammers aan de stad.

elke achtergrond kun je hier boeiend werk doen.”

was Rotterdam de wolken minder dicht genaderd. Zonder durf waren veel debatten over grootstedelijke

“Als trainee ontmoet je heel veel mensen en bouw je snel een groot netwerk op!” Ruud den Haak, 24 jaar, trainee bij de gemeente Rotterdam

Wat bieden wij je? Een veelzijdig traineeprogramma in een interessante stad die durft! Het traineeprogramma start jaarlijks op 1 november en 1 mei met elke keer tien trainees. In twee jaar tijd werk je aan vier projecten bij vier verschillende

problemen niet in

“Dit traineeship is voor mij een uitgelezen kans om

diensten of deelgemeenten.

Rotterdam gestart.

ervaring op te doen en een stevige basis te leggen

Afhankelijk van je leeftijd en opleiding ligt het

Rotterdam zoekt

voor mijn carrière. In twee jaar tijd rond je vier

aanvangsalaris tussen € 2.300,- en € 3.000,- bruto

medewerkers met

opdrachten af bij vier onderdelen van de gemeente.

per maand bij een 36-urige werkweek.

bezieling, die hun verantwoordelijkheid

Een dag per week krijg je training of bezoek je een gemeentelijk bedrijf. Ik zit nu bij Audit Services

Durf jij? Ben je geïnteresseerd en heb je een (bijna)

Rotterdam. Deze interne dienst voert onder andere

afgeronde universitaire of HBO-opleiding? Solliciteer

nemen en ook de minder

financiële controles uit en doet intern onderzoek.

dan via de website

gebaande paden durven

Een onderdeel van het traineeship is, dat je samen

Meer informatie over het traineeprogramma vind je op

te betreden.

met je collega-trainees een zelf gekozen sociaal




March 2011

Cultural Diversity andTeamwork Since the world is experiencing ever more globalization, people are encountering many culturally diverse environments. Presently, a growing number of multicultural teams are working together to achieve organizational goals, and both beneficial and challenging impacts on team performance can result from cultural diversity. Text: YeiJi Park

Working in teams has become increasingly more popular in organizations as a way of improving efficiency and productivity, but simply having people in teams will not guarantee their effectiveness. When working in multicultural environments, people must understand and accept the dynamic elements that make them different. These differences influence the way in which they behave and interact in schools and in workplaces. In order for individuals to function effectively in organizations, issues such as communication, adaptability, and change need to be taken into account.


In order for an organization to succeed and remain competitive, it must be able to embrace diversity and acknowledge its advantages: • Improved adaptability: Diversity allows for more, varied solutions to problems since team members from different backgrounds can use their talents and experiences to come up with flexible ideas. • Wider service range: Along with their diverse experiences and skills, teams allow companies to provide service on a global range. • Larger pool of viewpoints: Organizations can use this pool to more effectively meet organizational goals. • More effective execution: This results in higher productivity and profits.


Cultural diversity in the workplace and in schools also presents challenges. • Communication: There can be cultural, language, and perceptual barriers, all of which may lead to confusion and lack of teamwork. • Resistance to change: Some team members may say, “We have always done it like this,” and then reject new ideas coming from people of different cultures. • Management of diversity in organizations: Providing diversity training alone to individuals is not enough. There needs to be a successful strategy that creates a culture of diversity throughout different functions and departments.

Strategies for dealing with diversity

• Inclusion:

Involve every individual to develop and execute diversity initiatives in the organization. • Promote an open attitude: Encourage team members to express their perceptions and ideas with a sense of equal value. • Foster diversity in leadership positions: This can help to realize the advantages of diversity in teams. Many successful companies spend large parts of their resources managing cultural diversity. Organizational success and competitiveness depends more on managing cultural diversity effectively, as the economy is becoming more and more global. ■

Isabelle de Vries (27) and Nicolette Ooijevaar (27) are Trainees at KPN within the Young Potential Program. Isabelle graduated in business administration with a master accounting & control in Rotterdam and is now a business controller at the corporate control department. Nicolette graduated also in Rotterdam in business administration with a master marketing and is base marketeer at the fiber department. The Trainee Program of KPN is a three year program for graduated students with the ambition to become a manager with a specialty in finance, sales, marketing, it, hr or technique.

Nicolette Ooijevaar

Why did you decide to join KPN? I have chosen to work at KPN because of the market they are operating in, the products and the culture. It is a very turbulent market and technology has a big influence. Furthermore the culture within KPN is nice to work in. Everybody is ambitious, open and down to earth. There are also working a lot of young people.

Can you tell something about your job? The last 2 years I worked as a Partner Marketeer Mobile Data within the Business Partner Organization (B2B market). I worked with independent business partners who sell KPN portfolio. There I was responsible for the mobile data campaigns and together with the business partners I translated the national campaigns within the different regions they are operating in. Per January I started as Base Marketeer Fiber (Consumer market), where I am responsible for the save and retention of our customers who have Internet, Private Lines and Interactive TV through Fiber.

In what way provides KPN development tools for you personally? KPN offers Young Potentials a lot of training during the Young Potential Program. You can think of courses on personal level but also on the level of different competences like presenting, influencing, and etcetera. Besides the different trainings KPN also offers master classes with subjects, like Sales, IT and Operations.

What are your further ambitions? I want to continuously develop myself on a personal and professional level to become a successful manager in the future.

Isabelle de Vries

Why did you decide to join KPN? There were several different reasons for choosing KPN as my first employer. First of all, it is a large well-known Dutch company. The Board of Management is seated in The Netherlands, so all decisions are made in The Netherlands, instead of somewhere far away in the US for example. Second, despite the fact that KPN is a very technical company, its products are very tangible; people use it every day. Third, the telecom-industry is very turbulent and innovative; competition on technology as well as marketing is fierce. Fourth, the traineeship that KPN offers is very different from other traineeships. Instead of working on different projects for 6 months each, you can start on a job directly. This means full responsibility, directly from the start. Finally, there are numerous career possibilities within KPN. There are no defined career paths, which means you can design your own career.

Can you tell something about your job? I currently work as a Business Controller at Corporate Control. My team provides the Board of Management, especially the CFO, with management information. This means that we make various analyses, which the Board can use to make management decisions. For example, I am responsible for providing the CFO with information concerning our capital expenditures: What do we spend our money on? Are we investing enough in new technologies, or are we perhaps spending too much? Our focus is the future: what do current financials and performance indicators tell us about the future, and what decisions should we make now, to be able to create value in the future?

In what way provides KPN development tools for you personally? A lot. Within the traineeship, training is generally focused on personal development. Different topics are dealt with, like personal effectiveness, giving and receiving feedback and presentation techniques. Also, several masterclasses are offered in which you gain general knowledge about KPN. Aside from the traineeship, KPN has different academies, like the Marketing Academy or Finance Academy, that offer additional workshops and courses to keep up on your marketing or finance knowledge. Finally, I am currently back at the Erasmus University one day a week to obtain a degree in Finance and Control (the Dutch ‘Register Controller’). KPN fully supports this.

What are your further ambitions? I have to say I do not have a well defined plan for the future, at least not on the long term. My ambition is to keep learning and keep getting better at what I do. But I am taking it one step at a time. I just started on my second job at KPN and my ambition is to be successful in it. I think I would like to go into management within, say, one to three years. But I will just see what possibilities KPN will have to offer in the future!

