Gonzalo Rizo Patron
Rotterdam is an amazing city to live in, its atmosphere is pretty open-minded and welcoming to internationals.
My name is Gonzalo Rizo Patron, I am 31 years old. I was born and raised in Lima, Peru, where I did bachelor studies, got the qualification to practice law, and acquired professional experience. Before enrolling at the Commercial and Company Law LL.M. programme at Erasmus University Rotterdam, I worked in the legal department of the Peruvian subsidiaries of multinational companies for a few years, mainly in the field of corporate law with a focus on contract and company law.
While having stable job, I felt that I needed to get out of my comfort zone, so I decided to pursue new challenges to enhance and give an international perspective to my career. I was looking to increase my knowledge and experience in corporate law, but as a native Spanish speaker I also wanted to improve my English, and overall live a life-enriching experience. I did right by choosing Rotterdam and Commercial and Company Law at Erasmus University Rotterdam for that purpose!
The LL.M. programme provides an attractive duality between company and commercial law. Courses like International Corporate Governance and Company Law and Restructuring meant learning relevant insights of the European corporate law framework, which surely add value to my career. Courses like Commercial Law and Carriage of Goods got me to explore the legal aspects of international trade at the biggest port of Europe (situated in Rotterdam); which is an interesting field for countries like Peru, with a large part of its economy based on exports.
For those enrolling in this LL.M. programme, be advised that sometimes it can be very demanding. During the first course, attendance is mandatory. Herein you will face frequent deadlines, and at an early stage you will have to start working on your thesis, so better start thinking on potential topics. The school has been struggling to better some organisational aspects and their communications to students. They have been actively collecting feedback from students and I am sure that it will just get better. They have demonstrated its commitment to improve by quickly adapting to the online format within the unexpected COVID-19 pandemic and being keen to listen to students in the whole process.
Finally, I must say that Rotterdam is an amazing city to live in, it is a really safe place and its atmosphere is pretty open-minded and welcoming to internationals. Its modern architecture and skyline are impressive, and it has plenty of beautiful parks and lakes, which together with the ‘Nieuwe Maas’ river deliver great landscapes. So when the weather is nice you will definitely want to be out! There are also plenty of cultural and nightlife activities to enjoy when you are not struggling with the -sometimes tight- deadlines. The best of all is that due to its bike friendly infrastructure, you can safely cycle to anywhere in the city in about 15 to 20 minutes. Moreover, although the official language in the Netherlands is Dutch, English is absolutely widespread, so it is a perfect alternative to experience an English-speaking life.