Outstending Magazine #1 – Hotel Management School Leeuwarden

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#1 – September 2022

Our alumni Game changers in hospitality and beyond Ron Blaauw “The new generation views work very differently” From the 80s to today HMS – a story in pictures


Creating what’s next


8. 2

Foreword By Academy Director Marco ten Hoor


Culinary entrepeneur Ron Blaauw: “I want one united team that works together with as much respect for the dishwasher as for the chef”

MEET OUR ALUMNI! 12. Mark Struik – CEO of Please Ask M; 20. Jonathan Teoh – Entrepreneur at Foodvalley; 28. Esther Boers – Hospitality Manager at Topaz; 34. Linda Giebing – General Manager of DoubleTree by Hilton Johor Bahru in Malaysia; 38. Twan Hakvoort – Owner of Hotel Restaurant Grandcafé ‘t Voorhuys 6., 39. Did you know...? – News and facts about HMS; 13. From the 80s to today – A trip down memory lane; 26. Facts & figures – Happiness, future and image of Hotellos and Notellos; 35. Faces of HMS – Students and colleagues on their most memorable moment

COLOPHON – Outstending is the annual magazine for the alumni and partners of Hotel Management School NHL Stenden. Concept & Realisation: Marloes Tervoort – MT redactionele content Copy Editor: Iris Koomen Translation: NHL Stenden Vertaaldienst Proofreader: Julia Gorodecky Art Director: Martijn Blokland Marketing & Communication: Pascale de Wijs – Likewise Hotel Management School NHL Stenden Communications: Stephanie van Oorschot Contributors: Firma Fluks, Tori Kelly, Monique van Loon, Kim van der Meulen, Bram Patraeus, Kees van de Veen, Ronnie Zeemering (ZeemeringMedia). Printer: Veldhuis Media BV Circulation: 2,500 Contact: Hotel Management School NHL Stenden, Rengerslaan 8–10, 8917 DD Leeuwarden; +31 (0) 88 991 7000 Follow us on Instagram: @hotelschoolleeuwarden and @alumni_hms


21. 3


Sebastiaan Rompa shares his lessons “In theory, you can get along with anyone”

Training companies Notiz Hotel and Restaurant Wannee Where it’s all about hospitality, sustainability and innovation


29. Alumna Femke Beeren moved to Aruba after graduating Student counselling from the Caribbean

Leeuwarden in 24 hours Discover the city with HMS student Ganga Cesca

Creating what’s next



Progression and innovation have become ingrained in our DNA


Creating what’s next Voila! The first edition of Outstending: a magazine for all alumni, current students, lecturers, industry partners and stake­holders of Hotel Management School NHL Stenden. This magazine has been published to mark our 35th anniversary, and will be published every year from now on. Because we believe it’s fun, inspiring and useful to stay up to date with what we are all doing. Thirty-five years of Hotel Management School Leeuwarden. Back in 1987, we were the new kid in town – a bit of an odd one out – competing with two established institutions in The Hague and Maastricht. Developing our own identity and vision was not an easy task. Unhindered by any baggage from the past, we immediately set out on a path towards innovation. We were the first hotel management school to offer real world learning – a brand-new form of practical education. We launched the Grand Tour, enabling students to do part of their study programme abroad. We were the first hotel management school to offer the full learning continuity pathway in hospitality management – associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees. We also revolutionised the education system with the recent introduction of Design Based Education, in which the industry is given an increasingly important role. It hasn’t always been easy, because often change is initially met with confusion and opposition. But looking back on 35 years of HMS, I am extremely proud that, despite all of the challenges we have faced, we have stayed the course and progression and innovation have become ingrained in our DNA. This is also reflected in our alumni and current students: no-nonsense people with a professional attitude and an enormous measure of agility and creativity. Game changers in the hospitality industry and beyond. I would like to propose a toast to 35 years of the Hotel Management School; I’m very excited about the years to come. Creating what’s next. Because that’s what we’re good at. Marco ten Hoor Academy Director Hotel Management School NHL Stenden

Creating what’s next


did you know...?



in a virtual kitchen


Anyone would prefer to follow practical lessons in a real kitchen, but with interactive 3D images and virtual reality (VR) glasses you can effectively prepare for that practical situation. Starting this year, HMS students will work with interactive, real-life 3D models. This makes learning more fun, while enabling students to learn about how to use kitchen equipment, safety and personal protection. The 3D models show products and preparation techniques very realistically. Topics such as product knowledge are also discussed, including information about seasonal products. The new teaching material is designed to improve the quality of practical education.

#1 HAVING A GAS WITH BIOGAS Hotel Management School NHL Stenden likes to be a trendsetter when it comes to sustainability. In order to combat food waste, our Restaurant Wannee has installed a BioTransformer. This fermenter turns kitchen and restaurant waste into biogas, which can then be used for cooking. A by-product is vital biowater, which is used to water the trees and shrubs.


“Prepare for real with interactive 3D images and VR glasses”

Coffee grounds, food waste from the kitchen and leftovers from the plates: hotels and restaurants in the Netherlands produce 55 million kilos of waste each year. Thanks to the BioTransformer, this waste is given a useful purpose. HMS Academy Director Marco ten Hoor is enthusiastic about the University of Applied Sciences joining the circular business trend: “Now is a good time to take sustainability to the next level. It is in line with our vision, to produce professionals who are ready for the future and can make a difference.” The Hotel Management School’s study programme highlights the importance of sustainable business practices. The restaurant’s fermenter is a visible addition to the learning process and shows students the benefits of sustainable business practices.

This spring saw the 14th edition of the European Mise en Place Cup (EMCup), which was held in Maastricht. The event is the largest competition for European hotel management schools, where international students compete against each other. Students Anh, Marnix, Aisha, Stefan and Aline represented Hotel Management School NHL Stenden and won first prize. Well done! This was a special celebration for HMS, as it was the third time that the school has won the competition. The theme was intrapreneurship, or how an entrepreneurial mindset encourages innovation and thus increases a company’s profit.

did you know...?


HAPP Y ARY! ER S ANN IV The Food Line-up, the successful catering company owned by alumna Maartje Nelissen, is celebrating its 10th anniversary. She reflects on the past ten years with pride but is also looking to the future with some great plans.

What were the highlights of the first ten years of The Food Line-up?

“We did about around 1,000 events and every single one of them was special. If I have to name one, it would definitely be KLM’s 100th anniversary. We catered for 65,000 people at 13 events spread over two weeks. It was a huge logistical challenge, and we had a team of more than 2,000 people. My personal highlight was Brasserie 2050, a fully sustainable, future-oriented restaurant commissioned by Rabobank and the Lowlands festival.”

What are you looking forward to now?

“Our ten-year anniversary was a key milestone and an opportunity to take stock on a personal level. I’m incredibly proud of everything we’ve achieved, and now is a good time to let go of the company and step out of my comfort zone. So I’m going to take a step back from the day-to-day running of the business. At the end of 2022, I’m going to set out on a new business adventure: I’m going to produce a food podcast called Bekt Lekker. I have also become an investor in the start-up Snackwithbenefits, which is run by HMS alumni. We have also developed an ambitious vision for the future of The Food Line-up. This year, 70% of our dishes will be plant-based, next year it will be 80%, and the year after that 90%.”

