The Bachelor Programme
Are you professional, ambitious and do you want to work in an international business environment? Then join us at Hotelschool The Hague for our Bachelor Business Administration in Hotel Management (BBA.HM), ranked top 5 worldwide! Hotelschool The Hague has been, ‘At the heart of Hospitality’ since 1929, and you join a warm, welcoming and international community in either The Hague or Amsterdam, with students from over 50 nationalities.
You explore the world of hospitality, participating in two international internships. During the Bachelor Programme you develop your social skills, business skills and practical skills. You will form lifelong friendships during your first year on campus accommodation. After four years, you graduate with a Hotelschool The Hague Bachelor’s Degree and excellent career opportunities: It’s your Passport to the World!
International Fast Track: more information about the accelerated 2-year programme.
Student Life: more information about the studying and living in The Netherlands.
Great reasons to study at Hotelschool The Hague:
- Ranked Top 5 worldwide
- Best price/quality ratio of all International Hotel Schools
- International programme
- Develop your social skills, business skills and practical skills
- Two international placements at leading organisations
- First year on campus accommodation
- Excellent career opportunities
- Small scale
- Start in February or August
Developed from the demands of the Industry, the school’s curriculum is designed to challenge you. You aren’t just taught management theories, you apply them directly in practice whilst working on your personal development. You combine individual learning with group work. With your team you work on case studies, working for real life companies. Our Training and Management Skills are cited by our alumni as one of our greatest educational assets. The degree programme is 100% English, and you choose a second language from a wide range of modern languages.
Read more about the different courses in the Bachelor Course Overview.
The 4-year Bachelor programme is divided into three phases. During Phase I (one year) you learn the basics, during Phase II (one and a half years) you start developing your management and leadership skills and in , Phase III (one and a half years), you apply your knowledge and experience strategically;, searching for new innovative combinations.
Real World Experience
During the 4-year Bachelor Programme you follow two external internships as well as two internal operational training courses. In Phase I you gain practical hospitality experience, working for 10 weeks in our own facilities: restaurants, reception and Skotel (our training hotel). In addition, on completion of Phase I, you will travel to go on your 5 month internship in one of the 4 or 5 star hotels, somewhere in Europe.
In Phase II you participate in an intensive leadership training programme in the Ardennes in Belgium, where you experience and experiment with different management styles and approaches. This prepares for the 10 weeks you are required to work in a leadership role, managing a team in one of our facilities. This culminates in Phase III, during your management internship you work in a management role for an organisation of your choice, from Amsterdam to Beijing, from Berlin to Dubai. Once you have completed this, you are industry-ready. It is a great opportunity for students to launch their careers; in fact many graduates find great career opportunities at their placement companies directly after graduating.
Click on the images below to read more student experiences abroad!
Olivier Beck (Luxembourg, 2012-present)
5 months in Madrid
"The first year at Hotelschool The Hague was my first experience of living independently and outside of my small home country Luxembourg. I must admit I was quite nervous when I got accepted at the Gran Meliá Fénix Hotel in Madrid for my Practical Placement. Not only the thoughts of working for such a big company as Meliá International Hotels (especially since the Fénix in Madrid belongs to the top brand of the chain), but also the fact of getting to know a new city, a new language and most of all a whole new culture, made me excited and a bit insecure at the same time.
August came and before I could even spend more thoughts on my adventure, I was already in the very middle of it. Loaded with 2 big suitcases I arrived in this enormous metropolitan city of Madrid with over 3 million citizens. "Foreign culture, foreign language, foreign habits!" - those were my thoughts the first days.
Spanish people turned out to be very easy-going, making it a lot easier for me to get accustomed to my new situation. Not only at work, but also in the streets and in shops people tried to help me where they could, especially when they noticed my language skills in Spanish left a lot to desire.
