Ever travelled more than 500 km in a day, that too on a bike? It’s not easy – the winds are constantly in your face, there is the constant danger from speeding trucks and SUVs, and of course, in summer, the Indian sun beating down on you can take a toll quite quickly. Now, meet someone who is not bothered by any of this, but can cover not just 500, but even upto 800km in a day on his bike. This is because he cut his teeth on – wait for it – large merchant navy tankers!! Divyabhash Mankad is a sailor who has travelled to dozens of countries around the world. And now its the RSM MBA that will take him places.
On the other hand, Gagandeep Singh helps the world’s top telecom companies in different countries, from UAE to France, to improve operations and cut costs. At first glance, one may think that they have little in common, except perhaps a jetsetting lifestyle. That wouldn’t be wrong – that, and the fact that they made it to the Rotterdam School of Management (RSM) MBA, one of Europe’s top MBA programs, in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Great education, great career opportunities, and great culture are just some of the perks of attending Erasmus University’s MBA program. As this short example might illustrate, RSM MBA students come from different walks of life, and very disparate professions, but they have one thing in common that defined success for them – doing well on the competitive RSM MBA application, and acing their RSM MBA essays. Let’s dive in.
What makes the Erasmus RSM MBA program different?
Divyabhash and Gagan weren’t drawn to the RSM MBA just because it is a top European program. It is one of the most diverse programs of its kind too, with over 95% of the class regularly (the current figure is 97%) drawn from around the world. At RSM, students work in groups of 6, with each team member drawn from a different country and culture. This provides for very rich learning and cross-cultural interaction. RSM is also known for its focus on entrepreneurship, and for fostering a class of leaders that is focused on creating business value in socio-economic areas like microfinance and sustainability too. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to have ambitions to work in these areas. It may well mean, though, that at RSM, you will also be able to learn from many people with non-traditional backgrounds.
On career outcomes, 84% of RSM’s MBA class most recently found jobs within 3 months of graduation, with Finance (24%), Consulting (19%), Marketing (17%), and Operations (14%) accounting for most of the offers. Amazon, IBM, KPMG, Microsoft, Mitsubishi, Philips, PwC, and Samsung are some of the top global names who hire RSM MBA students.
Now, what does it take to get there, and how do you tackle the RSM MBA essays?
RSM MBA essays and story samples/examples – topics/analysis
RSM has recently changes its MBA essay set, moving away from the traditional goals question to introduce a new option for applicants. Here are the RSM MBA essay topics:
RSM MBA ESSAYS:
(a). Share how you’ve already been a force for positive change in your world. Your example can be large or small, global or local, but must highlight the positive impact you’ve had through your efforts. Tell us your story.
(b). Discuss how the RSM MBA will prepare you to become a force for positive change, either in your personal or professional life.
Analysis: Taking over a country, eliminating a deadly disease, or inventing a supercomputer. Which one do you pick? Thankfully, none! RSM provides an option for the first essay here, and it’s focused on changing the world. As we have noted above, this is a theme that the school deeply cares about, but they don’t define ‘changing the world’ as necessarily something that has mass impact. Normal, everyday things that you do to make a difference are just as welcome.
If you pick the first option, you could talk about making a difference in your community, contributing to a CSR cause, or even about how you have helped colleagues do better at work. There is no pressure here for this to be a social cause. All that they are looking at is what you did, and what this shows about your ability to identify an issue, address it, and work for a cause other than just your own. A quick tip here – try and use examples where you can clearly be seen as the driver behind positive change, not ones in which you are simply a cog in the huge wheel of corporate machinery that is actually creating the results. Similarly, avoid examples in which you force yourself to be seen as the ‘good’ girl/guy. You can’t fake being good, can you?
For those picking the second option, the canvas is completely blank. Given that the RSM MBA does not provide a traditional ‘goals’ essay now, many applicants would be tempted to use this option to make that case. Be careful, though – the question is asking for how the RSM MBA will help you be a force for good, not how it will help you achieve your career goals. Be sure to show what the change will be (and why it is not possible without RSM), and what the value created will be too. You could choose a personal example here (e.g. talking about how the RSM MBA could give you skills to enhance your contribution to specific causes) or a professional one (e.g. how the program could help you eliminate a certain problem in your industry). A recent applicant we worked with used a beautiful example that showed how analytics in healthcare in low-cost environments could create a specific difference.
Preparing to write the RSM MBA essays
As we have just seen, the RSM MBA essays will take some time to get right. They involve personal stories, lessons, and plans, and so require more thought than just putting down your goals on paper and justifying why you need an MBA. The RSM MBA has deadlines in the first week of April, June, August, October, and November each year. If you are an international applicant, try and apply by August, as seats fill up quickly.
Finally, in case you are looking for top-notch professional help for RSM (we have helped multiple folks make it) you can send us an email or fill in our contact form. All the best!