About The Food Line-up

The Food Line-up uses a network of 150 independent chefs, enabling the company to offer catering for a wide variety of large-scale events. The company’s mission is to help the corporate events market discover quality and sustainable food. thefoodlineup.nl

CONTRIBUTING IDEAS ABOUT ECO-FRIENDLY TOURISM Hotel Management School NHL Stenden is the founding partner of The Regeneration Collection. This progressive initiative aims to put regenerative travel and hospitality on the map. The focus is on preventing, and repairing, damage to ecosystems. The approach is more than just a sustainable process, which is mainly about minimising the negative effects of tourism. The Regeneration Project is an international event where bachelor’s students from international hotel management schools and universities work in teams to develop concepts for hospitality and accommodations that are sensitive to the local environment and communities. theregenerationcollection. com



For this year’s edition of Alpe d’HuZes, 30 students from HMS travelled to France to support this unique sporting event. It was the tenth time that HMS students helped out as volunteers. Next year, students will also take care of the catering for participants and the organisation’s crew. During Alpe d’HuZes, participants run, cycle or walk up the mountain, which has 21 bends. They are sponsored to do it and try to climb the mountain as many times as possible. The money they raise is donated to cancer research and improving the quality of life of people with cancer.

THE ALUMNI PLACE TO BE Curious about what your fellow students are doing now? The new Hotelmanagementschool.com platform seeks to connect alumni, students and industry partners. The platform contains an interactive map of the world, showing where Hotel Management School NHL Stenden alumni are located. Sign up for the platform, connect with fellow alumni and read all about events, ongoing research and projects. WANT TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE PLATFORM? Sign up by email to alumni.hms@ nhlstenden.com or scan the QR-code

Creating what’s next



text Monique van Loon images Kees van de Veen

“ As a manager, you have to be on the front line” Culinary entrepeneur Ron Blaauw is always looking for young, talented individuals. The intensive supervision and mentoring of young hospitality professionals has high priority for this culinary mastermind. “I give people opportunities, but I also let them make mistakes. You have to throw them in at the deep end every so often.” How do you find good staff and, more importantly, how do you retain them?

“We’re always on the lookout for new people, and we try to attract them in every way possible. But I’d rather think about what we can do for the people who already work for us, because they tend to be overlooked. That’s why we drew up a long-term plan. How can we cherish them? I want to give them a good salary and company parties, and I also want to offer work experience, training courses and career opportunities. I allow some to participate in the company with shares, while others are paid a 13th month pay. We are even working on a points plan, where they save points for their hours worked. They can then spend those points on dinners or trips, for example. We want to reward our employees and make sure they stay with us.”

What do you think of the new generation of hospitality students?

“The new generation has a clear vision. They think about the steps they want to take. The previous generation from four to six years ago did not do this as much. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic plays a key part in this. We shouldn’t underestimate this, especially among young employees. I notice that they take a different approach to working anyway. They like to organise their time more efficiently, with more freedom and space for a social life. They also need clarity. That requires a different mindset from employers. That’s why we maintain regular contact in order to find out what their needs are.


Creating what’s next



We release the schedules well ahead of time, try to factor in birthdays and anniversaries, and are flexible when it comes to holidays. In the old days, you were just told you couldn’t take time off. In fact, it didn’t even occur to you to ask for time off. By changing that approach, you keep things together socially. You could choose not to, but you’d miss out.”

How do you recognise people with a talent for working in hospitality?

“It doesn’t take long for me to spot someone who takes to it naturally. For the waiting staff, knowledge is not that important – not at first, at least. Whether you have to serve from the left or the right, how many rows of cutlery and which glasses need to be put out: they can learn all of that. To me, talent really shines through in how someone enters a space and communicates. That can also be learnt, of course, but it takes much longer. Take me, for example: I now give 50 lectures a year. But if you’d told me 20 years ago that I’d be doing this... I’m still a bit nervous about talking to a room full of people. I do think, however, that you should always give things a go. Saying no without considering it first is not an option. When I see my waiting staff do that, I take them under my wing and teach them the ins and outs. I show them how to speak to different types of guests, for example. You should always try to be yourself, but it’s the tone that makes the music.

Previously, when you started out as a new employee, you were given a menu and a book of information and were told to just read it and learn it yourself. We do things differently. Together with our coaches and Wouter Verkerk [an expert in the field of hospitality, ed.], I drew up a step-by-step plan. It starts simply. What is the employee’s position, and what do they need to know? Take a first-time drinks runner, for example. They don’t need to know the drinks menu by heart straight away – they can start by learning the table numbers. In short, we transfer knowledge in steps. It is important to strike the right balance in the

“ Helping out on a busy Friday evening: that’s the way to earn your team’s respect” workplace: the ideal ratio is 60% older, experienced employees to 40% new, young employees. I want my businesses to be a haven of tranquillity and experience for the younger generation, especially given the pressure they are already under. That’s why we closely mentor them. I give people opportunities and I also let

them make mistakes. You have to throw people in at the deep end every so often.”

This is at odds with how things used to be. How do you think the profession has changed over the past few decades?

“That hardline approach is no longer there. I once caught myself saying: ‘We used to work 14-hour shifts!’ The new generation has no interest in that and prioritises other things. The relationship between the kitchen staff and the waiting staff has changed. I don’t want my chef to be a bully who bangs the service bell and yells at people. That whole black-and-white story of ‘the white squad’ and ‘the black squad’ also needs to go. I want one united team that works together and shows respect to each other – whether it’s the chef or the dishwasher. Name-calling and sexist and racist remarks result in immediate dismissal. The way things used to be in the kitchen is not acceptable nowadays. In fact, it came from a kind of ignorance. Twenty-five years ago, I was a chef who shouted at my staff. The guys I worked with at the time will tell you that I was stark raving mad. Truth be told, it wasn’t my best time, but my excuse is that I was young and ambitious. You can no longer manage things sitting in your ivory tower. As a manager, you have to be on the front line. Helping out when you’re short-staffed on a busy Friday evening: that’s the way to earn your team’s respect.”

How do you view the collaboration with study programmes and students?

“I find it fascinating to work with young people – they all add something in their own way. Just think about a football team: you don’t want 11 Frenkie de Jong types. You also need four or five people on the team to do the donkey work. They’re just as important! Gaining lots of practical experience as a student in higher professional education [such as Hotel Management School NHL Stenden’s programme, ed.] is a good, modern way of studying. Gaining confidence in a warm environment is crucial. What I notice is that the young professionals on this programme are experienced, have a clear goal in mind and are open-minded. In that sense, they differ from other graduates. They make smart, future-oriented decisions. They don’t want to be partying for six days on end. Of course, they have to every once in a while, but it’s all about creating a balance.”

Which lessons have you learnt that you want to pass on to students?

Enjoying your younger years is extremely important, but don’t forget that it comes with hard work. I think a programme in hospitality is one of the best study


programmes you can choose to do. Just look at how many iconic people in the business world went to hotel management school. Though they may have gone on to do something completely different, it did teach them essential skills: disciplined working, effective communication and pampering people. Ultimately, that’s what it’s about: the staff sets the scene. Guests will come back if a place is buzzing and if it gives them joy, even if the food is mediocre. Chefs used to think that the people came for them. That’s nonsense, of course. Each day is a new challenge, and each day we have to work together to make sure that guests have a good time and want to come back. When an older couple tells me after dinner, ‘Thank you, Mr Blaauw, we had such a lovely evening,’ – that’s why I do what I do. It’s not just about the profit; comments like that are the best reward. If your team understands that, it will soon be reflected in the results.”

About Ron Blaauw Ron Blaauw (Hoorn, 1967) started his career in Michelin-starred restaurant De Kersentuin in Amsterdam when he was 19. In 1999, he opened his first restaurant in Ouderkerk aan de Amstel, where he managed to cook up two Michelin stars. In 2011, the SVH Master Chef relocated his business to the Dutch capital and transformed it into Ron Gastrobar a few years later. It became more accessible and informal. It was a formula for success: there now are four gastrobars of its kind. As well as being a chef and entrepreneur, he is a TV personality who has appeared in shows that include Topchef, Junior MasterChef and Restaurant Misverstand.

