Lecturer in the Spotlight: Mr Turnbull

17 July, 2017
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Welcome to Lecturer in the Spotlight! In this series of articles, we interview some of our inspiring lecturers at Hotelschool The Hague. These faculty members make our study programme a great success, so we would like to share their career path with you. Today's interview is with Mr Jim Turnbull, Finance Lecturer at Hotelschool The Hague. Last year, he won the award for Most Dedicated Lecturer at the Hotelschool The Hague Stars.

Mr Turnbull, a Scottish native, did his studies at Edinburgh University. After pursuing his degree in Economics and Accountancy, he started his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers, a large accounting firm. The office in Edinburgh was his home for the four years after University, while rounding off a Chartered Accounting study. After a short exchange to Pricewaterhouse in Zürich, he was transferred to The Netherlands in 1987. He moved to The Hague and continued working for PricewaterhouseCoopers. When he left the company, he held various positions in different industries from sales and servicing to production. Then for a short while, he did several projects as a freelancer. His last job before coming to Hotelschool The Hague, was as a Finance Director for a logistics and transportation company for big retailers in Europe. Four years ago, he decided that it was time to make a career change. After hearing his daughters commenting on their studies, the content and the lecturers. He decided he wanted to use his 28 years of financial experience to teach and help students. Living nearby, he was familiar with Hotelschool The Hague. As the students are all young and eager to learn, he decided that Hotelschool The Hague would be the right place from him. 

I am very passionate about finance and it’s great to pass on knowledge to students. It is very rewarding to see that students who think they can’t pass the course, in the end pass with a top grade. I am sure that almost all student can pass finance. It’s all about applying the knowledge yourself.”

Finance is an indispensable part of the Hospitality Industry, but this is true for most other field. Mr Turnbull’s lack of experience in the Hospitality Industry is definitely not a hindrance for him: “There is a huge amount of logistics in hospitality. I can still use my experience to make the students understand which parts of finance matter in hospitality.”

Hotelschool The Hague tries to make finance as practical as possible. For example, every block, the APC course is based on a different hotel. By inviting Finance Directors of certain hotel chains, and having the students pay visits to the companies in return, the school can show how the theoretical knowledge can be put into practice and how the two are tied together.

“The students at Hotelschool The Hague are very keen and enthusiastic. I like working with young people. Their questions fascinate me, and it challenges me to explain everything as clear as possible. I learn from them as much as they learn from me! They can even provide me with insights on material that has been covered a lot of times already.”

When asked what advice he would give to the students, the answer is short and simple: Get the right balance. There is a time for everything. By taking things seriously, working hard and relaxing, you can go a very long way.  

About the author

Hotelschool The Hague

Hotelschool The Hague was founded and funded in 1929 by the hospitality industry to create a central place where industry partners could gain and share new insight, skills and knowledge. Since its foundation, the Hotelschool has become an international school specialised in hospitality management offering a 4-year Bachelor's degree in Hotel and Hospitality Management. This degree course is also available as the accelerated International Fast Track programme. Our 13 month Master Hospitality Management programme is designed to deliver the next generation of hospitality innovators.

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