5 Questions with Miriam van der Horst, Managing Director and Learning & Development Consultant
- 4 min read
We had the opportunity to ask 5 questions from one of our great Alumni, Miriam van der Horst. Miriam has graduated from Hotelschool The Hague and is now Managing Director and Learning & Development Consultant Learning 360, a full-service learning and development consultancy.
1. Miriam, as a child what did you want to become when you grow up?
When I was really young, I liked the idea of becoming a teacher. Later, a family holiday to Lake Geneva was the moment I knew for sure I wanted to study at Hotelschool The Hague. I dreamt of being a General Manager of a 5-star hotel in Switzerland (no surprises where I did my first internship). I now have combined ‘education’ and ‘international management’, as I run my own Learning and Development Consultancy in Singapore that focuses on high impact leadership training for success in a global workplace.
2. What do you think the greatest country is to live/work in, and why?
People often ask me this question. Since 2000, I (with my young family) have lived and worked in the UK, Vietnam, Singapore, Australia and China (and we are just back in Singapore for round 2). We truly have had a memorable time everywhere. Of course, we have experienced enjoyable and challenging situations in each country. At the end of the day, however, life is not only influenced by your geographical location, but also by factors such as how you can live/work, the country’s main language, education options available, and the friends you make.
3. What is one of your favourite quotes?
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” by Neale Donald Walsh. I clearly remember how Hanoi was so very different to our London life; the airplane almost landed in the rice fields. We decided to ‘go with the flow’, which made our first Asian life/work experience an unforgettable one. Drawing on the time we spent in Vietnam, we felt quickly at home with the ‘hustle and bustle’ on Shanghai’s streets when relocating to China a few years later.
4. What is something you learned in the last week/month/year?
My daughters were born in Singapore and Shanghai respectively. My husband and I are both Dutch, but we raise our children in Dutch and English. Our little girls speak a third language: Mandarin. So I/we learn every day … Counting, types of fruit, transportation etc., all in Mandarin. Never a dull moment!
5. What makes someone a great leader?
In my opinion, one of the top attributes of a great leader is ‘integrity’. Being true to your word and principles, being authentic in the way you communicate and interact with others, and behaving in such a way in which you expect others to behave. Integrity is the quality that makes people trust and respect you.