More information: •

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MArch 2011

Growing up or slowing down? duriNg your tiMe studyiNg At uNiversity, it Might cross your MiNd thAt you Are gettiNg closer ANd closer to growiNg up, to BecoMiNg AN Adult. however, is thAt reAlly whAt you wANt? doesN’t BeiNg A Full-tiMe studeNt souNd Much More AppeAliNg thAN A Five-dAy-A-week, eight-hour-A-dAy JoB? text: AlF lokkertseN


fter high school, you get thrown into an entirely new world. Suddenly, you need to start thinking more seriously about your future. What is it exactly that you want to achieve? Sometimes, students choose to get a bachelor’s degree without thoroughly thinking through their decision and their future. But hey, student life just seems so much easier when you’re not concerned about your future. You want to live the student life forever, right? If you do not feel like speeding through your studies, you can always postpone graduation by simply failing courses or taking up more extracurricular activities. What does growing up actually mean? When you leave university, you are expected to be ambitious and focused on a career. Responsibility is something that every adult should possess. This means that partying excessively, eating unhealthily, and depriving yourself of sleep should be in the past. Instead, you should be finding a good job, securing your finances, getting married, and having children. But is this the path we should follow in order to become adults? There has been an increasing trend among students to avoid this way of life; students

want to do more before settling down. After interviewing some of my fellow students, it became clear that not everyone is willing to start a career immediately after finishing their degree. Some would like to travel for a few years, others want to study art, and some just want to lead an easy life.

BUT FINALLY, IT IS INEVITABLE… After a while, you must face the facts: you need a job. Due to students’ resistance to the routine, it seems as if the world is adapting to them, not the other way around. Working habits are mutating in order to conform to this new student lifestyle. It is more acceptable nowadays for people to work part-time so they can pursue extracurricular activities. Furthermore, freelance jobs are becoming increasingly popular due to the ever changing work environment. If you are thinking about your future, think it through. When you reach a certain age, you may be stuck with your job and won’t have the time to pursue any long-lost dreams. So be careful what you choose, since postponing your studies is becoming increasingly expensive these days due to new government regulations. But do not worry; you can still borrow money. ■

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For Quite A while, cloud coMputiNg hAs BeeN discussed iN the iNForMAtioN techNology world. it is Now growiNg iN populArity, especiAlly For BusiNesses. however, eveN people who hAve heArd oF it Ask QuestioNs such As, “whAt exActly is this cloud coMputiNg, ANywAy?” “why is it BecoMiNg so populAr?” “whAt vAlue cAN it BriNg to My BusiNess?”BeFore. is Bigger truly Better? Text: yeiJi pArk

NAAM Article Artikel

23 What is cloud computing?

The term “the cloud” is used by services such as Facebook, Flickr, and Hotmail. To put it simply, cloud computing is IT provided as a service. Users do not have to build their own infrastructures for databases or software because an outside party is responsible for them through its huge server farms. All that is needed are the user’s own big ideas and a connection to the Internet. The user can access the outside party’s data and software through the Internet. Business applications are shifting from complicated and costly traditional software models to the Internet, and cloud computing will lead to even more innovative methods which will allow users to collaborate anywhere and anytime via their mobile devices.


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and reliable. Some additional key benefits of cloud computing can be: It is fast: With no need to go through the stages of hardware procurement and capital expenditure, cloud computing is perfect for not only major companies, but also small ones. It is inexpensive and cost-efficient: Users pay for only what they actually use by sharing complicated infrastructure and services provided for multiple companies.

What came before cloud computing?

Previous business applications have been, for the most part, overly complex and expensive. Huge amounts of diverse software and hardware are needed to run them. In addition, huge teams of experts must be involved in installing, testing, running, maintaining, securing, and constantly updating the software and hardware. Since a business, organization, or individual normally needs hundreds of these applications, it is clear that are tremendous amount of time, money, and effort are required to keep systems running. In addition, this significant amount of time and effort might not even add great value to the bottom lines of companies.

What are the advantages and values of cloud computing?

Changing to cloud computing eliminates the problems mentioned above since a professional third party is responsible for the management of the hardware and software. Because of this, users pay only for what they need through monthly subscriptions, and upgrades are automatically done by the providers. Cloud applications are less expensive and easier to keep running than stand-alone components and applications; they can be ready within days. All users have to do is to log in to a browser and customize their applications. There is great deal of support for diverse and extensive customizations, and business users are greatly empowered. Cloud computing can be applied almost everywhere. Small retailers that need secure and reliable e-commerce websites quickly and inexpensively can use this innovation. Fire services that need computing help to predict the movement of forest fires in summer can also use this service. Cloud services can fulfill single and simple business functions, such as calculating payroll taxes, and they can serve more complicated business functions such complex 3D modeling.

“It seems that companies need not only simply strategies, but also effective cloud strategies.”

Businesses can use various kinds of applications running in the clouds, such as HR, accounting, and customer relations management (CRM). Cloud computing is also believed to be safe

It is up-to-date: The providers of cloud computing services constantly offer new features and continuously update their software offerings. It is scalable: Those in rapidly growing businesses can expand quickly because cloud systems are capable of coping with sudden and huge increases in workload. It is mobile: Cloud services can be used from a distance, and all mobile users can have access to most systems anywhere and anytime.

The future of cloud computing

Cloud computing infrastructures provide a comprehensive and flexible platform that satisfies the needs of businesses of every size. Businesses are freed from the burden of the high failure rates, risks, and complicated implementations of traditional software. Without having to worry about infrastructure requirements, maintenance, and upgrades, companies can to focus more on strategic problems. The most recent innovations in cloud computing are making the existing business applications even more collaborative and mobile; this is similar to what Twitter or Facebook do. Consumers want information in real time, and business applications will probably also head that direction in the near future. Moreover, there are many opportunities for growth. As connectivity improves throughout the world, cloud computing can become a major IT service provided for companies in developing countries. Many companies have not changed greatly in reference to cloud computing yet. However, it has been predicted that dynamic industries with rapidly changing business models and which experience fierce competition will quickly shift to this service. With the emergence and continuous growth of cloud computing, it seems that companies need not only simple strategies, but also effective cloud strategies. ■

PwC. Je ideeën zijn belangrijker dan je studierichting

Wat je gestudeerd hebt zegt veel, maar lang niet alles. Bij PwC vinden we je ideeën en je inbreng uiteindelijk belangrijker dan je specialisatie. Bij PwC werken professionals samen vanuit drie invalshoeken: Assurance, Advisory en Tax & Human Resource Services. Wil je daarop excelleren, dan moet je zorgen dat je mensen in huis hebt die breed georiënteerd zijn. Dus ook als je bij wijze van spreken biologie hebt gestudeerd, vind je bij PwC een stimulerende werkomgeving waarin je ideeën zeer welkom zijn.