In the hotel - after having been told I was going to work in the bar (Dry Cosmopolitan Bar, one of the most famous cocktail bars in Spain). I got welcomed and taken into the team so cordially and genuinely that I could not believe what was happening. The whole bar team, from my supervisor to the fellow colleagues, they were all welcoming from the beginning. Even though my Spanish was quite poor and work experience quite scarce, I was thrown into the cold water. In other words: the first day of work, my supervisor handed me a tray and said: "Table 4 is yours!"
Hardly remembering from the small introduction which one of the over 50 tables was table 4, I somehow managed to take the order of the guests and serve them with only minor understanding problems.
At that point, I could not believe how they tried to teach me things, but looking back I must say: this kind of learning was the best and most efficient way I can imagine now to remember things. Even though I had a couple of tricky situations like misunderstandings with guests or things I did not do the way that was expected from me, I must say that I am infinitely glad to have known a working team so helpful and kind that every time I got told something, it burned itself like a mark in my daily working habits. The fact that I was given a lot of responsibilities (like serving people in a high-class cocktail bar) made me pick up a lot of tips, tricks and know-how. Even though my shifts are quite hard (I mostly start at 6 o'clock in the afternoon and finish in the middle of the night), I feel sad already thinking about having to leave the hotel, my colleagues and last but not least this city which was already in my heart after only a couple of months."
F&B Trainee Gran Meliá Fénix in Madrid
Julie Vissers (The Netherlands, 2008)
"I followed two internships during my studies at Hotelschool The Hague. The first one was in St. Lucia and the second in Nicaragua.
St. Lucia is an English island in the Caribbean Sea. I worked for 5 months in a great all inclusive honeymoon resort, with mostly American guests. I have gained experience in various departments (F&B, FO, events, etc.) so I gained a good general idea of a hotel business.
During my second internship, I worked with a Dutch couple who run a non-profit hotel in Nicaragua. Despite it being one of the poorest countries in Latin America, it was a very impressive country with the nicest people! We worked in a small team (the hotel had only 16 rooms), so I had to be pretty flexible. I gave tours, I worked at the reception and made many analyses and assignments for the management couple. During this internship I perfected my Spanish.
This internship was the opposite of my first internship. The hotel was much smaller and therefore we had very nice contact with our guests. Guests came mainly from USA, Germany and the Netherlands and stayed at the hotel for the feel-good feeling that the hotel gives you. After all, all proceeds go to local education projects. In St Lucia I spoke almost only English, while in Nicaragua I spoke Spanish, English and Dutch.
Because both internships were so different, I have a wide experience. In addition, I realise now that tourism is more interesting than the hotel business. That is why I will follow a master in tourism next year. I could never made this conclusion without my two internships.
I learned a lot from the lectures in The Hague, but the two internships have shaped me into who I am now. Placement makes you independent, mature and provides important experience but also gives you great fun and a memorable time!"
Management internship at Hotel Con Corazon, Granada, Nicaragua
Helena Rickmers (Germany, 2012-present)
"I still remember how one moment I wondered about passing an exam and the next moment I already had to decide where to spend the following five to six months. Going on safari in South Africa, drinking tea in London or going out in Berlin? I decided to go where everyone wants to go for their holidays: Saint Barthélemy in the French West Indies. Only two weeks after my interview, I jumped on a plane and arrived 20 hours later in paradise.
The HR Manager immediately introduced me to the entire team and showed me the property of the beachfront hotel Le Sereno that offers 36 suites and 3 Villas. After getting used to the temperatures for a couple of days I started working at the Front Office and in Guest Relations with several VIP clients from France, America and Brazil. Three weeks later, they transferred me to Reservations and now I am working closely together with the General Manager for Marketing and Sales. My biggest challenge was and still is the language, French. As it turned out I need more than just “Je voudrais faire une reservation!” However the team goes easy on me and even though French people are not known for this, they do speak English if they want to. The Management is really supportive and is highly interested in developing my skills by giving me responsibilities and my own projects that suit my interests. Thanks to the promotion I do not only have an AC in my office now, but also normal 9-to-5 shifts. Therefore I can not only enjoy every evening in one of the several restaurants or the 3 clubs on this island, but especially the weekends. Making trips to other Caribbean islands, jet skiing, catamaran sailing, snorkeling, scuba diving and of course the beautiful beaches are only a few ways of how I currently spend my time off.
