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Marleen Dieleman, 41, Alumna RSM, Associate Professor, NUS Business School (Singapore)

“I come from a modest family hailing from Zeeland, a small province in the southwest of the Netherlands. Coming to Erasmus University totally opened up my mind and broadened my outlook on life. During my studies, I was determined to see more of the world, so I wrote a thesis in Latin America, went on an exchange programme in Asia and did my internship in Africa. It’s so rewarding to move beyond your comfort zone!

I want to make a positive impact on the business world. If you’re able to make an impact and inspire other people to make changes, then you’re making it happen. My PhD was on one of the largest Indonesian family conglomerates. I now live and work in Singapore. I am specialised in Asian family businesses: I do research, teach, sit on a listed company board and do occasional consulting for family business owners. What excites me is to see how people manage unpredictable business environments and the sort of solutions they come up with.

Going to Erasmus University made a huge impact on my life. I realised that I could use my brain and that my brain could take me a long way. For ten years, I’ve been knocking on people’s doors; now people knock on my door all the time.”

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