Interview with Maarten Vooijs, The Hospitalist
- 5 min read
“You can only connect the dots afterwards”
I found Hotelschool The Hague through my own research. I didn’t know any students or had no relatives who studied there. My affection for the hospitality has been with me since I was little. Making people feel welcome and caring for them has always been very important to me. I have worked in restaurants, bars and hotels since I was 15. I am a people person and always felt really happy serving people or making them feel at ease.
I started in stewarding and worked my way up from bar to kitchen, to restaurant. The year before I started the Hotelschool, my neighbours, who both came from Hotelschool Maastricht, got me a job as a Restaurant Manager in the east of the Netherlands. I was only 18! But I have managed quite well and even won the AHM Globe Award for Belevingshotel Bad Boekelo.
For me the Hotelschool was the first time I found so many like-minded people around me, all with a Bourgondian lifestyle. The teamwork throughout the Bachelor Programme suited me. Dividing roles and taking responsibility for a certain part of a project. We also got to know each other in a great way.
For my first traineeship I went to the Carnegie Club at Skibo Castle in Scotland. I even put my study on hold for six months to get placed there. This has been one of the best times in my life so far. My second traineeship was with Hilton International where I have been the assistant to a Senior Director of Learning and Development EMEA. I was responsible for facilitating training programmes and gatherings across Europe and managed the new online learning platform.
After my first traineeship I started with The Hospitalitist and I have continuously been busy building it up ever since. In 2008, before my management internship, I found my partner Daan Meischke. I worked office hours for Hilton and evening hours and weekends for The Hospitalitist. We had our graduation day on Friday and the next Monday we opened our first office in Amsterdam.
Today we have a multi-million company working for over 100 hospitality companies throughout the Netherlands, with over 300 talents on the payroll. I am very grateful for the last 10 years and I am resolute in letting this company flourish even more the upcoming years.
I am still connected to the Hotelschool. I have over 100 Hotello’s working for our company and The Hospitalitist is the main sponsor of student association Comitas. I am also a guest lecturer for Jeroen Bosman and am the vice president of INCH, the international network for Hotelschool graduates.
Steve Jobs once said: “You can only connect the dots afterwards”. And I totally agree. Do not underestimate the influence your actions of today have on tomorrow. Always do your best and spend the most energy in finding your own drivers and motivation. Never ever spend one minute on things you don’t like.