Sometimes when I walk from my trainee room to the office and look over the blue lagoon in front of the hotel with all the kite surfers I still cannot believe that I actually get a grade for this and I start to understand why most people who once came to this island for holidays never even thought about leaving again."
Trainee Marketing & Sales, Hotel Le Sereno, St. Barths
Maurits van den Berg (The Netherlands, 2012-present)
"My internship at the Ritz-Carlton Shanghai is coming to an end. During the past five months, I developed myself in many ways both personally as well as professionally and met incredible interesting people.
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel’s Company motto “We are Ladies and Gentlemen serving Ladies and Gentlemen” is truly being pursued and guests are aware of that. This is one of the main reasons why I chose Ritz- Carlton instead of the multiple other choices which offered an internship in Finance.
The hotel offers five-star deluxe services and facilities and is located in the financial heart of the city with a connection to the most luxurious shopping mall of Shanghai. Besides the fantastic location, it’s the service offered to the guests that really creates the unique experience Ritz- Carlton strives for. It is the brands unique selling point. Thus, no wonder that the hotel was named best hotel in China and Taiwan for the fourth time in a row.
From the start, I have been working on the executive floor where VIP guests can make use of private check-in and check-out services. Moreover, it offers access to a small business center and guests are able to enjoy several meals throughout the day. All in all, the executive floor can be seen as a small hotel in a hotel. Guests come here to relax or have meetings; hence it was a perfect place for me to broaden my business network!
During my internship several other internships were offered to me: at the corporate office of the Ritz-Carlton (USA), in a Cargo shipping company (Dubai) or at the 'Deutsche Bank' in Frankfurt.
Throughout my internship, I realised how important first impressions are to guests. Furthermore, guest engagement skills are the key to broadening my network. The connections made during my placement will allow me to make a world trip passing by Australia, South- Africa, Dubai, Colombia, California and Stockholm. Moreover, guests invited me on their boat, in their villa in Malibu or to my mother’s hometown Barranquilla in Colombia. This is definitely the place to make connections!
Being the only European line-employee in the Rooms Division department and working in the Club Lounge gave me the ability to step up and gain additional responsibilities rapidly. As the majority of the guests approached me as a Manager, I was involved in managerial decisions on how to handle several situations. In addition, I have close contact with Department Directors and have attended several management meetings and trainings. Working closely with the hotel’s management team gave me the opportunity to learn and grow continuously.
Working on the executive floor of the Ritz- Carlton Shanghai, Asia's best hotel allowed me to meet interesting people and gave me the possibility to develop myself in different ways."
Rooms Division trainee, Ritz-Carlton Shanghai
In 2013 Hotelschool The Hague was ranked among the Top 5 Hospitality Management Schools in the World by TNS Global, world leader in market research. Our educational programme has been awarded 11 out of 16 ‘excellents’ in the most recent audit of Dutch and Flemish universities by the Dutch/Flemish Accreditation Committee. The school is specialised, independent and dedicated. The selection procedure guarantees a community of talented, ambitious and motivated students that can help you get the best out of yourself. What is more, as a government subsidised school, Hotelschool The Hague offers the best value of all the top international Hotel Schools. In addition to our strong accreditation, our students and alumni win many international awards in recognition of their achievements and talents.
Hotelschool The Hague students are very satisfied and ranked Hotelschool The Hague as the best Hotelschool in the Netherlands. To the question ‘Would you recommend your programme to friends, family or colleagues?’ students graded Hotelschool The Hague 4.59 out of 5. The general atmosphere is rated 4.30 out of 5. The study programme in general is graded 4.31 out of 5. From the 17 Themes measured, Hotelschool The Hague scored above or equal to the national avarage in 15 Themes.
View the NSE Factsheet for more information.
In both 2015 and 2014 Hotelschool The Hague was nominated as one of the three finalists in the category ‘Best Hospitality Management School’during the International Hospitality Awards.