Creating what’s next


“Good opportunities will come – it’s just sometimes you have to ask for them”

Meet our alumni!


Working in a changing world requires game changers: people with a hands-on mentality, agility and new leadership.

Mark Struik If you want to make a difference, now is the time

“During my work experience for my studies, I became fascinated by the sales people working for the hotel I was at. Their work seemed to involve meeting up with clients, having lunch with them in the restaurant and travelling all over the place. It looked great and I hadn’t realised such a department existed, so I asked if I could join them. It made me realise that however important the front desk and food & beverage are, a lot has already been done in terms of marketing and commerce before our guests even turn up at the hotel or restaurant. Commerce isn’t just having a great website for our guests. It’s the first interaction we have with our guests. They need to feel the same sense of welcome as when they walk up to the front desk. One of the things we saw in the commercial department was that guests complained about it taking too long for their emails to be

answered. We tackled the problem in a design sprint and in just one week we developed a prototype, an automated AI assistant who read the emails and responded directly. We’ve now taken that concept and developed it further, creating software that helps process and automate business requests in the hospitality sector.”

Create efficiency

“I love creating efficiency so that we can make a difference for guests. My decisions are data-driven and I truly believe that we are part of the fourth industrial revolution, that of data and AI. Being part of that change is really exciting. With new technologies and new ways of applying them, we can really change the way the hospitality world works. We can make the world a better and healthier place – there’s so much to be gained.” outstending

About Mark Struik (cohort 2005, BA) Mark has managed to combine his love of hospitality and passion for sales with his career. Now CEO of Please Ask M, the AI assistant for the meetings industry, he aims to help hotels focus on the guest experience rather than timeconsuming booking and reservation tasks.

then & now

From the 80s to today




Where it all started, 1987. The Hotel Management School on Rengerslaan 8, with training company Hotel Wyswert. In 2020, we moved to our current location, our own spot on the NHL Stenden campus. Hotel Management School NHL Stenden as we know it today, with fully renovated training company Notiz Hotel.


Creating what’s next

then & now







The hospitality industry slowly started experimenting with new entertainment venues (discos), and restaurants dared to put more and more foreign influences on their menus, such as Asian and Italian cuisine, in addition to their own familiar dishes.

Many developments and trends later, the choice of hospitality concepts has diversified. Every food influence is represented and every successful hotel, club or bar formula has been introduced somewhere in the world. It takes a lot of creativity to stand out from the crowd.



Good relationships with international hotel chains made hotel management schools trendsetters when it came to offering their students experiences abroad in the form of work experiences. Europe was the main destination for practical internships, and if you were lucky, you could go further afield for your management work experiences. In Leeuwarden, international students were the exception rather than the rule.

now In addition to international internship experiences, Hotel Management School NHL Stenden now offers the Grand Tour, and students can take their minors at different locations across the world. International students have also found their way to us: some 25% of students have an international background.

then & now




The focus was on knowledge transfer and for years the educational format was problem-based learning, or PBL. Classes were taught by qualified teachers, and practice was simulated in the kitchens, restaurants and the school’s hotel setting.


Hotel Management School NHL Stenden is the first training institution of its kind to completely revolutionise its education system and create a strong link between theory and practice. In 2020, we introduced Design Based Education. With it, we move away from the traditional way of education from mainly passing on information towards a form where we work in small interdisciplinary groups on assignments from actual clients. There are no conventional classrooms; we work in ateliers. Ateliers are working spaces that enable the students to work on design challenges. We don’t have traditional teachers; instead we work with experts, facilitators and coaches to support our students. We do not have one generic learning path; in this education system the students are responsible for designing their own learning path.

Creating what’s next

then & now



then It’s hard to imagine now, but this generation of students grew up without email, the internet or smartphones. It’s the generation that learnt a computer language on a giant computer that still used floppy disks. For students in the 1980s, there were few requirements for completing their studies, as they would receive their student grant regardless, and their fellow students were mostly Dutch. There was one student association: Io Vivat Nostrorum Sanitas.


Digitisation boomed and the internet keeps today’s students connected to the world 24/7. There is a wider choice of study programmes, the world is their oyster and their fellow students are international and diverse. Today’s students are broad-minded in many ways, and have to find their way through a host of choices and a mountain of information. The number of student associations has also increased. In addition to Io Vivat, we now have Wine Association Dionysus, Hospitality Network for Students and the International Student Association.





Foreign cuisines were becoming popular. You could finally taste the flavour of holiday at home. Italian, Greek, Mexican and Balkan restaurants opened their doors, and going out to dinner was turning into a culinary adventure. The more culinary-minded Dutch people turned to the ‘nouvelle cuisine’ of the time, though the small portion sizes took some getting used to. HMS launched its own restaurants Le Pluvier Doré and Le Vanneau, which served traditional French cuisine.

Whereas in the 1980s we were hardly concerned with where our food came from or what was left over from our meals, in 2022, we are very mindful of good nutrition and food waste. There’s an emphasis on consuming less meat, less sugar, less salt and less alcohol. Top chefs and Michelinstarred restaurants have embraced vegan food. More people are becoming flexitarians and are conscious of what they buy and throw away. Under the leadership of SVH Master Chef Albert Kooy, our own restaurant Wannee has embraced the Dutch cuisine concept.

lessons from

text Kim van der Meulen


“Anyone can have an idea, but the trick is to do something with it” Working together is a lot easier once you know what it is that drives you and others, says entrepreneur Sebastiaan Rompa. That’s why he came up with MapsTell, a method of identifying human behaviour that is used by Hotel Management School NHL Stenden. He shares his lessons.

LESSON 1. Knowledge is power

“At school, we learn writing, history, languages and maths. But knowledge of behaviour is equally important. That knowledge is a tool for further development and improving how you communicate with others. Everyone has their own style of behaviour: the way you act, feel, react and communicate. Being aware of your own style of behaviour and that of your colleagues helps you work out how best to interact. You no longer have to wonder why a colleague takes longer than you to do certain things – you just know they are more accurate in their work. And when you know that a colleague needs time to make a decision, you know you shouldn’t put pressure on them if you have a request. In that case it’s best to tell them: ‘I would appreciate hearing from you today, tomorrow or next week – just think about it’. That creates mutual understanding and imCreating what’s next

proves collaboration. It’s not just fun to analyse human behaviour – it’s also a skill that you can use to your advantage.”

LESSON 2. Implement your ideas

“When people ask me what it is that I do, I tell them: I live on ideas. I have always developed products that I thought the market would like. For example, I took aerial photos of streets and sold them to residents. I had a cartography publishing business, Robas in Weesp, which published historical atlases and maps. In 2000, I published The Atlas of Experience in collaboration with Jean Klare, Louise van Swaaij and Ilja Maso. A fantasy world in the form of an atlas. It’s a cartographic representation of everything we encounter, feel, think and experience in our lives. Countries, cities and waterways have names with a nod to real life: the Ocean of Possibilities, Mountains of Work, and the delightful island of Haute


lessons from


Cuisine, with the cities of Entree and Fries-with-mayonnaise. Things got off to a slow start with The Atlas of Experience. People weren’t sure about it and wondered what kind of book it was. But it ultimately resulted in what I’m doing now with MapsTell. All those experiences have taught me that an idea is a fleeting thought and the trick is to turn it into something permanent. That’s how I try to turn an idea into a product or company. Anyone can have an idea, but the trick is to do something with it.”