Als je weet Als je weet welke kant welke je kant je op wilt op wilt

Enjedaar En daar ook jouw hebben we ook jouw Al werkend ontdek Al werkend je waar ontdek waarhebben we ervaring en ideeën ervaring bij nodig. en ideeën bij nodig. je kracht ligt. Enjeintussen kracht ligt. En intussen Aansolide de hand van Aan je studiede hand van je studiegroei je en leg jegroei een solide je en leg je een richting op www.werkrijg je op www.werbasis voor je carrière basis voor in deje carrière in de krijg jerichting overzicht een overzicht financiële dienstverlening. financiële dienstverlening. In In een Je ambitie is duidelijk: Je ambitie je wilt is duidelijk: je wilt van je kansen. van je kansen. de sector die je de hetsector beste die ligt,je het beste ligt, een carrière in de eenfinanciële carrière in dewant financiële we werkenwant voorwe grote werken voor grote dienstverlening.dienstverlening. Je studie Je enstudie kleine bedrijven, en kleine voor bedrijven, voor sluit daar naadloos sluitop daar aannaad en loos op aan en nationale en inter nationale nationale en internationale Als je onze Als je onze je bent alleen nog je bent op alleen nogonder op nemingen, onder voornemingen, goede voor goede zoek naar de beste zoekplek naar om dejebestedoelen plek om passie en je voor doelen overheden. en voor overpassie heden. carrière te starten. carrière Bij te starten.BijBijPwC ontwikkel Bij PwC je je ontwikkel je je maar deelt maar deelt PwC vind je eenPwC werkvind je een werkdus in de richting duswaarbij in de richting waarbij omgeving waarin omgeving je écht waarinje jeje écht thuis voelt,jeen jesneller thuis voelt, en sneller de ruimte krijgt.deJeruimte ideeënkrijgt. Je ideeën Bij PwC werkenBij wePwC met werken we met dan je ooit voordan mogelijk je ooit voor mogelijk worden gehoord worden en initiatiegehoord en initiatiepassie en een gezonde passie en dosis een gezonde dosis had gehouden. had Voergehouden. op www. Voer op www. ven gestimuleerd. venEn gestimuleerd. PwC En PwC We zeggen waar lef. We hetzeggen op waar het op je studiejelef. studiebiedt je de mogelijkheid biedt je de om mogelijkheid staat en zijn open, staat eerlijk en zijn enopen, eerlijk en richtingom in en jerichting ziet direct in en je ziet direct te switchen tussen te switchen sectoren.tussenwelke sectoren. integer. integer. geenWe blad nemen geen blad kanten jewelke op kunt. kanten je op kunt. We nemen Dus als je start op Dusdeals afdeling je start op de afdeling voor de mond, zullen voor denooit mond, zullen nooit die beursgenoteerde die beurs ondergenoteerde onderja zeggen als het janee zeggen moetals het nee moet nemingen adviseert, nemingen kun je adviseert, kun je zijn, maar zekerzijn, ookmaar geen zeker nee ook geen nee Als je zinAls je zinals ja kan. We zijn later altijd nog overstappen later altijd nog overstappen als onderneja kan. We zijn ondernenaar de groep die naar bijvoorde groep die bijvoormend, nieuwsgierig mend, ennieuwsgierig inforen inforhebt in een hebt in een beeld werkt voor beeld de overheid. werkt voor de overheid. meel. In onze voortdurende meel. In onze voortdurende onverwachte onverwachte Een vliegende én Een flexibele vliegende én flexibele uitwisseling vanuit ideeën wisseling en van ideeën en start voor je carrière start voor dus, je met carrièrewending dus, met inzichten niet omgaat de het niet om de wendinginzichten gaat het alle mogelijkheden alle mogelijkheden om je te om je te vraag wie de afzender vraag wie vande afzender van blijven ontwikkelen blijven in ontwikkelen de in de een gedachte is,een maar gedachte om de is, maar om de richting die je het richting beste die hetMisschien beste ligt. heb je kwaliteit We zijn in ervan. We zijn in Misschien een studie heb je een studieervan.kwaliteit Op Op lees gedaan die leeshelemaal staatniet verbandenstaat te zien verbanden en te zien en gedaan niet die helemaal je er alles over. je er alles over. vanzelfsprekend verbindingen teverbindingen leggen waar te leggen waar vanzelf leidt tot sprekend leidt tot en onze klanten wij en letterlijk onze klanten letterlijk een carrière in de eenzakelijke carrière in dewij zakelijke en figuurlijk envan figuurlijk worden. beter van worden. dienstverlening.dienstverlening. Maar ook Maar ook beter Wedat werken We aan werken het samen aan het dan is de kans groot dan isdat de PwC kans groot PwC samen Als je wilt Als je wilt beste resultaat en beste inspireren resultaat en inspireren je een boeiendejeprofessionele een boeiende professionele ontdekken ontdekken waar je waar je kan bieden. elkaar. We helpen elkaar. jou om We helpen jou om toekomst toekomst Want kan bieden. Want verder te leren. verder Vanaf de te leren. Vanaf de zoals gezegd houden zoals gezegd we ons houden we ons kracht écht kracht ligt écht ligt eerste dag je eendag coach krijg je een coach bezig met vraagbezig stukken metop vraagstukken op krijgeerste die je begeleidt die en onderje begeleidt en onderfinancieel, economisch financieel, en economisch en Heb je een meerHeb algemene je een meer algemene steunt steunt in werk, je dagelijkse werk, maatschappelijkmaat vlak. schappelijk En vlak. Enin je dagelijkse financieel-economische financieel-economische maar ook bij hetmaar uitstippelen ook bij het uitstippelen eigenlijk werken eigenlijk we altijd werken we altijd studie gedaan, dan studie hebben gedaan, dan van carrière. van Lijktjehet carrière. Lijkt het ophebben het snijvlak van op het diesnijvlak drie. van diejedrie. we je kennis, je we visie je en kennis, je je visie je werken werken en in een open en Als en organisatie Als moeten organisatie we moeten wein een open ideeën er graagideeën bij. En er eengraag bij. En eenorganisatie kennisorganisatie onder werpen dus onder vanuit werpen dusgedreven vanuit kennisgedreven maal binnen kun maal je nog binnen alle kun alle je nog alle je wel wat? Kijk je dan wel op wat? Kijk dan op invalshoeken allekunnen invalshoeken kunnen kanten op. kanten op. benaderen. benaderen.

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really matter?

this QuestioN hAs hAuNted the MiNd oF MANy A MAN. however, this issue reAches Further thAN the pANts oF your AverAge MAle, exteNdiNg deep iNto the reAlM oF BusiNess. with the stroNg growth iN the FlourishiNg ecoNoMy oF the 90s ANd eArly 80s, BusiNesses grew lArger thAN ever BeFore. is Bigger truly Better? Text: Niels geesiNg


owadays, many people take for granted “super corporations” and multinationals. Many RSM students will, at some point, be employed by these companies. In fact, for many, a position within such an organization is an ideal that has provided the motivation for going to business school in the first place. Some of these corporations have established such a dominant position in the global economy that they have now been branded “too big to fail,” since their downfall would bring the general economy down with them. At the same time, many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) dot the economic landscape, quietly operating in the shadows of their big brothers. It is hard to imagine that this situation would change drastically. It is, however, not unthinkable.

Large corporations, as we know them today, have only existed for a limited period of time. The first organizations that begin to resemble modern-day multinational super-firms were trading companies, established by European colonial powers in the 17th and 18th centuries. Working to reap the benefits of the New World and the Indies and to expand the prestige and power of their home nations, these companies were granted many diplomatic and military privileges to help them complete their tasks. These organizations witnessed some of the most important early developments in what we now know as corporate finance, including the Dutch East India Company’s introduction of the world’s first shareholder system. Not until the Industrial Revolution, in the 19 century, did firms grow to proportions that classified them as truly large companies.