Application & Selection
Do you wish to be part of Hotelschool The Hague's vibrant student community, then you are more than welcome to apply for our programme starting either in February or August each year.
The formal application deadline for our Bachelor Programme and International Fast Track Programme was 1 May 2016.
We would still like to review your application so please send your motivation, CV and clearly state if you wish to apply for our Bachelor or Fast Track Programme to email@example.com.
We will then give you personal advice on how best to proceed with your application. Formal applications for 2017 will open again in October 2016.
We recommend you to carefully read the instructions on how to apply.
You are not alone in wanting to study at Hotelschool The Hague. The small-scale of our international hotel management school is one of the reasons we are able to offer such a unique and successful programme. That is why you will be invited to a selection day after you have applied via this site and meet the entry requirements. During this selection day you are given the opportunity to demonstrate your motivation and affinity with the world of hospitality. If you do not have the possibility to come to one of our selection days in the Netherlands, it is also possible to visit one of our selection days abroad. The selection days are listed when you apply.
Click here to find out where you can meet us abroad for Fairs, Selection Days and Information Sessions.
(Note these dates are all subject to change)
Read more about the visa policy for The Netherlands.
Study choice activities
According to Dutch law 'Kwaliteit in verscheidenheid', new students have to register for their studies before 1 May. If you register before 1 May you have the right to participate in study choice activities which will help you to decide which programme is best for you. This rule doesn't apply for universities with selection. Hotelschool The Hague uses selection days to select new students and is therefore excluded from this rule.
Online Open Days
If you cannot join our one of our open days because they are fully booked or because you are abroad, you can now join one of our online open days! During our online open days, you get the chance to meet our students, ask all your questions, join an online tour, and learn more about the Bachelor Programme.
The next online open days will be on:
- Tuesday 7 June at 12.00 CET in The Hague.
- Wednesday 8 June at 16.00 CET in Amsterdam.
Open Days & Fairs
It is still possible for students living outside of the Netherlands to register for the Special International Open Days!
There are no remaining Open Days, but you can still sign up for an online open day. You can register again for the open days for upcoming academic year as of August, open days will be organised again as of September 2016.
Hotelschool The Hague hosts regular open days for new students to get to know the school. If you do not have the possibility to visit one of the open days in the Netherlands it is also possible to meet us abroad. We have a stand at several education fairs abroad throughout the year. Our representatives and students of Hotelschool The Hague will be delighted to meet you at one of these fairs to answer all your questions. If you have questions about meeting us abroad please send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here to find out where you can meet us abroad in Austria, Bulgaria, China, Curacao, Dubai, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Luxembourg, Poland, Romania, Singapore, Sweden and more, for Fairs, Selection Days and Information Sessions.
(Note these dates are all subject to change)
Find out more about our school
As many international students & Dutch students living abroad are unable to attend one of our frequently organised 'regular' open days on Tuesday afternoons, we have organised a special International Open Day for Non-Dutch residents only.
Friday 03 June 2015 (10.30 - 15.00) - The Hague Campus
Programme (The Hague in the morning & Amsterdam in the afternoon):
10.30 - 10.45 Welcome at The Hague campus
10.45 - 11.30 Presentation
11.30 - 12.00 Tour around school
12.00 - 12.15 Lunch buffet
For those who wish to see the Amsterdam Campus too, optional afternoon programme:
12.15 - 13.30 Travel time to Amsterdam Campus (not arranged by school)
13:30 - 13:45 Welcome at Amsterdam Campus
13:45 - 14:45 Tour around the Amsterdam Campus
14:45 - 15.00 Question & Answers
Do you live outside the Netherlands and would you like to find out more about Hotelschool The Hague?
Sign up for this special open day: Register
Hotelschool The Hague is part of a programme called ‘Ruim baan voor talent’ (Make way for talent), started by the Ministry of Education, Culture & Science. A number of Universities of Applied Sciences, including Hotelschool The Hague, are allowed to charge higher tuition fees on the grounds of demonstrable added value for students. Hotelschool The Hague demonstrates its added value through the following points:
- demonstrable international character;
- demonstrable strong(er) personal growth;
- demonstrable ability to deal with complex problems;
- demonstrable favourable position in the labour market.
