Meet the new – and not so new – faces at UMIO

With UMIO established as the new executive branch of the School of Business and Economics (SBE), there is change as well as continuity. New roles and new faces, while still treasuring the special character for which the MaastrichtMBA is known.

For those familiar with our MaastrichtMBA campus, a new face immediately stands out: Sabine Nievelstein replaces Ron Jacobs as Marketing Manager of the MaastrichtMBA. But don’t worry about Ron, he’s still with us, albeit in another position with UMIO. More about that later.


Ron and Sabine share a similar background as former students at Maastricht University (UM). After securing a Bachelor in Liberal Arts and Sciences and a Master in International Business, Sabine left the UM for a while but returned as a lecturer at the department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management (MSCM). Lately, she also started working as a Marketing Manager for the MaastrichtMBA and Project Leader and Trainer for the Service Science Factory (SSF).

Sabine’s enthusiasm in her new role as Marketing Manager of the MaastrichtMBA is infectious and her goals are clear. “To maintain our profile within the new executive branch, with our proven winning combination of education, research, science and practice.” Thanks to her own experience as a student and as a lecturer at Maastricht University, she is a true ambassador of the university and of lifelong learning. As lifelong learning becomes the expectation for today’s workforce, there will be an abundance of alternative providers. Nevertheless, in my opinion, the question shouldn’t be: Why the MaastrichtMBA? But: Why NOT the MaastrichtMBA?” She explains further: “The MaastrichtMBA stands for close interaction with professors and a small group of students, this is what we call small-scale, interactive, action-oriented and business-encompassing learning. Our policy is to keep small-scale groups, have a personal touch, an eye for social development and an approach aimed at the individual!” Add to that the beautiful location of the MaastrichtMBA and the Triple Crown accreditation – granted to only 1% of all business schools worldwide – it becomes very hard to resist the pull of this MBA.


Ron is heading UMIO’s new marketing and communications team that is tasked with building and positioning the UMIO brand. In this capacity, his connection to the MaastrichtMBA will not be severed. “Far from! We will try and use our past experiences in building the MaastrichtMBA brand to help UMIO make that same move forward, but we’ll also return the favour by bringing back new marketing insights and expertise to the MaastrichtMBA. We are still one team working towards the same goal!”


Ron Jacobs used to hold Sabine’s position at the MaastrichtMBA while simultaneously working to shape the branding of UMIO. He started out as the MaastrichtMBA’s programme manager, later became responsible for leading international projects with partner schools and universities of SBE before he kicked off project work as part of the business school’s strategic renewal trajectory. During that trajectory, the need for a distinct brand gradually became clear as the best way to acknowledge the syntheses which had been achieved in pairing research, education, and professional practice.


At UMIO, the various professional development activities from Maastricht University School of Business and Economics are brought together where they ignite a chain of competence in education and research. “UMIO’s approach is built around four distinctive qualities, which are Navigating Complexity, Futurized Practice, Dynamic Connections and Personal Growth,” Ron explains. “We utilise those qualities and cater to the needs of professionals and organisations through programmes and projects that are rooted in academia and concentrated on business practice.”


Almost everyone would claim that a four-letter word starting with Maastricht University’s initials must by an acronym. “Keep on guessing!”, Ron amusingly comments, “People start thinking inside the box right away. We deliberately want them to expand their perspectives and start thinking outside that box. I suppose that is where UMIO comes in!”