LESSON 3. Dare to innovate

“I don’t know whether you can learn to innovate or whether it’s innate, but it’s simply in my blood. As a result of The Atlas of Experience, I received calls from companies that were in the middle of a change process or acquisition or had a strategic issue. They asked me to come up with a visual representation. So I started making Business Maps, showing a com-

pany’s journey, where it is now and where it wants to go in the future. Then they started asking me: Now we have a road map, but do we have the right people to execute the strategy? That triggered me to learn more about William Marston’s DISC model, a behavioural-style analysis

“There are nicer ways to acquire knowledge than reading bulky reports” that provides insight into people’s own style of behaviour and that of others. I travelled to the US to become a certified DISC trainer. Suddenly, I thought: This

model fits in well with the associative cartography that I’ve developed. I call it this because of the metaphors I use: life is a journey, you are the centre of the world, you literally put yourself on the map. The mountains on the map are a symbol for everything you have to climb and conquer, a river is the flow, the motorway is a way to get somewhere fast and the city is more important than a village. I came up with the idea to create a personal world map: the World of Difference. A map that shows how someone behaves, what preferences they have, how they are seen by others and what their challenges are. This idea resulted in PersonalMapping. I truly believed that I was onto something great, but I still had to prove it in practice. Sometimes disappointment can hit you unexpectedly. It may sound a little pathetic, but the enthusiastic responses from all over the world were the biggest compliment people could give ever me. MapsTell has

lessons from


A selection of lecturers Some lecturers at Hotel Management School NHL Stenden have been trained to work with MapsTell products and software. These certified trainers help all students on their journey through the World of Difference. Students learn how to use their behavioural traits to achieve their full potential and to help others to do so too. This contributes to the students’ personal development and spirit of collegiality, collaboration and mutual understanding – both during their study programmes and later in their professional life. Many students are enthusiastic about it and consider MapsTell an interesting part of the curriculum.

since become active in Hong Kong, India, Germany, Belgium, Italy and Spain.”

LESSON 4. Make learning fun

“Once people have completed the Personal Map questionnaire, they receive a beautifully designed map showing where they are in the World of Difference. That was a deliberate choice on my part. Receiving the results in the form of a bulky report just wouldn’t work. Imagine you’re sitting down as a team and everyone completes the questionnaire, and then you have to read everyone else’s report. It would be a huge task, and you wouldn’t remember any of the information in the reports. A map shows you at a glance the basic information about someone’s behaviour. Is somebody an extravert or an introvert, more people-oriented or more taskoriented? The information is easy to share: you just need to show the map to a colleague. There are nicer ways to acquire knowledge than reading bulky reports.”

LESSON 5. Practice what you preach

“I dare say that I now know quite a bit about human behaviour. I apply that knowledge in our company, of which my son Heller is the director. In our team, we are all familiar with each other’s style of behaviour, which means that we treat each other with understanding. We distinguish between 16 underlying types within the four ‘main styles’ of human behaviour: conscientious, decisive, stable and influential. Heller and I are both the Enthusiast type. This type likes to take initiative, is persuasive and also has an impatient side and wants things to happen. They are team players – individuals who want to do things together with others. And they’re enthusiastic, of course. When working together with a Specialist or Helper, who are more reserved, they have to be more patient. But that doesn’t mean they don’t like each other. Basically, you can get along with Creating what’s next

everyone, as long as you know what you need to bear in mind in the communication and behaviour of that other person.”

LESSON 6. Continue learning

“Many employees who work for organisations get their jobs based on a completed degree programme and their competencies. People’s behaviour is often disregarded, even though every job has a large human aspect as well. An accountant needs to be both good at their profession and good at dealing with customers. In the hospitality industry, you would give a higher tip to a waiter who has a friendly chat with you than someone who grumpily slams your beer down on the table. It’s as simple as that. You get much further in life with this specific skills set. After all, you’re always interacting with others. Working hard, continuing to learn, looking in depth at things and gaining knowledge about your own behaviour and that of others: for me, it’s all part of talent development.”


Meet our alumni!


Working in a changing world requires game changers: people with a hands-on mentality, agility and new leadership.

Jonathan Teoh Everything comes down to human interaction

“If I say ‘build a bar’ to you, you have a pretty good picture of what I mean. But what you see in your mind, what your business partner might see, and what your guests want to see can all be completely different things. What I do is take the idea and try to understand what it really is and how we can take it from A to B. I strip ideas down to the bare essentials as much as possible. If you don’t understand why your product is adding something to people’s lives, then your business will fall apart. You have to know why something is a success, so that you know where to focus.”

Products with purpose

“Entrepreneurs can get really excited about their product and create great stories about why what they’re doing is so amazing. The trick we learnt in Leeuwarden at the Hotel Management School was that the same meal or the same drink can be perfect in one situation and merely mediocre in another. You have to think about what your guests want and expect at that point in time. We’re very good at presenting all

the functional benefits but that’s not what people care about. I think we underestimate the power of intangible rituals and

“To have impact, you have to change the narrative” overestimate rationalities, especially in the innovation field I’m working in.”

Find the focus

“For instance, you could have a great project for saving water, but in Western Europe running water is taken for granted. The message of saving water becomes outstending

meaningless in the minds of the consumer. However, the system that saves the farmer from having to drive into his field to water the crops… that has value. That’s the message we focus on: that the farmer is saving time and his time is valuable.”

About Jonathan Teoh (cohort 2000, BA) Co-founder of Doppio Espresso and now entrepreneur at Foodvalley, an international network of businesses working towards a sustainable food system. Jonathan is very much aware of how actions have consequences that are much more far-reaching than our immediate surroundings alone.

in practice

text Kim van der Meulen images Ronnie Zeemering

Where it’s all about hospitality, sustainability and innovation ABOUT Notiz Hotel At Notiz Hotel, students go to great lengths to give guests a memorable experience. “We want to lead the way in hospitality, sustainability and innovation,” says director Anton van der Sluis. “The hotel, which was established in 1987, was completely renovated in 2020. An additional floor was added and the 36 rooms – from suite to family room – were equipped with the latest technical gadgets. This is fun for the guests and also prepares students for a future in hospitality. The furnishings are luxurious and warm. The rooms have a cast resin floor, sustainable Auping beds and a headboard made from Frisian oak. We like to do things differently.”

Notiz Hotel and Restaurant Wannee in Leeuwarden are not just hospitality locations. Here, they pamper guests and simultaneously prepare the students of Hotel Management School NHL Stenden for a career in the industry. Equal attention is paid to hospitality, sustainability and innovation.

ABOUT Restaurant Wannee Honest, delicious local dishes – that’s what Wannee restaurant, is known for. “Our menu consists of six dishes with a lot of special vegetables,” says SVH Master Chef Albert Kooy. “Everything we do aligns with the principles of Dutch cuisine: culture, health, nature, quality and value. The restaurant is named after Cornelia Johanna Wannée, who taught nutrition and wrote one of the first-ever cookbooks, which is full of pure dishes. When I started working here as Executive Chef in 2007, it was an Italian restaurant with black leather chairs and white tablecloths. The restaurant has been completely renovated since, using local wood and Dutch design. That fits in with our principles.”