Study in The Netherlands
The Netherlands attracts international students from all over the world each year. They love the country for its diversity, political stability, the culture and its people. With 95% of the inhabitants speaking English fluently, and mix of cultures, you will feel right at home. The Netherlands is also your gateway to Europe, as it takes only about an hour to fly from Amsterdam to London, Paris, Copenhagen or Berlin.
You will feel immediately at home at either one of our excellently facilitated campuses in The Hague or Amsterdam. In The Hague, you live and learn in the lively coastal resort and port of Scheveningen, both close to the beach and The Hague’s city centre, with great architecture, attractive shopping streets and extensive multicultural scene. In Amsterdam, you will live and study in a completely refurbished building, just outside the historic centre of Amsterdam, with its beautiful canals and rich cultural life.
Your Hospitality Career
Read some alumni stories:
“Being a boss means not being a boss, but being a servant to your team, to make them excel”
Managing Director NH Group The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, UK, France, South Africa & USA
Looking back on my career so far, it all started in Belgium. I was Front Office Manager at the Dorinth Hotel at that time and thought I was doing well. But, after 3 months I had a meeting with the GM who told me that the way I was managing was not great: my staff were leaving, I only gave commands, and I was not accommodating. In short: I was not the manager I should have been. It took me by surprise. He gave me two choices: to leave, or to stay and be trained by him. I chose the latter and stayed for one more year and worked as a day and night clerk. I started from scratch and worked my way up again. It was one of those experiences I simply had to encounter.
After 9 months the GM told me I was ready and I could become Front Office Manager again, so I did that for 3 or 4 months. Then I became Front Office Manager for the Park Hotel in Amsterdam, got promoted to Rooms Division Manager and did that for 2/3 years. I really liked that job, but I wanted to grow again. When I was on a holiday in France I read the newspaper and found an ad for a Rooms Division Manager at Golden Tulip in Accra. I applied for the job and went to West Africa for the job.
After two years, Golden Tulip needed me as GM in Belgium in a newly acquired hotel, and I always dreamt of becoming General Manager. So I packed my things and went to Belgium. When the plane landed at the airport I was told that the deal to buy the hotel was off. It was in December and I had no place to live, so I stayed at a vacation park with no heating. Being used to the hot weather in Africa, it was so cold! After a while I moved to Rotterdam to work as Rooms Division Manager for Golden Tulip, and then they finally found me a position as GM, in Germany. So my wife and I went to Germany. We arrived at the hotel, rang the bell… it was closed, the hotel had gone bankrupt. They offered me a position at that hotel to show I was capable of making it profitable again. I signed without even consulting the contract with my wife, who’s a lawyer. She was pregnant with our second child and she moved back to Rotterdam. Those were challenging times, with two small children, traveling back and forth.
Then I was offered a position as GM at Golden Tulip and later at NH in Zandvoort. From there I became Cluster Manager for three hotels, then Regional Manager for different regions, then I became Managing Director in Berlin. I became responsible for Central Europe (Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Rumania, Hungary and Slovakia. After that, I became responsible for the regions The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, UK, France, South Africa & USA. And that’s where I am now.
Life is really fast these days, I don’t ever have time to be bored. We are working on the complete rebranding of the former NH Hoteles group to NH Hotel Group: a total make-over of all aspects. In the 1.5 years I’ve worked in this function, not a day has been the same: becoming more brand oriented, investing in properties, segmentation, many, many things are going on.
The first time we received the award for best hotel chain in the Netherlands it completely took me by surprise. I remember it well, I was SO proud! Also fantastic was winning the RAI Hotel tender, it had been in the planning for 15/20 years! With 650 rooms ‘nhow RAI Amsterdam’ will become the largest hotel in the Benelux. Announcing this to the staff was amazing, everybody was so proud. These kind of things make my life very easy and make my job great.
