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NSM Focus | Sharmishta Chatterjee-Banerjee: “NSM’s interdisciplinary approach is what the future is all about”

Date of news: 10 December 2020

She is the new Policy Director Internationalisation of the Nijmegen School of Management. With extensive experience in internationalisation and external engagement, Sharmishta Chatterjee-Banerjee will play a major role in building the global reputation of the Faculty.

Can you tell us a bit about your background?Sharmista
“Originally I am from India, though my home now is in Newcastle in UK. I have a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s in marketing management. I have also undertaken the W30 Leadership programme at UCLA and the Advance Higher Education’s Aurora Programme. For the last fourteen years I worked for Newcastle University Business School. I joined there initially as Alumni Relations Manager. Then I climbed the ranks and after several other positions I became Head of Corporate Connections and Internationalisation.I was invited by EFMD, that grants EQUIS accreditation to join their External Relations Steering Committee for a 5 year term in 2018.”

What made you decide to come to Nijmegen?
“The Nijmegen School of Management contacted me a couple of months ago. It is an ambitious school and people are ready to take the next step in internationalisation. I was impressed by the strong focus on sustainability. But what really attracted me was the fact that the school is actually a faculty. It is very interdisciplinary and not like a regular business school, that only does management, economics and accounting. The diversity of disciplines reflects a deliberate choice leads to the most interesting and productive combinations of approaches and applications for research, education and practice.That I believe will define what the future of work will look like.”

What do you mean by that?
“My work in external engagement of which internationalisation is a big part,  I have constantly been in contact with organisations, trying to find out how business schools can be more relevant. Both public and commercial organisations are looking for responsible managers who can think out-of-the-box. Managers who can not only contribute to the future, but also help shape that future. For that, understanding and appreciating interdisciplinarity is very important. If you do not understand for instance sustainability from a geopolitical context, you cannot apply it in a business context.”

What will your role be here?
“The faculty under its new Dean is considering our strategic approach. My role is to make sure that internationalisation is embedded in every component of the strategy. The faculty is very ambitious and wants to acquire the EQUIS accreditation. Newcastle University Business School is a triple accredited business school and I worked with them throughout the accreditation processes. I hope to be able to bring this experience to developing internationalisation at NSM, which will lead to the desired outcome through EQUIS accreditation. Building a global reputation is my ultimate goal. I will look where the Faculty stands in terms of that reputation (regarding research, education, corporate connections and student experience) and try to bring the different components together to enhance our position, brand and visibility in a global context.”

Can you explain what internationalisation means for this faculty?
“Internationalisation is not just about hiring people from other countries but also about changing mindsets and having the influence to shape the agenda of the university and, more generally, higher education in the Netherlands. Internationalisation does not mean that we should not take into account the region and the nation. I see internationalisation happening in two ways: taking Nijmegen out into the world and bringing the world into Nijmegen.”

Will you have any contact with alumni?
“Definitely! Alumni are the most important ambassadors of the faculty, and they can play a major role in our internationalisation strategy and shaping our agenda in support . They can have a huge impact in terms of the reputation of the school. So I would like to reach out and connect with all our alumni and invite them to be part of our future ‘’