Creating what’s next


in practice

One of the new suites at Notiz Hotel


In 2020 an extra floor was added to the existing hotel, in a ‘drip cake’ design

“We show people the future of food” Albert Kooy, Executive Chef

At Restaurant Wannee, we cook according to the principles of Dutch cuisine: using ingredients from our own country, no artificial additives, and with vegetables as the star on the plate. This idea was coined by Albert Kooy, Executive Chef since 2007. “I realised that the Netherlands did not have a refined food culture. Yet Dutch soil does have plenty to offer. Local, seasonal food is also much better for our health and for the planet. That’s why I came up with the principles of Dutch cuisine: culture, health, nature, quality and value. In short: mainly seasonal products, more plant-based products and less meat and fish, no waste, and where possible organic, animal-friendly, local and fresh, giving producers a fair price. At Restaurant Wannee, we uphold these principles in our cuisine. The restaurant has become a household name in Friesland. We also get a lot of guests from further afield: more and more people are seeing that this is the future of food. We also continue to innovate in terms of gastrophysics. And there is a lot that we can automate: receiving an invoice by email instead of paying with a bank card, a robot that hangs up your coat. All this helps ensure that professionals can focus on what they do best and each guest feels like the most important person in the restaurant.”

in practice


“It’s great to meet former students who are now fully-fledged colleagues”

“Cooking in a Rwandan café is a far cry from cooking in a Dutch hotel”

Anita van der Meer, Practical Instructor

Hotel Management School NHL Stenden has been training students to become managers in the hospitality industry for 35 years. Many students enjoy the practical, broad training, says Anita van der Meer, Practical Instructor of Housekeeping since 1999. “We change the team around every five weeks,” she says. “We get a new group of students who independently run a department: the restaurant kitchen, for example, or the hotel’s front office – including housekeeping. My colleagues and I keep an eye on them and give them guidance and advice. The students learn about planning and organisation, how to interact with guests, team management, procurement and conducting room checks. They also learn how to give and deal with feedback. They can use that broad foundation in a variety of positions. I recently ran into two former students, who are now a couple. She is working in a hotel in Amsterdam and he runs a café in Utrecht. It’s nice to see them now as fully-fledged colleagues after so many years, rather than as students. Since the renovation of Notiz Hotel, sustainability and technology have become crucial to what we do. The bathrooms have plastic-free soap bars from a Leeuwardenbased company, and hotel guests can operate the curtains, TV and lights using an iPad. We want to show the future of our industry.”

Azzah Uwineezah, first-year student

All first-year students attend ten weeks of practical training in various departments of Notiz Hotel, Restaurant Wannee and Campus Catering, the NHL Stenden restaurant on the Leeuwarden campus. Azzah Uwineezah (25) gained a lot of practical experience in the kitchen and in service during her two weeks at Restaurant Wannee. “I had already gained some hospitality experience in Rwanda, which is where I come from,” she says. “I wanted to progress in the industry, but didn’t have the right skills. When someone told me about Hotel Management School NHL Stenden, it seemed a good place to learn the profession in a practical environment. I haven’t done all my practical training yet, but I enjoyed learning and working at Restaurant Wannee. The kitchen is very versatile. Within a short space of time, I learnt a lot about preparing different kinds of food for different kinds of people. I now feel much more comfortable in the kitchen. Cooking in a small café in Rwanda is a far cry from cooking for guests at a large hotel in the Netherlands. And I’ve learnt to work as part of a team. That’s important, because in a restaurant everyone is part of a bigger whole. It was intense, but also fun and I learnt a lot. I’m looking forward to gaining experience as a hotel manager next year.”

Creating what’s next

in practice


“It’s important that students come into contact with innovations”

Anton van der Sluis, Director NHL Stenden Hospitality Group

Innovation and improvement are paramount at the training companies of Hotel Management School NHL Stenden, says Director Anton van der Sluis. “Our students are the managers of the future, so it’s important that they learn about innovations during their studies. At Restaurant Wannee, we recently installed a BioTransformer, which is a large fermenter that turns kitchen waste into biogas for cooking. This helps us combat food waste. We’re also looking into using robots in the hospitality industry. While guest interaction will always be important, robots can provide support with certain tasks. We want to get students thinking about applications for the training company: How can robots support hotel staff? How can they improve the guest experience? Since a new group of third-year students does their practical training at this department every five weeks, there are many potential new applications. Education also moves with the times. We have managed to digitise our entire kitchen in collaboration with MetaChef, a company that develops interactive 3D teaching materials. Using VR glasses, first-year students can take a tour of the kitchen where they will ultimately be working. How to operate the oven, how to work safely and which cutting techniques to use – they will soon be able to learn all that in an even more exciting way.”

in practice


“I opted for NHL Stenden because it is the largest hospitality education provider in Europe” Calvin Nguyen, third-year student

The new clothing line, combining fashion and sustainability

Third-year students do five weeks of practical training within the same department. Calvin Nguyen (20) opted to work at Notiz Hotel’s front office. “The front office is the most visible and familiar department in the whole hotel,” he explains. “You have a lot of interaction with guests and you oversee the running of the entire hotel. I have a broad range of tasks, from checking in guests to handling complaints. I make sure that the guests feel welcome and that their wishes are met. The hotel has a friendly atmosphere and we’re a small team: there are usually three or four people at the front office. The hotel’s international setting also really appeals to me. The students and guests come from all over the world. I’m from Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. It’s such a busy city that I had a bit of a culture shock when I first arrived in Leeuwarden, but after three years I can safely say I’ve really found my feet here. I opted for NHL Stenden because it is the largest hospitality education provider in Europe. Once I’ve graduated, I hope to work in bookings or revenue management. Somewhere in the Netherlands, and eventually in Vietnam perhaps. This programme is showing me how things work in practice, so I’m confident that I can work in a new environment anywhere in the world.”

Creating what’s next

facts & figures


text Firma Fluks

This i s ni n g h a pp e

Everything you’ve always wanted to know about happiness, future prospects and the image of Hotellos (compared with Notellos). Networking organisation HotelloTOP investigates this each year. Here are 2021’s highlights at a glance.


the respondents This study used an online survey

446 respondents. Of the respondents, 41% were women and 59% were men; 77% were Hotellos and 23% that was completed by


TOP 3 jobs for starters (where the respondents work during the first five years after graduation)

1. Hotel (53.7%) 2. Restaurant (30.2%) 3. Tourism, leisure and events industry (22.6%)

Happiness in figures The Hotellos rate their happiness a

7.9, the Notellos a

7.7. These figures are comparable to those from 2020. What makes us happy? Love, friends and family, social interaction, health and freedom. “I SEE BEAUTY IN SMALL THINGS”

33.3% of the Hotellos and 26.5% of the Notellos say this statement has been positively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The fact that Hotellos prefer to see the glass half full rather than half empty is also apparent from their outlook on life after the COVID-19 pandemic.

facts & figures

LOOKING to the future



How do Hotellos see themselves, and what do Notellos think of them? HOW HOTELLOS DESCRIBE THEMSELVES: STARTERS: Despite COVID-19-related complications over the past year, personal development still has top priority for Hotellos of all ages. The respondents are positive about the year ahead. Thinking about future trends, Hotellos foresee innovations in digitisation and innovation. Hotellos and Notellos also think that they will often be affected by issues such as sustainability, data-driven working, digitisation, innovation, staff shortages, consumer confidence, budget cuts and restructuring.

• Good leadership skills • Interested in others and cheerful • Spontaneous • Helpful SENIORS:

• Professional and empowered • Warm • Creative • Strong character ENTERPRISING?

WHY do you want to work in this industry? Hotellos most frequently gave

11.3% of the Hotellos (compared with 7% of the Notellos) think they are. WARM?

8% of the Notellos (compared with 6.3% of the Hotellos) think the Hotellos are. SELF-CONFIDENT?

7% of the Notellos think the Hotellos are very selfconfident (while only 3.9% of the Hotellos mention this as a characteristic).

the following reasons: Contact with others



13.1% of the Hotellos (compared with 6.6% of the


Notellos) think they are. Creating what’s next



Meet our alumni!

