International MBA 2015-2016 kicks off

Last Oct 12th, the new cohort of the full-time International MBA at Nyenrode officially kicked off. A very diverse group of talents representing countries such as Brazil, China, Mexico, Russia, India and many more, joined the recently revamped 1-year program.

As part of their introduction, a series of activities took place over the weekend of Oct 10th-11th in which the new students had the chance to participate in seminars, meet with alumni, receive informational talks from representatives of Expat Center Utrecht and even take part on a workshop led by Boom!Chicago.


There was another special celebration at Nyenrode Business Universiteit. 41 participants with 20 different nationalities started their journey of becoming global responsible leaders with great excitements. Those talents came from all over the world, with average work experience of 8.5 years, different industrial and educational backgrounds already started challenging themselves to bring out the best of each other.

This is not such a unique scene in the MBA world. Most of the globally reputable business universities must have seen the similar scenes for MBAs in one way or another. However, there is something different about Nyenrode International MBA class of 2016/17. For this class, women are the MAJORITY – 59% of all participants.

What´s more special is the fact that it is not the first time Nyenrode celebrated greater female population compared to the industry average. In 2012, its international MBA kicked off with 49% female participants. Even for Executive MBA which attracts more experiences managers with the tendency of even lower number of women had the record of having 45% female participants in one cohort that graduated in the same year. The university never focused on recruiting more women so how come the result says otherwise?

“Nyenrode strives to facilitate the learning environment that ensures diverse aspirations of global talents are respected and nurtured in the way that individuals can become the best leaders he/she can be. The way we do so is like a mirror image of how the business world is evolving due to our DNA of being the only private business school in the country where international business and trade are its core strength. Thus there is no doubt that recent global business movement to encourage female leadership must have had an impact on increased female application. However, we believe there is more to it at Nyenrode.” Says Christo Nel, Program director of International and Executive MBA at Nyenrode. “The recent re-design of our international MBA program reinforces the balance between soft and hard skills, which are fundamentals of to becoming a successful and responsible global leader. Thus, personal development is emphasized as equally important, if not more, as career development which is completely integrated in the entire duration of program. On top of that, Nyenrode’s revamped International MBA is designed around integrated business practices that reflect the reality of business. Each business practice involves collaborative faculty addressing multidisciplinary topics and assessing participants’ progress with integrated cases and assignments, just like the way business works. I believe this unique combination attracted female professionals that have the aspiration to become “balanced” leaders pursuing collaboration approach not isolation.” he added.

Nel’s view is also strongly endorsed by the female participants at Nyenrode. Laura Tromp (Aruba) said, " I certainly believe it is important for women to be well represented in the workplace, to be successful and respected. However, I definitely did not base my business school selection on the likelihood of finding gender parity in the classroom. I was looking for a MBA program that offers learning environment that provides high quality education in a socially engaged manner. Nyenrode’s re-designed International MBA program combines career and personal development through hands-on application of acquired knowledge via working on real life consultancy projects, for example through meet the CEO sessions where participants will act as consultants directly to the C-level executives of global companies. In addition, in-campus living experience that allows all participants to share expertise with other talented and diverse professionals – male or female, will prepare be to excel in the increasingly global business environment.” Her classmate Joanna Biernat (Poland) also added “As a female professional, I believe in a positive impact of women leadership in the global business environment. I chose the newly re-designed MBA Program at the Nyenrode Business Universiteit as I am convinced it has all it takes to accelerate my personal and professional leadership development journey, as a woman. The program combines practical business knowledge with personal growth, in a truly international environment. In addition, I found the program unique as this MBA also creates a learning platform that allows all participating professionals to share divers expertise, male or female, during modules in three different continents: EU, China and South Africa.”

It is definitely another milestone that Nyenrode has achieved. But what is more important is the fact that Nyenrode achieved this NOT by focusing on recruiting women. It is a result of its constant endeavor towards shaping global responsible leaders via providing personal attention to individuals’ aspirations and making bold decision to redesign the program to mirror image the real business world.

Some of the key characteristics of the IMBA 2015-2016 class are:

  • 41 students
  • 20 nationalities
  • Average work experience: 8.5 years
  • Average age: 30 years
  • 59% female vs 41% male

In addition to these 41 talents, 15 more participants will join the program in January 2016 as part of the partnership between Nyenrode & SP Jain Institute of Management.

Welcome home new talents!