Get to know the Council Member Wessel Roodenburg

Wessel is currently finishing his 3 third year at the Hotel Management School Maastricht and is getting ready to go into his graduating year. He is now preparing and searching for his management internship from September 2024. In February, he will participate in the Rev-Sim challenge and will also be a mentor for new students starting at the Hotel Management School Maastricht. Wessel is one of the members of the HSMAI Europe Student Council and is currently working on the next edition of Hospitality Unlocked.

Q: Why did you choose to study Hospitality Management?

I have always had a big interest and passion for working with people and providing experiences. Ever since I was little I was very sensitive to how others were feeling and tried to make them happy. There was a Hospitality Management school very close to the town I grew up in. However I had never taken the time to get a better understanding of the study and applied for International Business. Right before that started, someone properly introduced me to Hospitality Management and it all just clicked.. It was the perfect chance to combine my passion for people and interest in management. I quit studying International Business after two months and applied for hospitality management immediately.

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

What makes me passionate about hospitality is the interaction with guests and the energy it gives me. To me there is no industry that provides memories the way hospitality does. When I think of my own experiences in hospitality, it is always the people and feelings I remember. Every restaurant or hotel I have the most pleasant memory of is defined by the service I had received or the ambience I felt. This is also something I try to achieve for others every day in the restaurant I work at. It is the industry where people come to have fun and a good time, which creates such a pleasant and positive atmosphere.

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

The biggest challenge as a hospitality student is finding a balance in everything. Intense school work, internships and being surrounded by many other passionate students all eager to meet each other and do activities together really ask a lot from students. At my hospitality school, it is also the amount of different directions which students can take . There are many opportunities the study offers in the future, which makes it difficult to decide what path I want to take.

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?

The hospitality industry is an industry of passion. That means that most of the motivation to work in the industry comes from the intrinsic motivation of employees. Hospitality is a demanding industry. The working conditions compared to other industries are relatively worse. The hours are long and irregular, it is hard to get days off (especially during the holidays) and the pay could be a lot better. Especially now in a time after Covid-19, where most of the hospitality industry had been closed and hospitality employees had to find jobs elsewhere, these negative aspects have become more apparent. People are more hesitant to go back to hospitality or start there in the first place. This is why it must be someone’s passion to pursue a career in hospitality in order to stay motivated.

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

During my Hospitality Management studies I have always wanted to do something more and gain experiences outside the regular curriculum. So being introduced to the HSMAI Europe Student Council and being informed of their activities and opportunities, excited me to my core. Being able to attend big industry events and sharing ideas as a student with industry leaders was something I was exactly looking for. The opportunity to meet fellow hospitality students in Europe, working on projects and expanding my network really spoke to me and was something I could not pass on.

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

So far the council is helping me by expanding my network and by inspiring me to become a professional. Being surrounded by such motivated students and working on interesting projects is making me want to do better as well. On top of that, it is also helping me apply the knowledge I have gained during my studies in real life events. Also, meeting industry professionals is helping me expand my field of interest, which opens up opportunities in the future.

Q: What is your dream job when you graduate?

I do not have a specific dream job after my graduation. I see myself working at management level in the future, but over the past year this has changed a bit. Right now, I am looking for something that I enjoy and that makes an impact on people. That is truly where my passion lies. As long as I am happy and the people around me are as well, I am satisfied.

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

I would just like to share that I am grateful for the opportunity of being a part of the HSMAI Europe Student Council. After only two months, I have got to work on two projects already and am really excited to organize the next edition of Hospitality Unlocked. The passion and openness of my fellow Council members are very inspiring and I am looking forward to my future in the HSMAI community!

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