Working in a changing world requires game changers: people with a hands-on mentality, agility and new leadership. 28

Esther Boers It’s the little things that make the difference

“The desire to make people happy was why I went to the Hotel Management School. What I learnt was how to become a gentle leader, to leave ego aside and take responsibility. And I developed empathy. Empathy is essential, whether you work in hospitality or, as I do, in healthcare. It’s what makes your guests feel seen and welcome. It’s hostmanship. Hostmanship has such a different value in the health industry for the elderly. We are guests in their home, yet we’re acting as their host, so we need to make sure they have as much autonomy as possible. They choose what they want and when. After all, they’ve had their own rhythm for 80 years or more. We have to provide a really caring environment and are constantly having to adapt to the behaviour of the people we care for. In that respect, it’s just like the hotel industry dealing with lots of different guests and moods.”

Add value to care

“Medics are taught to think they have to make everyone better, but if we listen,

“Really listen to what a person wants. Their goals may be simpler than you thought” really listen, to what our guests are saying, the goal could be different. It could be that they say they don’t want to be in pain. That they want to be able to walk up the stairs. The goal can actually become simpler and easier to attain. Right at the start, we make a mood board with them that covers everything from how they like to wake up outstending

to which foods they like and dislike. It helps our work to be led by people rather than protocol, so that there is more value in the care we give. It means we move from being a care home to being a home.”

About Esther Boers (cohort 1998, BA) Having moved from hospitality to healthcare, Esther now carries the title Manager of Hospitality. Though she’s not keen on the word manager, she loves the word hospitality and carries it through in her work to make Topaz more proactive in the provision of specialised elderly care.

text Firma Fluks images Bram Patraeus



“I see aspects of the students that their parents will never get to see”

She had never been to Friesland before she started her studies at Hotel Management School Leeuwarden. But Brabant-born Femke Beeren liked this unexpected location so much that she wanted more. After she graduated, she left for Aruba. She now coaches HMS interns and students in the Caribbean and the US.

Manchebo Beach, Femke’s favourite beach.



The first bar commission of Student Association Io Vivat, in 1988–1989. From left to right: Misha, Victor, HJ, Miranda, Marlies, Ellen, Jos, Femke, Rein, Cynthia.


hen Femke Beeren had finished her secondary education in 1988 and was trying to decide on a study programme, everyone said that hotel management school would be a perfect fit for her. After all, she was working in a high-end restaurant, enjoyed cooking and loved to take care of people. She really liked the idea of hotel management school, but wasn’t sure of which location yet. “I was living in a village in Brabant, so Maastricht would have been a logical choice,” says Femke. “But when I read about a new study programme in Leeuwarden, that sounded far more exciting. I had visited many different places across the world, but I’d never been to Friesland.”

Pioneering and drinks

The Hotel Management School was launched the year before Femke started her studies. “Everything was new, there was no campus, no study society or student association, and we were really pioneering. Our lecturers were not much older than us and I think they saw that period as an extension of their own time as students. They joined student sports tournaments and our practical lessons often ended in drinks. We got along really well. We shared a passion for the hospitality industry. That’s something that’s in your blood and creates a real bond.” Femke’s cohort was also introduced to a new teaching method: problembased learning. “This consisted of unravelling and solving cases. It taught me how to handle unexpected situations effectively – something I benefit from on a daily basis. Meetings were also

very serious occasions, with a chairperson and secretary. I still use those techniques to conduct structured meetings.”

Impulsive job application

In her final year, Femke did her work experience at the Pulitzer Hotel in Amsterdam. She liked it, but she felt she was missing adventure in her life. More and more of her friends and fellow students were settling down, and although she was in a relationship, she felt apprehensive about it. “My boyfriend went to South Africa for his work experience and I decided to join my parents on holiday in Aruba. I liked it so much that, on an impulse, I asked the hotel manager for a job. Two weeks later I started working there as a concierge service manager. When I went back to the Netherlands to collect my things, I did wonder what I’d let myself in for – I didn’t know anyone in Aruba.” That soon changed, as the turbulent political situation in South Africa put a stop to her boyfriend’s work experience and he travelled to Aruba to join her. “So we ended up living together anyway, but because it was in Aruba it didn’t feel as conventional.”

Adjusting the pace

The plan was to return to the Netherlands after a year. Femke had already quit her job, but her boyfriend received an attractive offer and stayed. “Then I found a job in Curaçao and we flew back and forth. A short time later, I managed to find work in Aruba again.” Although it never was their intention to stay, Femke and her now husband have lived there for 28 years. She built a career in the hospitality industry and also worked as a

Femke and her family.

Femke’s home life

“The Dutch like to plan, but here, everything is much more spontaneous” representative for the Caribbean and the US at NHL Stenden. That position was expanded and is now her full-time job. Femke coaches young people from Aruba who want to study in Leeuwarden, organising information sessions and interviews to assess their motivation. She also coaches interns from Leeuwarden who come to the Caribbean and the US, helping them prepare for their next career steps after their work experience. She tries to ensure that the interns who come to the Caribbean don’t make the same mistakes she made when she first moved to the island. “The pace of work is much higher in the Netherlands, and that’s impossible to sustain here because the heat will drain you in no time. I always advise students to take it easy and even adjust their walking speed. The Dutch also like to plan. Here, everything is much more spontaneous, so I tell students to worry less and live in the moment. Things do go wrong every now and then, but you should just trust that things will work out.”

Social function

Femke often builds up a special connection with the students she supervises. She provides extensive guidance to students from the Caribbean region who are going to study in the Netherlands. “Some of these young people have never left the island before. I regularly sit literally at the kitchen table with their parents and explain how the Dutch school system works and how to find a place to live. I help them with the paperwork. Dutch interns are often visited by their parents, but Aruban parents usually don’t have the money to visit their child in the Netherlands and don’t see them again for another three years. When I’m in the Nether-

In the second year of her studies, Femke helped organise an introductory week for first-year students. One day, a friend came to her and told her that she had met Femke’s dream man. Although neither Femke nor her husband Hans were looking for a relationship, the love they shared turned out to be stronger than their desire for freedom. Femke emphasises that they have never been very clingy. When they lived together on Aruba, their relationship became more serious and they started thinking about having children. But when she was 30, Femke had a serious accident and suffered permanent physical injuries. Her doctors advised against having children. Femke and Hans saw a lot of homeless children around them and decided to adopt instead. That brought them to Ethiopia in 2007, where a year later they adopted two children, a brother and sister aged 3 and 7. Femke They are now 16 and 20, and the eldest lives dressed in Leeuwarden. “We certainly didn’t pressurise up for her into it, but I visited several student cities carnival. in the Netherlands with her and when we returned she was very enthusiastic about how compact and international Leeuwarden is. She is currently studying Leisure & Event Management and is having a great time.” Femke’s son is in his fourth year of secondary school and has fallen in love with windsurfing. He is very talented and is on the Aruban national team. The family loves going to the beach. Manchebo Beach is known as Aruba’s most beautiful beach and it has a special meaning for Femke. “Hans and I, and also my brother and sister, were married here. My father also loved coming here. After he died, we scattered his ashes on this beach.”

lands and I visit the students, I realise I see aspects of them that their parents will never get to see.” Femke is always glad to be back after her visits to the Netherlands. She loves the spontaneous way of life in Aruba and wouldn’t have it any other way. “You work six days a week, but in your spare time, you simply dive into the ocean and you instantly feel like you’re on holiday.”

Grand Tour

In the third year of their education, NHL Stenden students have the option to take a module or minor abroad: the Grand Tour. Partner locations they can choose from are: South Africa, Thailand and Bali and, since 2022, Aruba. When the students saw their exchange fail due to the COVID-19 measures put in place in the 2021/2022 academic year, Femke set up a site in Aruba within a few months. This way, 25 students from different faculties who were going to go to one of the other locations were able to change their plans at the last minute and still do a foreign exchange.