For example, large textile mills and factories in Northern England began providing employment for the masses on an unprecedented scale. Throughout the 20 century, more and more companies began to develop into the super-corporations known today, fuelled by the growing demand in the automotive industry and the resulting need for petrol, the rise of the financial and services sectors, innovations in IT technology and the Internet, and, perhaps most prominently, the economy’s increasing globalization and the resulting international opportunities. Additionally, throughout that time period, the number of SMEs also grew exponentially, due to an increase in education levels, better opportunities for entrepreneurship, and easier capital access. Since the booming economic climate of the second half of the twentieth century, it has become increasingly




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common for average people to set up sole proprietorships and partnerships. Small businesses can be started at very low costs and on a part-time basis, and—very importantly, in the modern customercentred market—small businesses are well-suited to Internet marketing since they can easily serve specialized niches, especially after the Internet revolution of the late 1990s. Since adapting to change is crucial in business, small businesses hold another advantage; they are not tied to any bureaucratic inertia. Therefore, it is typically easier for them to respond to the marketplace quickly. Perhaps the biggest advantage of a small business, for most business owners, is independence. One survey of small-business owners

showed that 38% of those who left their jobs at other companies left because they wanted to be their own bosses. The freedom to operate independently is a great reward for small-business owners. In addition, many people desire to make their own decisions, take their own risks, and reap the rewards of their efforts. Small-business owners gain the satisfaction of making their own decisions, within the constraints imposed by economic and other environmental factors. Do we not all strive for that goal? To break the shackles that bind us and, finally, to enjoy the liberty of making our own decisions? As great as this situation sounds, however, it does not always work out ideally. You might not answer to an actual person who dictates your ac-

tions, but you are still bossed around—by the company itself or, more specifically, by its customers. Among many other disadvantages, an 80to 90-hour workweek is the rule more than the exception for SME owners. All things considered, however, the time is right for SMEs. The current economic crisis has sown distrust in the minds of consumers— distrust towards the large corporations that seem responsible. In a search for a more personal, social, and trustworthy approach, many of these disgruntled consumers are turning towards smaller businesses for their everyday needs. SMEs have always played a crucial role in the economy by providing employment and economic incentives on local, regional,

and national levels. Throughout the recession, it was not the large corporations but rather the SMEs that kept the economy going. Financial institutions and large firms may be the engine of the economy, but SMEs are the tires that actually keep it on the road. Only synergy and interaction between small and big, many and few, can drive the world into the 21st century. So, then, does size matter? No. It is not about who has the biggest stick; it is about who knows how to wield it. ■

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duriNg the 2000s, it BecAMe cleAr whAt couNtry will Be the Most proliFic throughout the tweNty-First ceNtury regArdiNg ECONOMICAL AND POLITICAL MATTERS: CHINA. ONE MIGHT SAY THIS is A pretty vAlid reAsoN to study MANdAriN ANd, iF possiBle, MAster it. it does MAke seNse to speAk the lANguAge oF the people which outNuMBer ANy other people iN the world ANd Are highly iNvolved iN iNterNAtioNAl trAde, doesN’t it? well, ActuAlly, No. it doesN’t. let Me tell you why. Text: rick vAN gelder

“If Mandarin would eventually want to evolve into a world language, it should first spread its base and be imposed upon people outside of China.” First of all, Chinese representatives in business probably do not reflect your average Chinese citizen. Most Chinese people still live in rural areas, and even though urbanization is taking place at a terrifying rate, it is highly unlikely the farmers of today will be the businesspeople of tomorrow. The Chinese equivalent of Joe the Plumber will never leave the country, let alone do business abroad. Considering this, the huge population of China is suddenly a lot less relevant. Secondly, the comparison with the English language has its fallacies. The way English reached its status as a world language was steady and slowly. Today, English is spoken throughout the world by different peoples of different backgrounds. Mandarin, however, is only spoken by most people in China, Chinese diasporas around the globe and some non-Chinese fanatics. Therefore, if Mandarin would eventually want to evolve into a world language, it should first spread its base and be imposed upon people outside of China. This can be done by teaching it in schools and broadcasting Mandarin-language television shows, for example. It worked for the English language, why wouldn’t it work for another language? It could, obviously, but this would turn out to be an extremely slow process and it will be nearly impossible to surpass English as the number one language in the world.

Let’s look at it from another perspective. Not only isn’t Mandarin particularly conquering the world, English is also on the rise in China. Economical growth means development, development means better education and better education means broadening the mind. As learning English is a way of broadening the mind, the Chinese are doing it, pardon my French, en masse. The question arises whether we – the Anglophone and its allies – should adapt to them when they are willing to adapt to us. This sounds narrow-minded, and it is, but in the end it is more practical in the economic and diplomatic world. Lastly, and we can all agree on this, Mandarin is just too hard. The effort you put into learning the language will most likely not reflect the results you get from it. There are simply too many characters and the ungraspable tones are occasionally unpronounceable. This does not mean nobody should try to learn Mandarin, as learning any language shows determination and perseverance, but when looking at it from a practical perspective, Mandarin should not be your first choice. You’d better go for Dutch if you seek to speak an internationally acknowledged and easy language. ■


Could it be uNilever is well kNowN For Big BrANds such As uNox, dove, olA ANd kNorr. But whAt is it like to work For uNilever? NoortJe MeiJer, MANAgeMeNt trAiNee FiNANce, ANd hugo de Boer, BrANd MANAger liptoN ice teA, tell you More ABout it. What do you do within Unilever? Hugo: I started working for Unilever in October 2008 as a management trainee marketing for ice cream. Currently, I am Brand Manager for Lipton Ice Tea in the Netherlands. My main job is making sure that the Lipton Ice Tea brand performs well (brand image, sales, market share and profits). Noortje: I started my finance traineeship with Unilever in March 2010. I am working on a project to implement a European forecasting tool in the Benelux. I am responsible for the implementation of the tool from a finance perspective. This project is a pillar of the new global Unilever strategy, and it is great to be able to add something to the new strategy!

Why did you choose to work for Unilever? Noortje: After my Master in Accounting, Auditing & Control, I wanted to work for a company that does not only provide services, but that makes tangible concrete products. This can definitely be found in the FMCG business. As soon as you step off the elevator, you can see the products we work for and for which I make my forecasts. For a financial, this makes the work much more concrete and it allows me to really see the results of my work. Hugo: I have a passion for marketing, and Unilever is one of the best companies in the field. Most of my colleagues are all experts in their area. In addition, Unilever offers many (international) possibilities for quick personal and professional growth.

Do you work a lot with different functions within Unilever? Hugo: Yes! To get Lipton Ice Tea to our end consumer, we need an entire team of expertise. We have our cross functional business team



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with representatives from Supply chain, Finance, Sales and Marketing. Next to that I work closely with our media, research and international marketing colleagues.

In Finance, how much Finance do you actually do? Noortje: I think that about 80% of my job consists of finding pragmatic solutions to challenges that we face during projects. I definitely do not just sit behind my computer, making calculations in Excel. As a financial, you are the connector between the various functions, such as marketing and supply chain. I provide the information to make sure the others can perform their job.

What do you like most about your job? Noortje: I think it’s very special that everybody is so focused on our products and to get our results to a higher level. Everybody around me is very driven and ambitious which really inspires and motivates me. As a financial, it is especially fun that I spent most of my time working with other functions besides finance. Hugo: I see my product every day, in every supermarket, in every bar and restaurant. I like that I am really part of people’s life with my product.

What is the coolest thing you have done so far in Unilever? Hugo: Meeting Ben & Jerry’s themselves. When I was a marketing trainee for ice cream, we organized a PR event and I finally got the chance to meet Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield.

How do you see the Unilever Future Leaders Programme (UFLP)? Noortje: The UFLP means that you get the chance to do great projects and gives you great growth opportunities within Unilever. Unilever has a lot of faith in its trainees, and you get a lot of responsibilities, but at the same time also a lot of coaching. I just got back from a Finance course in the UK where I met many other financials from all over Europe. As a trainee, you are really prepared to become a future leader. ■

If you want to know more about the UFLP, visit Unilever’s website at To find out more about Unilever’s recruitment events, join our Facebook group: Unilever Benelux Campus Recruitment.

