Becoming a socially responsible leader at Nyenrode Business University

Leaders today must lead by example and demonstrate high levels of social responsibility. Pablo Barros from Colombia shares a day in his life as a full-time MBA student at Nyenrode Business University in Amsterdam, providing some insights into how the program helped him become a socially responsible leader.

In short

Balancing personal & professional transformation to achieve sustainability

The major focus at Nyenrode Business University is on achieving sustainable goals through socially responsible business practices. If these goals resonate with you and you want to trek that path of social responsibility, Pablo Barros’s day at Nyenrode might shine a light for you.

Managing and leading in a scenario where you are not only responsible towards various monetary stakeholders but also towards society as a whole and your environment has a complexity of a higher level.

Willem van Donge, Head of Career and Personal Development at Nyenrode Business University, says in one of his Leadership Development Modules, “You need to be assertive but also pleasant and easy to work with.” (00:09)

To be able to do this requires a transformation at a personal level. It requires inspiration and lessons from those who have walked the path and contributed to a significant positive change.

The reality of doing business: Putting theory into practice

Going through real practical business contexts in the Full-time MBA at Nyenrode Business University, Pablo Barros says, “The way I study [here] reflects the reality of doing business. Next week, we will be going to London and we will present our cases at the Google headquarters.” (00:36)

Pablo’s learning experience is further enhanced when he gets to experience different European markets, different working environments, and meet different CEOs via Nyenrode’s European Immersion Modules and Meet the CEO Sessions.

European Immersion Modules and Meet the CEO Sessions are two of the core elements of the Full-time MBA program at Nyenrode. These elements of the program bring students in close contact with the secrets of successful executives. While European Immersion Modules give students a chance to meet with and present to various players of the European Business Community, Meet the CEO Sessions, allow students to interact and exchange experiences with senior executives. These interactions further help to build your professional network and add to your personal and professional growth.

Staying relevant and (intellectually) on-the-move

This “reality of doing business” also entails being constantly on the move towards staying up-to-date, learning new things, collaborating, and exchanging experiences. Staying relevant ensures your readiness for upcoming challenges.

In this regard, Pablo shares that he and his group are very lucky to have a lecture hosted by Prof. dr. Désirée van Gorp, a Professor of International Business at Nyenrode. He says, “The lecture is part of the Digitalization, Information and Innovation module in the program.” (00:38)

With such modules in the program, you get a chance to walk the bridge between theory and practice while simultaneously adapting to the ever-evolving business and innovation landscape. You get to learn how businesses adapt to the change and how you as a responsible leader should put your best step forward in the landscape of social innovations.

Corporate social responsibility for social transformation

In a world where consumer awareness and conscious consumption are on the rise, taking on corporate social responsibility creates a positive domino effect. It is the much required pillar for doing business in modern times, for bringing social transformation, and for pushing forward sustainable social innovation.

The central theme of Nyenrode’s strategy in 2020-2024 is transformation: the transformation of people, organizations, and society.

One of the ways students become forerunners of societal transformation at Nyenrode is by “getting inspired by responsible leaders,” as Pablo puts it. We got to hear a speaker from Tony Chocolonely and learned about their impact in the world and about corporate social responsibility,” he adds. (00:59)

Driving corporate social responsibility: Are you up for the challenge?

The journey toward corporate social responsibility is not about going from point A to point B. It’s exactly about what you would like it to be: challenging. 

It’s about making various bridges that stand on collaborative power and “seeking societal impact with a strengthened academic foundation and transformative education,” as Nyenrode’s 2021 Report of Board states.

It’s about practicing and executing the theory, which is what attracted Pablo to Nyenrode in the first place. He shares, “What attracted me to the Full-time MBA at Nyenrode was the practical approach of the program and the opportunity to engage with top companies in the Netherlands and in Europe.” (00:17)

Interested in hearing more about what it’s like to do an MBA? Contact our Student Ambassadors who will be happy to share their experiences.

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