Creating what’s next


24 hrs

24 HO





Ganga Cesca (20) grew up near Venice. From a young age, her parents encouraged her to discover things and to dream big. In secondary school, she chose to study tourism, and after three years she left for Canada to study for her degree there. She opted for further education at Hotel Management School NHL Stenden because of its good reputation and the opportunity for hands-on learning. Ganga is about to start her third year of study, during which she will take minors in Thailand and Bali. Her dream is to live in Australia for a few years after she graduates.


Leeuwarden is the perfect city for students, says Ganga Cesca from Italy. She’s been studying here for two years now. “It’s easy to find your way around here. There’s always something to do, but it’s not so big that it’s overwhelming.” Ganga’s tips for 24 hours in Leeuwarden.

10AM: COFFEE AND STUDYING AT DOUWE EGBERTS CAFÉ “Whenever I have a lot of deadlines, I study here all day. It’s quiet, you can order by phone and nobody interrupts you. They have large tables where you can work together on group projects. It’s also a bit dangerous because I can spend a lot of money on coffee, cupcakes and sandwiches without realising. But I consider that a reward for all my hard work.”

11AM: ICE- SKATING AT THE ELFSTEDENHAL ICE RINK “I got to skate for the first time when I lived in Canada for my last few years of secondary school, but it wasn’t a success. Since then, I’ve skated at the Elfstedenhal with friends a few times and it’s going much better. I’m still afraid of falling, but I do have a lot of fun on the ice and I have good memories of this place. There’s also a nice bar here where you can enjoy a hot chocolate.”


text Firma Fluks map A Guide To Leeuwarden



4. 5.



7. 1.


1PM: LUNCH AT BAGELS & BEANS “I often have lunch with friends at Bagels & Beans, because their bagels are great and the service is good. But to be honest, I find the service very welcoming across the city. Students also come here to study, but I mainly come here as it’s a relaxed place to talk and have lunch. There’s lots of choice on the menu. My favourite is smoked chicken on a wholewheat bagel.”


2PM: WALKING IN THE PRINSENTUIN GARDEN “I like relaxing in this municipal park during the spring and summer months. I walk around and listen to music, and generally have a bit of me-time. I also enjoy coming here with friends just for a chat or to have a picnic. On a hot day, when it’s full of groups of students, there’s a good chance that I will see people I know here.”


3PM: PEOPLE-WATCHING AT OLDEHOVE SQUARE “I like sitting on the steps of this church tower and looking around me. It’s a central place to meet up with friends and there are nice shops and bars in the streets around the tower. The square is sometimes used for open-air concerts, and you can climb the tower. It’s not a huge climb, but it’s high enough to be able to see the entire city.”





6. 6PM: COCKTAILS AT ROAST “At the end of the afternoon, I like to have a drink at Roast – a restaurant with delicious cocktails and good wines. There’s a nice atmosphere and you can sit inside or outside with your friends. Sometimes we stay for a bite to eat before we go dancing somewhere else in town.”

11.30PM: DANCING AT BAR BASCULE “The music is very loud here, so all you can do is dance. Thursday night is student night in Leeuwarden, but because I usually have lectures the next morning, I often go out on a Friday. Everyone at Bar Bascule studies, including the staff. It’s the perfect place to forget all your worries and dance into the early hours.”

3AM: SLEEPING AT ALIBI HOSTEL IN THE BLOKHUISPOORT “The only hostel in Leeuwarden is a former jail, where you get to sleep in a cell. I’ve never slept there, but I have good memories of the Hotel Management School end-of-year party in the courtyard of the Blokhuispoort.”

Creating what’s next




Meet our alumni!

Working in a changing world requires game changers: people with a hands-on mentality, agility and new leadership. 34

Linda Giebing Be inspired by possibilities and challenge your thought process

“We have to be agile to adapt to constantly changing circumstances. Working in other cultures, countries and with other languages has taught me the value of diversity in all its forms and I enjoy being out of my comfort zone. I see the best ideas as coming from many different people building on each other’s thoughts and creating opportunities. These help you challenge the status quo and make changes that can then become the norm. Like the deliberate effort we made to create employment for people who are differently abled. Previous obstacles were replaced by opportunities, such as learning sign language and having a really good pastry chef de partie – and it changed perspectives for both the chef and the rest of the hotel team.”

Community role

“We have to remember that we are host to many; not just our guests, but also our team members who spend so much time with their work family. We also play a big role in the community. We create employment, we evaluate how we impact the

environment, we support local supply chains, and we’re part of tourism development. For instance, many of our resorts are at the water’s edge, so we need to

“My impact has to be on my team, creating an environment in which they are at their best” make sure teams are aware of ocean health and how this can affect what the location looks like. We also share best practices, such as rainwater harvesting. We work with suppliers, the World Wildlife Fund and other NGOs on how methods can be changed so that we can make a outstending

difference to the UN Sustainable Development Goals we aim to influence. These changes can’t happen in one day. They take time so it’s important to continue to be a champion for the things we are passionate about.”

About Linda Giebing (cohort 1996, BA) Linda Giebing is General Manager of DoubleTree by Hilton Johor Bahru in Malaysia. Hotello of the year in 2017, Linda Giebing was the youngest female to take on a position as General Manager for Hilton in Asia-Pacific. She’s a champion for diversity and inclusivity within her workforce and in the local community.


Faces of HMS

My most memorable HMS moment COLLEAGUE


Anne Thibaut (61) French lecturer and placement coach

Eva van Koningsveld (21) Cohort 2020, BA

“1987, the start of HMS. Required: a pioneering attitude and a thinking outside the box mentality. An amazing induction week in Maastricht with intensive training in PBL. We enjoyed a gastronomic dinner at Chateau Neercanne, tasting local wines in a cellar. Then we started with materials gathered by expert groups. There was no practice yet, but we had a chef that worked in an Michelin-starred restaurant and a selection of students aiming to make a difference in the hospitality industry, not minding being guinea pigs. The foundation of today’s school.”

STUDENT Zoltan K. Szabo (21) Cohort 2019, BA

“My first meeting with our academy director Marco ten Hoor was very memorable for me. I had just joined the management team as student adviser. I went to his office, expecting this to be a formal meeting with him speaking and me listening. Instead, I got a warm welcome and we discussed so many topics – most of them not even related to the meeting – that I quickly came to realise that he likes to do things differently. I knew immediately that it would be quite an experience working at HMS!”

Creating what’s next

“In 2021-2022, I was president of Wine Association Dionysus. An amazing experience, which led to even more amazing opportunities. One of these was an invitation to a dinner with the industry advisory board of the Hotel Management School. During this dinner I met people from different parts of the industry, and I learnt what I want for my professional career in the future.”



STUDENT Anna Dekker (20) Cohort 2020, BA

“I was the president of study association HNS in 2021-2022. When things got difficult, school always had a listening ear and good advice ready to make the year a great one. My favourite memory is when the new board of HNS was inaugurated, which was at the end of a year of hard work, major growth, and memories I will cherish forever. It was a beautiful evening filled with laughter, tears, inspiring speeches, and plenty of wine. It was the perfect way to end the year.”



Saskia Penninga (50) Lecturer and coordinator Cohort 1990, BA

“Achieving ECAD (economics and administration, with the famous shoe box); working at Hotel Wyswert, which has since developed into the contemporary Notiz Hotel; and studying for my master’s degree with inspiring colleagues. But above all, having the privilege of working in such an incredible international environment with wonderful students, colleagues and industry partners from all over the world. And all of that in our own town of Leeuwarden.”

STUDENT Jonah Dierick (22) Cohort 2022, BA COLLEAGUE Fares Lutfi (41) Programme manager MA

“There are so many memorable moments, especially when looking at our students and their achievements. However, one particular thing stands out. A colleague who goes the extra mile whenever he is dealing with team members. Harpinder Singh is the type of person who truly cares about people. He tries his best to make everyone feel comfortable and whenever someone is in need, or sick, he even offers his cooking skills. Colleagues such as Harpinder make my time at HMS memorable.”

