An American in Europe: the MBA
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An American in Europe: the MBA

It has been nearly 3 months now at Nyenrode [in Western Europe as an MBA student].  Quite a lot has happened over these months, it wasn’t actually until just a few minutes ago, that I sit for a few moments to reflect back to the first day of class.  It is amazing actually to think that so much (and so much time) can pass, and seem like merely a blink of an eye. 

Before I get too carried away, I feel it only suitable to introduce myself.  I am Robert Deidun, born and raised in the US.  Prior to my current MBA at Nyenrode, in the Netherlands, all of my education was in America.  I spent 4 years in the US Marines, then was recruited by a small fast-growing technology, engineering consultancy firm based out of Washington DC.  I spent 6 great years there, prior to taking a year off for myself to go back to school.  I am happily married to my wife Cindy and we have a year-old son, Matthew; they both join me in the small town of Maarssen, just 6km away from Nyenrode’s campus, where I commute daily.

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Robert Deidun, International MBA student, Nyenrode Business Universiteit

My typical day starts around 7am, I wake up, get my things ready for school, and spend a little time playing with my son, Matthew.  I ride either a bicycle (typical Dutch) or ride a motor scooter the 15-minute countryside ride to Nyenrode’s campus every morning and back every evening.  Upon arrival, it’s hard not to notice the 13th century castle that welcomes you as I ride through Nyenrode’s main gate.  And in the short ride on campus, it’s quite a site to see the reindeer, ostrich, swans, and beautiful green nature and open space (not so typical Dutch) that make up practically the entire Nyenrode landscape. 

The thing that I find most striking at Nyenrode is my fellow classmates.  I looked at many “International” MBA programs before choosing Nyenrode, but none of them were quite as “International” as this group.   I’m one of 33 students and we come from 21 different nationalities.  This makes (especially for somebody like me) for an incredible cultural experience.  Whether it’s an Indian party, Spanish party, Dutch party, or just sitting around having a few beers with your group study mates, there’s no place quite like this where you can learn and appreciate culture. 

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Nyenrode's castle

Not only is this a culturally diverse group, but we all come from various backgrounds as well, from: Finance to Engineering, IT to the United Nations, Marketing to Manufacturing – you name it!  Having the opportunity to work a lot in groups, we find out quickly the value of diversity of thought, from our various backgrounds.  I can still recall my first group study, and how many times my group mates kept saying, “we hadn’t thought of it from that prospective, that’s really interesting that you look at it that way…” for practically any case topic.  Being immersed by so many cultures and backgrounds in a group atmosphere has broadened my view on many topics, just in a few months. 

Whether it’s meeting classmates in the morning discussing the preparation of a new business idea and business plan, or discussing an intricate case study from class, there’s never a dull moment at Nyenrode.

If you have any questions about the program, feel free to contact me at r.deidun@imba2012.nyenrode.nl.

Author: Robert Deidun, International MBA student, Nyenrode Business Universiteit