<On <On confidence confidence in in teamwork teamwork > >

We consider teamwork as the cornerstone of our business We consider teamwork as to thecapture cornerstone of our for business approach. Teamwork allows us opportunities approach. us doing to capture the group Teamwork as a whole.allows And in so to opportunities move beyondfor our the group as a whole. And in doing so to move beyond individual boundaries. If you see yourself as an ambitious our team individual boundaries. If you see yourself as an ambitious team player we would like to hear from you. player to hearNIBC from isyou. For we our would Analystlike Program, looking for university For our Analyst Program, NIBC is looking for university graduates who share our enthusiasm for teamwork. Personal graduates who share our enthusiasm for teamwork. and professional development are the key-elements Personal of and professional development are the key-elements of the the Program: in-company training in co-operation with the Program:Institute in-company training working in co-operation with the Amsterdam of Finance; side-by-side with Amsterdam Institute of Finance; working side-by-side professionals at all levels and in every financial disciplinewith professionals at all levels as part of learning on every financial discipline as part of learning on thefrom job. diverse university backgrounds, We employ top talent We employ top talent and frombusiness diverseadministration, university backgrounds, ranging from economics to ranging from economics and business administration, law and technology. If you have just graduated withto law and technology. youthink have you just belong graduated withexceptional aboveaverage gradesIfand to that aboveaverage gradesapply andtoday. thinkJoining you belong to that exceptional class of top talent, NIBC’s Analyst Program class of top talent, apply today. Joining NIBC’s Analyst might be the most important career decision you everProgram make! might be the most important career decision you ever make! Want to know more? Surf to Want to know more? Surf to

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31 recent eXPloSionS in tuition FeeS For uniVerSity haVe triGGereD maSSiVe unreSt amonGSt the youth throuGhout euroPe. StuDent ProteStS in italy, enGlanD anD recently the netherlanDS may PoSSiBly inDicate the emerGence oF a new moVement. a moVement which we haVe not Seen in DecaDeS: a youth moVement. haS the time Finally come For thiS Generation to riSe anD make a StanD? or will theSe actionS turn out to Be BaSeD on nothinG more But minDleSS reBellion? Text: rick vAN gelder

“Shouting some witty slogans has never scared a regime.”

THE 2011 GENERATION F ollowing the establishment of a coalition government between conservatives and liberals in May 2010, the United Kingdom faced many issues that had to be dealt with rapidly. Despite being against this move at first, Nick Clegg of the Liberal Democrats agreed to increase the maximum tuition fee from £3,300 to an astounding fee of £9,000 per year. Needless to say, British youth are outraged, as college now seems farther away than ever. On 10 November 2010, the first major student protests began, as 52,000 protesters assembled in the streets of London. From peaceful protesting to rioting angrily – the people’s voice has been heard in different ways. The message, though, is unitary. Tuition fees should not rise. Governments should invest in education rather than cut budget.

Across the Channel, similar events have activated organized protests amongst students, scholars, teachers and everybody else concerned with the future of their countries. Simultaneously with the UK protests, Italians raised their voices and stormed the streets in 2010. Silvio Berlusconi and his men have adopted laws that will cut the education budget by – get ready for this – eight billion Euros, while 130,000 jobs in the sector will be lost. The Netherlands soon followed. With the new Rutte-Verhagen coalition installed last October, huge cutbacks on higher education have been announced. Studying for more than the set three years will result in a €3,000 fine for both the student and the university. We can say goodbye to extracurricular activities, if this bill were to pass. On 21 January 2011, Some 10,000 protestors assembled at the Malieveld, The Hague in a reaction to the proposed plans by

the cabinet. As we saw earlier in Italy and England, universities have encouraged students to attend. The University of Amsterdam and the University of Utrecht are amongst those who have spoken out in support of their students. Apart from England, Italy and the Netherlands, people are letting their voices be heard in Greece and France. It has been a while, though. During the nineties, everything seemed to go smoothly. There was absolutely no need for rebellion. But the times they are-a changing. Economic recession and political unrest in the heart of Europe have given the people reason to rebel once more. This sounds promising: could the new generation change the social order as we know it? That is up for debate. A lot of similarities can be spotted between this wave of unrest and those of the sixties. Weed-smoking hippies proved themselves to be powerless and unable to actually do something. The outcome of anti-war demonstrations appeared to have raised sympathy among the masses, but turned out to be futile. While contemporary protests seem to be better organized through media such as Facebook and Twitter – just look at Iran and Tunisia for more examples – it is too early to say whether student protests in Italy, the Netherlands and England will actually make a difference. Shouting some witty slogans has never scared a regime. The actual effects will have to be awaited. If cutbacks in education will be reversed or at least minimized, the 2011 Generation deserves to be mentioned in the history books. ■


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DiFFerenceS lAtely, MANy hAs BeeN clAiMiNg thAt Borders Are FAdiNg BecAuse oF gloBAlizAtioN ANd thAt cultures Are slowly BecoMiNg less diFFereNt FroM eAch other thAN they used to Be. But is thAt reAlly the cAse? reseArch shows thAt the process oF gloBAlizAtioN is Not AlwAys As pervAsive As it seeMs. iF you thiNk everyoNe is gettiNg More Alike, MAyBe you should thiNk twice. text: AlF lokkertseN




The emergence of social media has changed the way people look at privacy: putting unflattering pictures online, posting nasty comments about your boss and so forth. But how does this relate to different cultures? Are there any differences between specific cultures in how they approach privacy? Geert Hofstede, a renowned professor emeritus from Maastricht University, has done research concerning cultural dimensions and their differences. Professor Hofstede describes five dimensions: Power Distance, Individualism, Masculinity, Uncertainty Avoidance and Long-Term Orientation. Not all dimensions relate equally to privacy, but considering them in terms of attitudes toward privacy may help you grasp the idea of cultural differences better.


This dimension explains to what extent members of a society accept an imbalanced distribution of power. For example, in Japan the supervisor is more directly involved with his or her employees and thus requires less privacy. In the United States, a supervisor is seen as someone who has status and thus ‘needs’ more privacy. Because of this higher status, it is normal for supervisors in the United States to have their own offices away from their employees, their own parking spaces and other privileges.


Some cultures are considered to be individualistic, others more collectivistic. For instance, Asian cultures focus more on what is best for the group while Western cultures focus more on what is best for the individual. If you think about it, which seems like a more privacyoriented culture? It seems obvious that in order to comply with a collectivistic culture, you

“Differences in cultures probably never change, however, your own understanding of cross cultural management might improve your job and group work later in life.” would have to give up privacy ‘for the greater good’ because you yourself should give up your individuality. People from Western cultures are more focused on themselves, so does that mean they value their privacy more? In Asian cultures private life and work might not be as separated as in Western cultures. Getting drunk with your supervisor is important in Asian cultures, because it makes you show your real side. Does this not mean there is less privacy, since you open up more to your boss? Ambiguous as it is, there is no definite answer.


Cultures that are more masculine deem traits such as the competitive urge, materialism and assertiveness to be more valuable. Feminine cultures emphasize softer traits such as the importance of relationships, well-being and nurturing. Both the United States and Japan score high on masculinity, while Nordic countries (Denmark, Sweden) score high on femininity. Currently, the Wikileaks affair has


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caused some serious discussion about whether information should be kept hidden or widely publicized. Should the well-being of others be prioritized, as the feminine culture requires? Or should the truth be pursued? Clearly this issue is hotly debated.


Predictability and control are all about avoiding uncertainty. Think of Communism versus capitalism. In a communist regime, the government controls everything without giving people the possibility of taking risk or following their own thoughts and feelings. In Eastern European countries where Communism formerly ruled, taking initiative seems to be harder because risk has been considered to be dangerous. It can be argued that cultures that are all about control and predictability do not value private thoughts as much as do individualistic, free cultures. Therefore, privacy is not very important.