“I participated in the Study Start Week in February 2022, which was the first offline Study Start Week since the COVID-19 pandemic. It was my most memorable HMS moment because I made deeper connections with my fellow students in that short amount of time. I met diverse people from different backgrounds, and the Study Start Week was a perfect kick-start to my Hotello Journey.”

COLLEAGUE Georges El Hajal (39) Lecturer and researcher Cohort 2006, MA

“The graduation ceremony of a student I accompanied and coached throughout his studies was a memorable moment for me. Working with students is a lot of fun; watching them grow and develop from day one to graduation is a reward in itself. Seeing students work hard throughout the four years, making a difference in their lives and those of fellow students, lecturers, and industry, is very inspiring to me.”

STUDENT Mariëlle Fleddérus (24) Cohort 2018, BA

“In 2020-2021, I was the vice-chairman of the Board of Io Vivat. A memorable period for me was working together with HMS during the most critical times of COVID-19. The whole hospitality world was closed and we were working together with the other associations to make the best out of the situation. Also, inspiring other students to make the most of their study time and to do something else besides studying was my biggest aim during my time in Leeuwarden. When looking at HMS and their associations, I guess it worked out pretty well!”

faces STUDENT Barbara Samu (21) Cohort 2020, BA

“My team and I are the organisers of the Study Start Weeks at HMS. My best memory? Being able to organise a huge event for 500 students last September, and seeing it all come together, especially during the pandemic. This event takes months of preparation, and to see it happen on the first day with all the students feeling happy and energised, was just unbelievably amazing!”

COLLEAGUE Rodney Westerlaken (40) MP coordinator and researcher

“There are so many! But the most memorable moment was the first online meeting COVID in COVID-19 times. At that time, we demonstrated that we had the power, decisiveness, care and willingness as one big HMS family to provide the best for our students, despite all of the difficulties and the worries about the virus we had in our personal lives. It was heartwarming. We all did it together and within a week’s time we were fully online. An achievement I will never forget!”

COLLEAGUE Elena Morenza Labrador (39) Spanish lecturer and PPD coordinator

“Being elected lecturer of the year. Not just because of that particular moment, but because of all the little moments that had brought me there. All the grateful words from my students, the calls, the hugs, the twinkle in their eyes when they talked about our lessons together, hearing that they will continue learning Spanish because they fell in love with the language. Teaching is my passion and this award confirmed that I am doing something good, something that I have put my entire Spanish heart and soul into.”

STUDENT Coco Hoenink (20) Cohort 2020, BA

“My two years at HMS so far have been really memorable as a whole. With Design Based Education, you learn about group dynamics on a daily basis. I have learnt a lot about myself and about others. It’s taught me that everyone has their own way of working, motivating and giving and receiving feedback. Constantly reflecting on myself and others has made me get to know myself very well. I look forward to applying this in my upcoming year as president of Io Vivat Nostrorum Sanitas.”

STUDENT Sarosh (Goshi) Sarfraz (24) Cohort 2018, BA

“I was part of the Student Council for two years, first as vice president and then as president. I had an amazing time being the voice for my fellow students. A huge responsibility, great fun and a valuable experience. It brought me a lot of networking opportunities and perspective on the Hotel Management School. The best moment for me was speaking at the Study Start Week opening in September 2021. I was able to make the new students feel welcome in a confident, friendly and empathetic way.”.

COLLEAGUE Rob van Vuuren (67) Lecturer and key account manager

“Wichard Zwaal and I were asked to organise a two-day session for the HMS lecturers. As we left for Amsterdam, we heard that our dean had been fired. The team was in shock, the energy was gone. During the bus trip we managed to turn things around: the team was able to look at things from a different perspective. Upon our arrival in Amsterdam, everybody was ready to get the job done. We had two very successful and inspiring days. It really showed the agility of the team.”

Creating what’s next



Meet our alumni!

Working in a changing world requires game changers: people with a hands-on mentality, agility and new leadership. 38

Twan Hakvoort

Find ways to make the change

“The most practical example of international experience at the Hotel Management School are the modules spent abroad. But the most interesting part is the experience you get with international students, wherever you are. You can get really annoyed by what you see as cultural traits, but you learn to deal with it. You have to. And you learn to understand each other. That’s so important because it’s impossible to succeed on your own. You need other people. It’s this realisation that makes me so passionate about happiness at work. Just think how happiness at work affects how a company is run economically. How you treat your team is reflected on how they, in turn, treat your guests. It’s leading by example and you always have to be aware of your role, of the example you set.”

Learn to adapt

“The nicest thing about living abroad is

the realisation that you are the one that has to adapt. You have to be the stranger and you have to be a little afraid. If you’re not afraid, not nervous, you haven’t

“Look for the win-win solution to a dilemma. It means you look at the other person, the people around you” pushed the limit far enough. But just being nervous is enough; it doesn’t make sense to take risks you can’t manage. That applies to life as a student exploring the world, and to life in business. There’s no point in jumping blindly; you need to find a way to make the change you need to

make. And as you reach for your goal, consider the people involved. Talk to them, listen to their ideas. I call it coffee management. I talk and chat with employees over coffee. If you need a form or a checklist for those talks, you’re not in the right job!”

About Twan Hakvoort (cohort 2006, BA) Owner of hotel-restaurant-grand café ‘t Voorhuys in Emmeloord, Twan Hakvoort is a strong advocate of happiness at work. Focusing on the long-term feeling of well-being benefits the workplace, the business and the guests.



AWARDS APLENTY! The 2021 edition of the EURHODIP conference (International association supporting hospitality and tourism education and training) proved to be very special for Hotel Management School NHL Stenden. Not only did we host the conference, we also won the School of the Year Award and presented the EurHodip Nominee for Achievement in Tourism and Hospitality award to Peter Heule from The Regeneration Collection and our alumna Maartje Nelissen from The Food Line-up. Congratulations!

At Hotel Management School NHL Stenden, students work with organisations and companies on contemporary practical issues for the educational concept Design Based Education. Together with Postillion Hotels, HMS ran The NXT Campaign Challenge. In this challenge, students were asked to develop a campaign to better market the hotel and attract new employees. During a three-day hackathon, the students worked on prototypes for the campaign and presentations. Students Aliisa Niittylä, Jaro Klamer, Ettje Dittman and Cas van IJssel presented the best idea and Postillion Hotels invested €10,000 to implement their campaign.


Not only did we host the conference, we also won the School of the Year Award

In 2023, universities of applied sciences will launch their own doctorate programme under the name Professional Doctorate (PD). This new doctorate track is of an equivalent level to a university PhD, but has a different profile (as it focuses more on practical research) and an internationally recognised title. One of the pilot domains is Leisure, Tourism and Hospitality. HMS Stenden professor Elena Cavagnaro is involved in the development of the PD. “The PD is a very ambitious step for higher education in the Netherlands. I’m very enthusiastic about this opportunity and I’m looking forward to supporting the PD candidates.” pd-lth.nl Creating what’s next

RESEARCH INTO THE USE OF PLASTIC IN THE HOTEL AND CATERING INDUSTRY The provinces of Friesland and Zeeland have taken on the challenge of reducing plastic waste and its polluting effects. This has resulted in the research project Plastic in Hospitality & Tourism: a global problem with local solutions. The project is a joint venture of the Sustainability in Hospitality and Tourism, Open Innovation and Circular Plastics Lab and Green Logistics professorships at NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences and the HZ University of Applied Sciences. Various companies in Friesland and Zeeland are also involved in this project. The final evaluation of the research will be presented later this year.


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