Coen Damen


“I was working for the Dutch Government for about a decade as an economist and I stumbled upon a school called AIM, which was offering a Master in Development Management and I decided to enroll in 2013.  As an AIM student, I enjoyed learning from people, from different cultures and different walks of life. The people in my class were very diverse, we had 17 nationalities—people from the church, military, schools, NGOs. Everybody brought their uniqueness to the table and we made sure that they were seen, heard, and learned from. How you behave in the field, talk to people, manage people, can be learned when you get into contact with people.

My advice to present and future AIM students is to enjoy what you are doing. I know it’s all hard work and long hours, but it’s fun and you have with you people from all walks of life. Maximize your opportunities while you are here—organize things, write articles, maximize your stay. As a person, make sure that you have changed for the better.

My vision for AIM is to get back to being a leading institute again. To my knowledge, we are the only business school with a development program in a developing country so that alone shows that we have a unique position. If we can achieve what has been done in the past, the people who were part of AIM are in important positions and it’s about what change can you achieve in the world.”

Coen M. Damen is the Program Director of the Stephen Zuellig Graduate School of Development Management

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