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Let’s Talk Talent – Get to know Daniël Groot Koerkamp

Daniël is a graduating student at the Hotel Management School of Maastricht and will graduate in February 2024. He is looking for a management internship from September 2023. He is currently representing his school in various international hospitality competitions. Daniël is one of the members of the HSMAI Europe Student Council.

Q: Why did you choose to study Hospitality Management?

I believe this goes back to when I was a bit younger. Whenever I was planning on something to do with friends, I soon took the lead. I always had the feeling that if I wanted it done, the best thing was to take care of it myself. Next to this, my parents were always very open to host me and my friends! From the moment I started serving drinks I wanted to be the host of the restaurant and make sure that guests were well taken care off. As soon as I got to the Hospitality school in Maastricht I felt there were people around me with the same passion.

Q: Why are you passionate about hospitality? What makes this industry unique?

This industry is unique because of many different reasons, however, number 1 for me is the fact that everyone working in this industry always puts themselves second. There are no ulterior motives, no backdoor politics – just a lot of people with a love for their guests and their business.

Q: What are the biggest challenges as a student in hospitality?

At the moment, I believe, the biggest challenge is finding the passion in the hospitality industry. This might sound ironic, however, a lot of my peers are looking outside the hospitality industry for their internships and jobs. The industry is often a hard work with little reward, and this is not for everyone. The nice thing of this situation is that it gives us as the council a good challenge at hands!

Q: The hospitality industry – as many others – faces the challenge of attracting and retaining talent. Do you have any thoughts on this that you would like to share with us?

As I mentioned before, the hospitality industry is an industry of hard work and little reward. In my opinion the true passionate hospitality student is willing to do the hard work. So let us look at the rewards, and no, this does not only include a fair wage. In my opinion, a true heartfelt compliment and the appreciation of that hard work goes a long way. Looking back at the survey we, as council, did, we saw appreciation as one of the main pillars towards better employee satisfaction.

Q: Why did you decide to join the HSMAI Europe Student Council?

Last January I was approached by a teacher explaining me what HSMAI is all about and what the goals for the council are. This inspired me to become a part of it, I truly believed that with this council we could bring the industry a better understanding of our motivation. After our meetings at ROC 2023 we also decided as a council on some ways to bring this towards the industry, we strive to be the bridge between hospitality students and you!

Q: How is HSMAI Europe Student Council helping your studies/students?

The benefits I enjoy with the student council lie mainly in the amazing networking opportunities. To be present at an event like the Leadership day and the ROC 2023 last week in London is the cherry on the cake. It was a pleasure to meet a lot of you and I hope to see you again soon.

Q: What is your dream job when you graduate?

That is a very hard question if I am honest. I am currently exploring options for my management internship that starts from September onwards. I am looking into the revenue department as I believe I could learn a lot from an internship there. However, I am someone who just loves the industry so I believe any job within would suit me.

Q: Is there anything else you would like to share with us?

If there is one message that I can leave behind as a student it would be to look out for new talent and try to “scout” the passionate students who are looking to get into this industry! And lastly, remember to treat your employees like you wish you were treated yourself!

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