This dimension concerns the extent to which people value long-term thinking. If people focus on the long term they demonstrate more dedication to work because they expect rewards for their effort. Tradition is also important in cultures with a long-term orientation. In the short-term orientation, people are more open to change. Overall, it is clear that even though the world might become figuratively smaller, it is not necessarily the case that cultures are becoming more alike. Those who have worked with people from other cultures either in group work at their university or in a job will probably agree that not everyone thinks and acts alike. Differences in cultures perhaps will never change; however, your own understanding of cross-cultural management might improve your interactions with others. ■

Nestlé is internationaal de absolute marktleider in voedingsmiddelen, The World Food Company No.1. Een wereld waar naast Marketing en Sales, jouw ontwikkeling centraal staat. Nestlé biedt jaarlijks een aantal talenten de kans om ons commerciële traject het Young Talent Programme te volgen, om zo in korte tijd uit te groeien tot top marketeer, category manager of sales specialist. Het doel van Nestlé is om je na een algemene startervaring in sales, jouw talenten verder te laten ontplooien binnen de volle breedte van commercie: Category-, Account- of Marketing Management. Tijdens de Nestlé Young Talent Business Course in het voorjaar, vindt de selectie voor dit traject plaats. Wil je net als onze collega’s op een persoonlijke en betrokken manier bezig zijn met onze producten? Kijk dan voor meer informatie op

The world is waiting for you



a hyPeD-uP market:


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Caffeine Concoctions cAFFeiNe hAs loNg BeeN the stiMulANt oF choice For studeNts. whether it is iN A cup oF coFFee, A cAN oF eNergy driNk, or guArANA pills, it does Not MAtter, As loNg As it coNtAiNs thAt Much-Needed Burst oF eNergy. But whAt hAs proMpted this steep rise iN cAFFeiNe usAge, ANd whAt coNseQueNces does this hAve For society? text: tiMothy lANgstrAAt


affeine, in a myriad of forms, has been around for a very long time. While coffee was only discovered in the 15th century, chocolate, its also-caffeinated cousin, has been used in drinks since the 12th century BC. But it’s only been since the introduction in Europe that coffee has become a mainstay of society. Since then, coffee’s been an important part of daily life: your daily companion, giving you a boost whenever you’re tired. However, while coffee has always been popular, no one could ever have anticipated the explosive growth of the caffeine market. With the launch of Red Bull in the United States, in 1997, a whole new market sprung up: the energy drinks market. With people rushing everywhere, and never taking the time to sit back and relax, energy drinks, quick fi xes that would infuse you with the power needed to move on to the next thing, were the ultimate solution. And before long, using aggressive marketing tools such as sponsorship deals and free samples at major events, Red Bull became market leader around the world, and the world got addicted to energy drinks. Even though Red Bull conquered the energy drink market quickly, there were others that jumped in as well. The drinks started getting more caffeinated, and alcohol got added as well. The larger variety of drinks and the higher caffeine content created an even bigger boost for the energy drink market. Within a few years, the market grew from a mere one billion dollars a year in 2002 to an estimated 9 billion dollars in 2011. And it’s only going to get bigger. With the consumption of energy drinks growing, so are the health problems they create. Not only are they contributing to obesity, because of the high sugar content, but they’re increasing other problems as well. Heart problems can be increased because of the drinks, because of the rapid heartbeat associated with the consumption of energy drinks. There have been rare cases of people dying of cardiac arrest or other heart problems after consuming energy drinks,

such as Red Bull, though no direct link has ever been established. Another problem, which is far greater, is the problem of caffeine overdosing. Caffeine overdosing is typically considered as consuming more than 250 milligrams of caffeine, or the equivalent of two regular cups of coffee. As the consumption of caffeine increases, so do the occurrences of these problems. Tremors, nausea, headaches and restlessness herald the coming of caffeine overdose, which, as the caffeine consumption goes on, may go into vomiting, diarrhea and delirium. And while it’s easy to claim that it is a rare occurrence, unfortunately these cases are on the rise. In the United States, nearly 5000 people visited a hospital with caffeine-related health problems. Many more probably wait out the problems, until the caffeine has left their body. Energy drinks have conquered a unique, worldwide market. As more people start to rely on energy drinks, and caffeine in general, health problems relating to these drinks will increase as well. And that is important to remember. While energy drinks might help with the odd night of studying, continuous consumption is bad. The benefits they offer, a quick boost in energy, do not weigh up against the problems they might cause, such as heart problems and caffeine overdoses. And so, watch out. Red Bull might give you wings, but it might also just take you to heaven. ■

Article iNterFAce

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uNFAvourABle ecoNoMic, sociAl ANd politicAl coNditioNs iN developiNg couNtries All ArouNd the world hAve leAd AMBitioN, eNtrepreNeurship ANd poteNtiAl uNderdeveloped ANd Neglected For the greAter pArt oF the 20th ANd 21st ceNturies. the wAstiNg oF such possiBilities leAds to iNeFFicieNcies, poverty ANd A loss to society As whole oN NAtioNAl ANd iNterNAtioNAl level. with eMergiNg MArkets All over the world BlossoMiNg AFter yeArs oF deprAvity, guidANce ANd reseArch-grouNded Advice is More cAlled For thAN ever. text: Niels geesiNg An organization which has over 20 years of experience in offering tailor-made contract research to companies and non-profit organizations in emerging markets is STARâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s International Business Study project. In previous years, research has been conducted in emerging markets such as Mexico, India, Vietnam and Thailand. The destination of this year is Brazil, an emerging market with abundant possibilities. The IBS project is carried out by a group of 25 senior business administration students of RSM Erasmus University. The project started in October 2010 with general research on the country after which, in January, the acquisition period started, wherein companies are approached with offers of tailor-made contract research. After this period is finalized, many months of desk research will be followed including a three-week visit to Brazilie in July. During this visit the students will conduct field research and thereby get the opportunity to put theory into practice. The project finishes with the reporting stage in October 2011.


Of course this is all very interesting, but one may ask oneself: why go to Brazil? Are there not many more countries which fit the profile of a interesting emerging nation with abundant opportunities? Well there are, but the reasons for this choice are manifold. Brazil is one of the





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BRIC-countries, and, as we have all have read in the last issue of Interface, the BRIC-countries offer unique business opportunities and are bound to one day dominate global politics and economics. Brazil’s economy is driven by a growing services sector that has accounted for 60 percent of GDP in recent years and therefore has one of the fastest growing economies in the world. The Brazilian economy experienced a GDP growth of 5.10 percent during 2009-2010. By 2025, the Brazilian economy is by 2050, the Brazilian economy is projected to be one of the 5 largest economies in the world. The country’s economy is liberalized; therefore almost all sectors of the economy are open for foreign direct investment.

floriculture, business software, infrastructure, medical equipment, legal services, security, harbor- and airport development. Next to this, Brazil has many competitive advantages; one of the most important is a large workforce, including both skilled and unskilled labour willing to work at low wage rates.