Looking back now at the time when I was Front Office Manager at the Dorinth and I was told I was not a good manager at the time; I now know my GM was right, I still had a lot to learn. Freshly graduated from the hotel school, I was so confident, I was THE man, ready to take on the world. But you have to work hard, and use what you have learned in school, those management principles, in a natural way. Being a boss means not being a boss, but being a servant to your team, to make them excel.
Now I have to manage about 2500 staff divided over 7 countries. Of course that brings many responsibilities, but you grow into that role. Going from managing no one to managing 2,500 people doesn’t happen overnight, you grow slowly into that position and, when it happens, the position fits like a glove.
I am where I am today because I was in the right place at the right time, with the right experience and background. And opportunities came along, I never had the chance to really think about a next move. I did know I didn’t want a safe career where I would stay in the same place, I need more. If I get a call tomorrow to pack my bags and move to China, I will move to China. It’s as simple as that. If a company knows you are open to that, they will give you the opportunity to do so.
My advice to new students: work hard, follow your dreams, travel and get out of your comfort zone while you’re still young. You have nothing to lose, only to gain and again: work hard! Believe in yourself and success will come.
Don’t only look at tomorrow, but also take a look at the day after.”
Director Aircraft Management & Aircraft Sales
It was obvious I would end up in the aviation sector as I always had an enormous passion for commercial aviation. Since I was little I collected aircraft models, I watched aircraft at airports, and I followed airline companies in their development. I always assumed I wanted to become a pilot, but then I found out that I wanted to focus more on strategy at management level. I loved exploring countries and cultures; that’s something really special about the international aviation environment.
The international character of Hotelschool The Hague appealed to me, especially the solid base of theory combined with practical education and international internships. I was a very motivated student, passed all the exams at the first attempt and had good grades. Throughout my study at Hotelschool The Hague, I was already focused on a future career in aviation. Every step I took, my internships, my projects, reports, they were all aimed towards my future career. For my first internship, I was persistent on finding an internship at an international business hub. That’s why I chose Dubai; it’s an international city and environment to work in. I ended up working for the Jumeirah Group at the Madinat Jumeirah Resort. I worked 11 hours a day, 6 days a week and I met very interesting people.
For my management internship, I naturally wanted to find a company in aviation, hoping I could eventually stay there and get a contract. I have to thank Elina Sperth, the placement coordinator at Hotelschool The Hague, she knew someone at PrivatAir in Geneva, Switzerland. Subsequently, I started my internship in Geneva. I was involved in restructuring a division of the company called Business Aviation (meaning private jets). The internship was great, as PrivatAir, renowned in both business and commercial aviation, has a very high service level and quality standards, and deals with ultra-high net worth individuals and VIP clients (who occasionally already happened to be the same clients as the VIP clients I worked with in Dubai). After my internship, PrivatAir offered me a full time contract. I graduated in July, went on vacation in August and started as a fulltime employee in September 2011.
I started as “Manager Business Aviation” and grew from there into “Manager Aircraft Management and Aircraft Sales”. Clients from all around the world come to us for aircraft sales and acquisition, aircraft management and aircraft charter services. PrivatAir provides complete acquisition, sales and support services for (heavy) business jet owners. At the other end, we work with customers who can afford to charter a private jet, type Boeing or Airbus, for private use. To put it simply: we work with extremely wealthy people - an international clientele with an emphasis on Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Our business can be very delicate and discrete. When you deal with numbers that can (sometimes) exceed € 100 million (especially in aircraft trading), you need a solid partner like PrivatAir. The company's wide range of clients include royalty, heads of state, public officials, celebrities from the arts, sports and entertainment industries, captains of industry and private aircraft owners. When I started, naturally this environment was quite surreal but after a while you get used to it. You get familiar with the clientele and the international character of the company.
