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Richard Grunstra, Senior Audit Manager at ABN AMRO

Alumnus Risk Management for Financial Institutions

Last September, the renewed programme of the part-time Master of Science Risk Management for Financial Institutions was launched at the School of Business and Economics. The programme is designed to approach important risk management issues from multiple angles to achieve better decision-making in uncertain situations. Richard Grunstra, Senior Audit Manager at ABN AMRO, talks about his first experiences as a participant in the programme.

I have been working at ABN AMRO bank for some time and have taken several steps there. Risk management has always interested me, and in particular the question: what happens when things get tense within an organisation, when things don't go well?

After having worked in New York for a while, I wanted to continue my studies when I returned to the Netherlands. A course of study that really goes into depth. I was mainly looking for a programme that looks at the subject of risk management in a holistic way. I wanted to learn how processes work. How does people's behaviour play a role in this?  What dynamics arise in a group? I had considered various programmes, but the information session during an open evening of VU Amsterdam made me more enthusiastic about this programme. It was the logical next step in my development. 

Back in the lecture hall seats
Sitting in the lecture hall again and diving into the books gives me a great deal of energy. We have a nice, diverse group with participants from very different sectors. This results in interesting and varied conversations. There is a lot of room for current events in the programme. The first modules were mainly about the basics of risk management, but even then, we talked a lot about, for example, the influence of uncertainties such as the coronavirus on organisations and companies. A good set of risk management tools can help to get a grip on these types of situations.

I am particularly looking forward to the modules on the behaviour and culture side, the behavioural subjects. The attention to that side of risk management was the main reason for me to choose this programme. I’ve already noticed that the programme ensures that I take a step back when I look at my own work  For example, I see that during an audit I sometimes make assumptions that make me biased about a certain outcome.

'What happens when things get tense within an organisation, when things don't go well?'