Furthermore, Brazil’s growth is especially interesting for Dutch companies as the Netherlands has always had a good economic relationship with the country. For example, Brazil exports to the Netherlands in 2009 accounted for $1.66 billion to the Netherlands while imports were $1.1 billion during the same year. Most of the foreign direct investment from the Netherlands is concentrated in the following sectors: chemicals, food-processing, services (financial and non financial), telecom and trading. Most promising sectors for Dutch companies are agricultural, chemicals, sustainable energy,


“BY 2050, THE BRAZILIAN ECONOMY IS PROJECTED TO LARGEST ECONOMIES IN THE WORLD.” So do these hard facts and numbers tell the whole story? No, they most certainly do not. The International Business Study project al-

lows us, those privileged few in the world that have access to the monetary resources and education to follow our own dreams, develop our own ambition and reach our goals, to aid those like minded and ambitious persons in emerging markets all over the world in realizing their dreams by aiding their companies and organizations in blossoming within their future enterprises. Supporting the development of entrepreneurship in developing market is the key to sustainable economic growth in these regions. The IBS project acts in acknowledgement of this principle whilst at the same time accepting the responsibility of the Western world in guiding and supporting these developments. The contribution such developments will make to the economic future of their respective countries as well as the world as a whole must not be underestimated, and the opportunity of developing entrepreneurial and business potential in emerging markets may very well stand at the cradle of the next phase in the development of the global economy. Through this challenging project, which not only builds on the intellect but also the initiative and different perspectives within the IBS team, STAR and RSM hope to contribute to a better world, and are confident the program will prove to be extremely successful. ■

Resultaten uit uit ons Resultaten ons verleden verleden bieden biedengaranties garanties voor jouw toekomst. voor jouw toekomst.

Academisch toptalent Een academische titel is natuurlijk een geweldige investering in je carrière. Maar eigenlijk Academisch toptalent academische titel natuurlijk een je carrière. Maarkeuze. eigenlijk begint het nu pas. Als jij eenEen baan bij de top van hetis bedrijfsleven of geweldige de overheidinvestering ambieert, isinDeloitte de beste

begint het nu pas. jij een baan bij de naar top van het bedrijfsleven de overheid ambieert, is Deloitte de beste keuze. Elk jaar scoren we Als hoog in onderzoeken favoriete werkgevers,of arbeidsvoorwaarden en werknemerstevredenheid. Elk jaar zijn scoren hoog in onderzoeken naar favoriete werkgevers, werknemerstevredenheid. Bovendien veelwe topfunctionarissen in Nederland hun carrière begonnenarbeidsvoorwaarden bij Deloitte. En dat isen niet toevallig. Bij ons werk Bovendien zijn veel topfunctionarissen in Nederland hun carrière begonnen bij Deloitte. En dat is niet toevallig. Bij ons werk je namelijk al vanaf dag één aan innovatieve oplossingen voor én met toonaangevende organisaties. En ondertussen je namelijk al vanaf dag één aan innovatieve oplossingen voor cv énzetten, met toonaangevende organisaties. aan je eigen waardevermeerdering. Nu onze naam op jouw betaalt zich straks dus dubbel En en ondertussen dwars uit. aan je eigen waardevermeerdering. Nu onze jouw dus dubbel en dwars uit. Zoek jij denaam besteop start vancvje zetten, carrière?betaalt Begin zich eerststraks hier: Zoek jij de beste start van je carrière? Begin eerst hier:




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a camPuS in

Bloom Every year, Erasmus University and RSM climb in the world’s rankings of top schools, and every year the number of students continues to grow. To accommodate this growth, the Woudestein campus will undergo some major changes in the coming years. What lies ahead?

text: Niels geesiNg

“The Pavilion will allow students to effectively combine lounging, working, studying and networking within a laid back atmosphere.”

rasmus University has set up an ambitious plan for the next few decades which involves reshaping the entire university, particularly the campus. The first stage will change the campus drastically and will be finished in 2013. There will be a new main entrance and access point called Erasmus Plaza, which is described as a “green and vibrant esplanada”. It is definitely the place to be, as it will link two main areas of the new campus: the high-rise urban area and the green park area, giving students a place to relax after work or study. The heart of the Plaza will be located at the Student Pavilion, which is composed of a number of spacious and versatile rooms that offer high-speed Internet access. The Pavilion is meant to inspire and stimulate, and promotes the meeting of business and research with science and society. It is located at the intersection of the Plaza and the Institutenlaan, which places it right at the centre of the campus’ main axis of movement. Architecturally, the Pavilion will feature transparent facades, open-space planning, and floating ceilings. Located next to a pond, it will allow students to effectively combine lounging, working, studying, and networking in a laid back atmosphere. As the international appeal of Erasmus University, and RSM in particular, increases by the day, more housing will be required for international students. The university, in association with Stadswonen, plans on

providing these accommodations on campus by constructing what will be called the U-building. This building will have 15 floors and will accommodate 370 students. The rooms will be grouped into 2- or 3-room units that will a share bathroom, kitchen, and toilet. Located in the heart of the new “green campus”, all facilities are within arm’s reach and the lecture rooms are within walking distance. The last major changes concern the restructuring and renovation of two existing buildings: the L- and C-buildings. The Institutenlaan, which now runs through the L-building, will go underground, passing the L-building below ground level. At the same time, 5 floors will be added to the L-building, providing room for a mock court, a library, and additional offices and lecture halls. This will effectively increase the building’s capacity by 6,000 square meters. The C-building will also be completely renovated; in fact, work on it has already begun, in a way, through the construction of the V-building opposite the M-building, which will be taken into temporary use for the duration of the C-building’s renovations. All in all, the plans are ambitious and, if successful, will provide Erasmus University and RSM in particular with facilities that befit a university and business school of their status. Even though few current students (only those in their first or second year) will be around to witness it, the Woudestein campus will grow, develop, and bloom into a world class campus for a world class university. ■

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MArch 2011


Why some

assets are best left


laSt Summer, ProF. Gail whiteman ParticiPateD in an imPortant eXPeDition to the arctic ice FloeS oF canaDa to See at FirSt hanD the imPact oF climate chanGe. For her it waS an eye-oPener that reinForceD the increaSinGly imPortant role oF ecoloGy anD SuStainaBility in BuSineSS. text: Joe Figueiredo

rsM pAges



ou would not have expected to find sustainable innovation or green investment as part of a business school’s syllabus ten years back. However, the threat of climate change has become such a hot topic, one with bottom-line consequences, that most Fortune 500 companies are addressing ecological and sustainability issues by working, for example, to reduce their carbon footprints. In July 2010 Gail Whiteman, ECORYS Professor of Sustainability and Climate Change at RSM, and scientific director of the Sustainability and Climate Research Centre of Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), was invited to join an ecological voyage through the Arctic Northwest Passage aboard a polar-class scientific ship. The trip, which included people drawn from a broad spectrum – from science and business to policy and social leadership – was organised by the Canadian Institute of Arctic Oceans as part of Canada’s Three Oceans (C3O) project and International Polar Year (a polar-region scientific programme run by the International Council for Science and the World Meteorological Organization). C3O enables natural scientists to investigate the state of the Atlantic,


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Pacific and Arctic Oceans and collect physical, geo-chemical and biological data. Crucially, their work also covers the Arctic’s Canada Basin, an area significantly affected by climate change. ‘Canadian scientists realised that they could study this phenomenon all they want, but without getting people involved from other areas and disciplines, such as business, they wouldn’t get as far as they needed to go,’ says Whiteman. ‘That’s why they invited 13 of us – including CEOs from two large companies, the president of the Canadian space programme and several senior government officials – on a trip through the Northwest Passage.’ An important part of Canadian history, this passage was seen as a potential trade route that would shorten travel time between Europe, Russia and the Far East. However, it wasn’t until 2007 that the Northwest Passage became ice-free in the summer, thanks to climate change.