After 4 years, I was recently promoted to “Director Aircraft Management & Aircraft Sales”, heading the Aircraft Sales and Aircraft Management department. My responsibilities are more or less the same, but now I work on a more strategic level. In addition, I also serve as Chief Operating Officer for AirClub, the leading corporate jet alliance. The idea behind AirClub is to become the leading alliance within the sector of Business Aviation (so private jets). Currently I am working on global coverage, even expanding to the US. The alliance is still in a startup phase; however, AirClub already represents around 100 private jets in Europe and a few in the United States.
My average workweek can be quite surreal sometimes. If you think about it, it is quite bizarre to have business meetings on a mega yacht in Monaco or in a palace in Dubai. However, it does enable me to self-reflect. It is interesting to see that extreme wealth comes with extreme power and responsibility. Actually, it makes me very happy with the (normal) life I have. I enjoy going back to my hometown (Venlo) in the weekend, spending time with my family and friends, or meeting new people at my favorite bar around the corner.
Recently I traveled around the world in two weeks together with a colleague also from Hotelschool The Hague. Unfortunately I can’t take a lot of vacation, so we carefully planned it and decided to go for it. It was crazy, travelling almost 40,000 kilometers around the world, following the Equator. We started in Geneva, went to Frankfurt, Singapore, Sydney, Auckland, Tahiti, Los Angeles and Las Vegas before we returned to Geneva again. When we came back it felt like we had traveled for 3 months.
My advice: don’t only look at tomorrow, but also at the day after. Use the elements from your education that fit with your plans for the future and focus on those, use them to your advantage. Additionally, feel privileged to be able to study at Hotelschool The Hague. You are the lucky ones, being able to get an education, being able to study: not everyone has that opportunity!
I'm the gypsy of the hospitality industry.
I did my first internship at Disney, where I met my American sweetheart, my wife. I have also done my final internship in America. So, I have a good relationship with the States. During one visit in Colorado I stumbled upon a BBQ competition, on a main street of a small mountain village. It was bursting with big heavy steel BBQ's and smokers. A group of rough men were doing their thing, I was very impressed. By coincidence a week after our return to the Netherlands, I attended an office BBQ. It was a typical event with a classic model BBQ accompanied with potato salad, coleslaw, frozen satay, satay sauce and baguettes. I then noticed how big the difference between America and the Netherlands was. I saw an opportunity, a strategic gap as they so nicely call it at the Hotel School. So I thought: I will gladly jump into that gap!
Together with two other colleagues, I created a hut made of stuff from Gamma and we started at an earlier edition of the Rolling Kitchens Festival in Amsterdam. We thought it was super cool, even though we made a loss of 400 euros. That was the starting point of a big adventure. A family reunion followed, a company party and then the excitement of the first internet booking by a stranger! It turned from a hobby into a full time job. The two friends from the start and I friendly went our separate ways and nowadays I run solo.
We focus on delivering a different experience to our customers. It starts with quality and good materials. Our own recipes, and homemade as much as possible. We work with meat that is of a more sustainable origin. Heyde Hoeve pigs for our pork, ‘Gildehoen’ chicken and our salmon is always MSC or ASC certified. We also create an experience. At one point we decided to build the largest smoker in the Netherlands. We called ourselves the "authentic BBQ caterer". That worked in 2010, but in 2011 everyone called themselves authentic, even Albert Heijn. It became a buzzword.
So we have to give it meaning to be ‘authentic’. We determined our brand values. Everything we do, from our traditional cooking methods to the materials used, must be authentic. We work without plastic. Everything is steel, wood or stone. Our buffets are handmade from old cigar boards. It looks tough, old and used.
Hotellos can be pigheaded and cocky, starting with me. Hotellos always have their own opinion on how it could be better. And that's great, because you add value. You not only carry out the tasks at hand, you think about efficiency and how things can be improved. Well, if you are confronted with 50,000 hungry people at the Lowlands festival, it is of course not the most convenient time to evaluate, then you just have to get things done. With a smile of course!
What I loved about studying at Hotelschool The Hague, is that you really mature during those 4 years. You start with a sort of top-down relationship with your lecturers. They tell you what to do, you do it and you just hope it is good enough. At the end, you reach a level of more equality. Those lecturers become your coaches, your source of information. That relationship, I really enjoy.
