Time, such a relative aspect. The older you get, the quicker it seems to pass. Being a student at Hotelschool the Hague, Amsterdam Campus, was the most important period of my life. I spent 4 years studying, developing and bonding with my fellow classmates.
The programme started with a stressful first year, especially with MoSaC as they called it back then. Then flying off to your first internship at the age of 19. Mine took place in Berlin, as suggested by our Placement Coordinator. When I proposed to go to Thailand, she wisely declined and suggested I should to go to Germany and learn the German language fluently. At that moment I was sad not to go to the exotic location I had in mind – but looking back this was one of the best things that happened to me. Berlin is such a bustling city, and back in 2005 it was not known for that yet. So, I had the pleasure of working in a beautiful property, the Berlin Marriott at Potsdamer Platz, and to work and live in one of the up and coming, cool cities of Europe. Of course I learned German fluently which made it easier to pass future classes – so all in all great advice!
After my internship I decided to graduate within 4 years, meaning I was very focused on getting high grades on all assignments and exams. Luckily, I got to work in a group of great minds, that had the same passion to succeed. During my studies, the second most important part of my life was my position as Quaestrix at ‘Amsterdams Dames Dispuut Insolente’ and my participation in Comitas, the student association of Amsterdam.
Hotelschool The Hague is very special in that way – we are all selected based on our passion for hospitality and our characters, so it was easy to make friendships for life. In school, you saw the same people you went out with for dinners, went to the ‘Societeit’ with, and went on vacation with! When I decided to move abroad, the sense of separation was sudden and intense! However, the friends I made at Hotelschool The Hague, are still my closest friends, and I am sure that will never change.
The second and latest chapter of my life started right after graduation in September 2008. I had just finished my Management Placement at Hotel Pulitzer (part of Starwood Hotels and Resorts), as a 'Duty Manager', and I was about to begin my Vita Futura Management Traineeship in Stockholm, Sweden. Not speaking any Swedish and never been to Scandinavia, I felt nervous but also excited to start this fantastic Management Traineeship.
The Sheraton Stockholm Hotel managed to give me plenty of opportunities to develop myself. They showed a huge trust in my skills and passion when they elected me to be Acting Front Office Manager, leading a team of 25 employees. This was ten months into my programme, at the age of 23. During the years, I have been to many of Starwood’s internal trainings, which allowed me to develop a huge network within the company.
In April this year, the Sheraton Stockholm Hotel created the position 'Rooms Division Manager' for me, which I gladly accepted. Now I am in charge of 65 people, including the large Housekeeping operation of this -465 room- hotel in the city centre of Stockholm, at age 27. My career is still going in high speed and I could not be happier about it.
All in all, my hospitality journey started at Hotelschool The Hague and I would have never been where I am without it.