After doing his internship at boutique hotel The Toren, Mart van den Burg, student Hotel and Event Management, ran into Roberto Payer, the general manager of five-star hotel Waldorf Astoria in Amsterdam. They had met before and Payer asked Mart his thoughts on the Waldorf Astoria. A few critical comments from Mart and two days later, Mart was hired by this prestigious hotel.
Mart: ”I work at the Waldorf Astoria as a housekeeping supervisor two to three days a week. I do this in addition to attending my bachelor course Hotel and Event Management. I’m able to work there every Wednesday thanks to my modified schedule. I train and supervise staff, check whether the rooms are up to our standards, respond to requests made by our guests and keep track of the technical support department responsibilities. When I started this job, the general manager asked me where my ambitions lie. I want to become a manager, and in order to do so, the housekeeping department is the best place to learn. I’m in contact with various people and departments.
‘Learn from the best’
Mart: “Studying at Tio quickly became the obvious choice for me, it being: The best hotel school in the Netherlands, offers a high level of education and a study course based on quality, but above all, a study programme which, due to its intensive internships, really prepares you for the start of your career. I really looked forward to my first internship.” Mart decided to do a management internship at Hotel The Toren. “My personal motto is: ‘Learn from the best’, so the decision to work at Hotel The Toren in Amsterdam was an obvious choice. The hotel has been listed ‘Best Hotel in the Netherlands’ by Tripadvisor for 4 years in a row now and it has won numerous prices for quality, such as: ‘Best City Boutique hotel of the World’ (2012) and ‘Best luxurious hotel of the Netherlands’ (2013) and has been published in international magazines such as Reader’s Digest with excellent reviews.”
Ambitions and know how
Mart: At The Toren I took on several projects which were set up to improve the service level of the product. Housekeeping was part of this. The Toren has the ambition to earn the title ‘Cleanest hotel in the Netherlands’. This is why I took a new look at procedures and looked at the rooms from the perspective of a guest. I systematically organised all the issues I ran into, so that everyone now works with the same guideline. I also made suggestions on how to improve collaboration between departments when it comes to sharing knowledge. I was able to complete this projects with success.”
At the Waldorf Astoria, Mart works in a different department every six months, which enables him to see what goes on in several departments. Mart: “For instance working in the front office, giving you knowledge of all the departments which can be very instrumental when training staff.“ Although the Waldorf Astoria and The Toren are very different hotels, they have both enhanced Mart leadership abilities. “And I am in no way done learning yet. As long as I still have things left to learn and working here remains challenging, I will definitely stay at the Waldorf Astoria. Eventually I would like to become an entrepreneur.” Subjects he attends at Tio will help him to do so. “Projects like the Hotel and Event Week prove to be very educational.”
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