the PhiloSoPher’S journey

Whiteman’s trip, which lasted a week, was called the “Philosopher’s Journey”. ‘That’s because we basically spent a lot of our time presenting and brainstorming ideas – philosophising, in other words – with the objective of developing strategies for change,’ she says. ‘We typically discussed policy and how to position the Arctic as a strategic asset. I’m not of course referring to its oil, gas and minerals, but to maintaining the integrity of these ecosystems by preventing the loss of Arctic sea ice, which regulates global climate and in turn has knock-on effects for the global economy and societies everywhere.’ When not philosophising, ‘we got involved in scientific sampling, or spent the time observing what was happening outside,’ says Whiteman. ‘Funny, spending hours watching the ice and the effects of climate change first-hand created an emotional bond between ourselves and the natural environment.’ But for Whiteman, this was more than an emotional experience with nature. ‘It was also exhilarating, inspiring, to work with such focused, high-powered people determined to make a difference,’ she says. ‘As well as extending my own professional network with like-minded people, I also learnt the value of satellite technology in tracking the effects of climate change in real-time.’

the Value oF Science

There is much work to be done, says Gail: ‘We need more accurate data and a lot more sophistication in terms

L to R: Gail Whiteman, Jim Balsillie, co-CEO Research in Motion (RIM), Terry Prowse, lead author IPCC report (working group II, polar regions), & Tim MacDonald, CEO Ideal Supply.

of economic valuation and modelling. Although a report published this year by the International Arctic Research Center indicates that Arctic climate change is a big-ticket item, with initial cost-estimates of its impact (including to agriculture, energy, water supplies and human health) being between US$2 trillion and US$24 trillion over the next 50 years, we need to refine the measures, go one step further and identify what global climate change means for a specific country or market sector.’ According to Whiteman, work also needs to be done putting the numbers together and converting complex environmental science into compelling and convincing narrative. ‘We have to grab the attention of business people, such as CEOs, and make them realise that this not only bad news for polar bears, but also for the health of the global economy,’ she says. ‘While business people easily grasp the monetary value of the Arctic’s fossil fuels and minerals, they also need to understand the business implications of preserving the Arctic ice sheets and that they are strategically invaluable assets. Ideally, we need to keep the business community informed through some sort of ongoing outreach, possibly in the form of an Arctic communication strategy.’ Gail concludes with some advice: ‘Remember, the Arctic is the canary in the coalmine, we need to watch it closely. If it were feasible, I would advise business executives to experience and learn firsthand, as I did, that this ecological situation is real and more than just a looming fear in the distance. What’s more, it’s not about just being on some sort of ‘green’ mission: there are significant opportunities to be found in climate change and sustainability for businesses with the right approach and attitude.’ ■ Sustainability and Climate Research Centre

rsM pAges



MArch 2011



A New Multi-discipliNAry iNitiAtive seeks to serve As the MAiN kNowledge pArtNer oF the port oF rotterdAM. its ultiMAte goAl? to MAke rotterdAM the Best port iN the world. text: cAtheriNe wAlker


he dominant production factors for sea ports have shifted significantly over the years, says Bart Kuipers of the Erasmus School of Economics. First it was muscle, then it was capital, and now it’s knowledge. Together with Albert Veenstra, assistant professor at RSM’s Department of Decision and Information Sciences, Kuipers is co-ordinating ‘Erasmus Smart Port Rotterdam’ – designed to bring that all-important knowledge direct to where it can best be used.

is that it draws together research expertise from five EUR schools – involving more than 40 researchers – and brings them into partnership with key stakeholders within the Port and related industries (see panel). ‘That makes for a very multidisciplinary community,’ says RSM’s Veenstra, ‘and it enables us to offer a much better proposition to the Port. We want to build on existing business contacts but extend that network to include a broader set of companies, including Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).’

This centre of excellence for maritime and port-related research and education was launched in 2009, building on strong relationships between Erasmus University (EUR) and the Port of Rotterdam and with many of the companies linked to it – both in the Port’s container centre and within the city itself. What’s new about the Smart Port initiative

‘Our goal is to be the main knowledge partner of the Port and industrial complex here in Rotterdam, and to be the educator of choice,’ says Kuipers. ‘It’s all about increasing the attractiveness of the Port of Rotterdam region as a place to do business, by ensuring excellent connections with the knowledge institutes.’

A world clAss port

It’s a message welcomed by Henk de Bruijn, Corporate Strategy Manager at the Port of Rotterdam: ‘We have a world-class port and will be investing millions of euros over the next decade because it’s important for our customers that we make Rotterdam the best port in the world. ‘We know we have stiff competition in western Europe – from Hamburg and Antwerp, for example. That’s why we also need world-class research and students, and to put a lot of effort into social and R&D activity. Smart Port has the potential to achieve all these things,’ A vital part of the centre’s responsibility is to ensure that EUR’s research agenda matches the needs of the Port and those working within it. Although specific projects are still being defined, Veenstra and Kuipers see the Smart Port research as falling into three broad strands:

rsM pAges


Global – examining the Port’s role in global economic structures and its position within global networks and supply chains. Local – analysing the development of the Port in relation to local networks and institutions: the city, region and surrounding municipalities. This will include important aspects of port economics and governance. Facilitating industry – looking at business clusters within the Port and the dynamics involved, how those companies compete, how they develop innovation, etc. One example of how the research will benefit industry, says Veenstra, is current work to determine potential efficiencies in cargo handling and trans-shipment: ‘A large part of our current research is about developing sustainable hinterland networks – finding a suitable split between barge, rail and truck and considering all kinds of measures to make the interchange between those different modes more efficient for the Port. So there’s a very relevant link between priorities on the business side and the type of research we can execute and translate into ready solutions for the business community.’ Another pressing concern for De Bruijn and the Port Authority is to develop a long-term vision and strategy for the Port, especially with the current uncertainties over Europe’s future economic performance. ‘If one assumes growth, that has repercussions for infrastructure development and capacity needs,’ says Veenstra. ‘If, on the other hand, one expects that over the long term the European economy will not grow, that presents an entirely different picture of how the Port may operate. What is a realistic and sustainable growth scenario? And what will that mean for the Port’s capacity requirements, in terms of cargo handling?’ That’s why De Bruijn and his colleagues from the Port Authority are already in discussions with leading international economists from the participating EUR schools, including RSM. Education is also an important priority for Smart Port. ‘We want to play a very active role in exe-


MArch 2011

cutive education,’ says Kuipers. ‘There’s a large demand from companies to coach their existing workforce in new concepts – and the Port is also dealing with the problem of an ageing population, making lifelong learning very important.’

Facts & Figures



Number of sea-going vessels to visit the Port of Rotterdam = 33,352 Number of vessels loaded/unloaded = 29,200 The Port of Rotterdam measures 10,570 ha 10,570 ha = 14,798 football pitches Source: Port of Rotterdam: Port Statistics 2009

The team is already planning how to adapt and add to existing Bachelors and Masters programmes to prepare the next generation of Port executives. ‘We want to offer them a multi-disciplinary background because problems within the Port are seldom mono-disciplinary. We’d very much like to broaden their mindset in terms of port issues,’ explains Kuipers. Looking ahead, De Bruijn is confident the new centre will bring the Port of Rotterdam multiple benefits – creating greater awareness at EUR, and the schools individually, of the career and research opportunities within the Port, increasing access to EU and other research funding through collaborative bids, and enabling SMEs – a crucial part of the port economy – to be brought into closer contact with EUR, RSM and the other participating schools. But above all, he believes that bringing together professionals from Port and University will help unlock new ideas and innovations that will be important for ensuring the future direction of the Port of Rotterdam and increasing its profitability. ■

More information can be found at

Participating Schools: • Rotterdam School of Management • Erasmus School of Economics • Erasmus School of Law • Public Administration, Faculty of Social Sciences • Faculty of History and Arts Smart Port Partners • Port of Rotterdam Authority • Deltalinqs • City of Rotterdam

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Interface Magazine - March 2011  
Interface Magazine - March 2011  

The third issue of Interface Magazine of the academic year 2010-2011. This issue is themed 'growth'. Interface is the magazine of STAR, Stud...