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Executive Programme in Management Studies

Student testimonial

Daphne Steegh

'I loved the combination of theory and practice, especially in courses taught by lecturers who combine high level management with research and teaching'

Daphne Steegh, Department Head at the Municipality of Amsterdam

'I actually wanted to study business when I was a teenager, but decided against it, for various reasons. That ambition never left me, even after finishing other degrees and becoming successful in my career. My office is actually a block away from the Amsterdam Business School, so one day I cycled past it and decided to go for it. And it has brought me tremendous joy.'

'I loved how the EPMS programme gradually offers more of a challenge. At first, rediscovering what it is like to go back to school, to write papers and to take exams is your main focus, apart from fitting all of that into your daily life. As you get used to your new surroundings, the challenges you are given grow exponentially. What I also very much enjoyed, was being surrounded by like-minded students. We had different backgrounds and were of different ages, but we had the same goals and experienced the same tribulations. That, together with the comfortable campus and passionate lecturers, made the Amsterdam Business School feel like a second home.'

'The programme further honed my thinking skills and gave me some very practical tools to apply in my daily work. Because I was already working as a senior manager, I was able to experiment with certain aspects of organisational design, signalling and other leadership strategies, as well as train others in those fields. To this day, I still apply what I was taught on negotiations on an almost weekly basis. Additionally, my research on gender diversity in leadership enabled me to start a training programme on female leadership, as well as opening doors for further research opportunities.'

'Completing EPMS definitely influenced new insights in how I want to organise my career, so that I can continue to combine strategic management with ongoing research on leadership. I loved the very applicable combination of theory and practice, especially in those courses taught by lecturers who combine high level management or consultant positions with research and teaching. I never considered doing both, yet here I am, doing so and enjoying every minute of it. In the end, it gave more meaning to the work and research that I am doing.'

'There are several unique qualities to this programme, as far as I’m concerned. The way the programme is structured, first and foremost. It gradually increases in difficulty, gradually introduces theories which build on each other, and the electives enable you to shape the programme in such a way that it fits your individual needs. Also, practically, the location of the Roeterseiland Campus is a plus, not only because it is easily accessible, but also because it is located in a vibrant part of Amsterdam. Furthermore, the facilities on campus make it easy to meet with fellow students and spend a comfortable full day at the Amsterdam Business School. And then, of course, my fellow students, who were all so open to learning new things, working together and including everyone. We had so much fun together, even if assignments were hard or when there was a lot on our plates. It was a joy getting to know everyone, and getting a peek into their lives and ambitions. Finally, our gifted lecturers, who managed to keep us engaged, as well as the staff at EPMS, especially Laura Keessen!'

'I thought some of the lecturers masterfully linked practice to theory. Great examples were Tanja Hentschel, who taught Leadership and Management, as well as Richard Ronay, who offered Managing People Strategically, and Jeroen van Bree, who taught Designing Future-Proof Organisations. Tanja taught me some simple ways to avoid group thinking in meetings, Richard taught me to negotiate on a different level, and Jeroen taught me how to group organisational elements within a strategic design. All of these examples I almost immediately put into practice in my work.'

'The first 2 or 3 months, it was a bit of a struggle to combine work, life and study, but I quickly regained my rhythm. You have to get used to another frame of mind and getting back into an abstract way of thinking. I was fortunate enough to be able to clear my Fridays for study, and I was fortunate enough to work only a block away from campus, which made the logistics of things quite easy. My CEO was interested in what I was doing at EPMS, which made our discussions even more lively, as well as affording me opportunities to try out some things and do research on the job. And last but not least, my husband supported me unconditionally. As he had to pick up quite a bit of slack at home, that certainly made things much easier for me.'

'My advice to people who are considering doing this programme would simply be: just go for it, you will not regret it. You will be surrounded by motivated, like-minded people, who will make it easier for you to adjust. And you will be surprised at what you are capable of!'