When Tio talked to former hotel school student Daan Veenstra more than a year ago, he was doing a Traineeship in Copenhagen and was already planning a follow-up programme in Brighton. These days, he works as an Outlet Manager at DoubleTree by Hilton in Dubai. “This is the job I want to have in this phase of my career.”
Daan hopes to open his own hotel in Amsterdam one day. But first, he wants to see the world. “My goal is to hold a position for twelve to eighteen months and then do something else,” the former Tio student Hotel and Event Management explains. “Preferably in a different country each time. I want to live on different continents and in different countries until I grow tired of it.”
Working in Bangkok, Copenhagen, Brighton and now Dubai
He is realising his goal so far: he did an internship in Bangkok and a Traineeship in Copenhagen and Brighton. Earlier this year, he started his first job at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Dubai.
Dubai’s international nature appeals to Daan: “They build the most extreme things here, including the best and biggest hotels. I love how international Dubai is. This hotel employs people from thirty-nine different nationalities. My team consists of people from five countries. I love and appreciate that diversity.”
Plenty of energy as an Outlet Manager
At DoubleTree by Hilton in Dubai, Daan works as the Outlet Manager of the Bay Club, a bar/restaurant with a shisha terrace and a pool. “During the day, it is a pool bar that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. At night, we turn it into a real bar. We strive to make everything as dynamic and energetic as possible. Tonight is Latin Night, for example, with a Latin menu and salsa dancing lessons from real salsa dancers. The hotel has only been open for seven months, so there is plenty of freedom and opportunity to host new events. Nothing is set in stone yet, which gives me a lot of energy.”
Elevator Graduate Development Program
He managed to realise the dream he spoke of two years ago: to work in the food-and-beverage department of a large hotel. “This is the job I want to have in this phase of my career,” says Daan. The food-and-beverage manager of the company in Bangkok where he did his internship advised him to take the Elevator Graduate Development Program.
He did the Operations Placement at the Hilton Airport Hotel in Copenhagen, before going to Brighton and working in all Business Development Placement departments. “That means sales, reservations, event management, HR and finance” In Brighton, his apartment was located just two minutes away from the beach. That was perfect for an avid kite surfer. All in all, his Traineeship offered two completely different experiences. “In Copenhagen, guests stayed for an average of one night, while the hotel in Brighton was primarily a holiday destination. We hosted dinners for 800 to 1,500 people and the Labour Party held a four-day convention there. That was also a fantastic experience.”
Follow Daan on LinkedIn.