I sometimes say; I'm the gypsy of the hospitality industry. Except being a bouncer or sommelier, I have covered almost every function. From working in the kitchen of a hotel, to sous chef, to chef. Then I became a start up manager for different restaurants at La Place, and afterwards worked through secondment. Moved to Foodstep, a consultant for the hospitality. I was then asked by Food Inspiration Belgium to become their editor-in-chief, I did that with pleasure for three years. And then Smokey Goodness came along.
When I look back, I know Hotelschool The Hague gave me the fundamental knowledge to become a manager. At my internships I learned to work in a kitchen, at La Place I have learned to be managerial and also how to buy in and to effectively plan. Through secondment I have learned to be commercial. And as consultant at Foodstep I learned about development and trends in food. It was the ultimate combination to start my own concept, and that is probably one of the reasons why it’s very successful.
In 5 years? We have healthy ambitions. We have doubled every year, but for next year we want to focus on better returns. In 5 years I hope Smokey Goodness will be a brand that is recognised for its quality and authenticity. And we would like to develop more aspects of BBQ. You can think of a restaurant, product line, tools, maybe our own BBQ. That we will be a name you mention alongside Weber and Big Green Egg.
“Wherever I travel, there is always an opportunity for a little Hotelschool reunion”
As a young girl finishing secondary school in Russia, I knew I wanted to study abroad to gain international experience. The Netherlands provided me with that opportunity - because of its international character and the fact that it is simply a very nice country. As a bonus, it was not too far from Russia. When I visited Hotelschool The Hague I felt at home immediately, so the choice was easy. I graduated in 2007, after my internship in New York at the head office of Leading Hotels of the World. I came back to the Netherlands as I liked it there and didn’t feel the need to go anywhere else. I like to settle in one place, I don’t have the ambition to move all over the world.
Part of the reason behind this is that if you have a Russian passport, it is quite challenging to obtain a work permit. So it is not that easy to get a job in Europe, the US or pretty much anywhere. That is why I decided I wanted to study further, and get a Master’s degree. I was always into Finance; at Hotelschool I was always doing the finance part of different projects. I enrolled for the Nyenrode Accounting and Controlling Pre-Master and later followed the Master. I applied at KPMG Audit for a traineeship, working four days and studying one day. And I’m still with KPMG today, seven years later. I still learn every day and my job gives me a lot of opportunities to develop further. Self-improvement was the key to making it up the ladder. In September I completed the final exam for the chartered accountant qualification; I like to keep on learning.
Today I am a Manager Audit at KPMG. Every month of the year is constantly changing and I’m getting new interesting projects. I currently manage eight accounts, and I am very involved with all of my clients. Ultimately, our client contact is what really makes the difference, as we put the client first. I love the international aspect of my job; especially working with Russian clients, it keeps the Russian connection going and it gives me a chance to visit my family and friends as well.
I do love traveling. Where do I want to go next? Everywhere! On the top of my list are Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, maybe India. When travelling, it’s great that you have the chance to meet up with Hotelschool alumni. I enjoyed my time at Hotelschool The Hague, especially living in Skotel, you bond so quickly with everybody. It was always fun, even given the heavy study load and the teamwork. Now we’re all spread out all over the world, but whether I’m in Atlanta or Moscow, or anywhere, there is always an opportunity for a little Hotelschool reunion. Just two weeks ago, I attended a wedding of a friend in Budapest, and last year I visited several old friends from the Hotelschool in London. We try to keep in touch anyway we can, whenever we can, luckily Facebook makes it very easy for us.
My bachelor years were vital to my success today. The skills I learned there; I’ll be using them for the rest of my life. Teamwork, leadership and client contact are very important in every consultancy or job, and it is skills like these that they still don’t teach in many Master programmes. The fact that we practiced feedback and worked exclusively in teams was very beneficial. I will never forget the Outdoor programme in the second year, it was a tough psychological experience in the winter. We had to sleep outdoors, it was really cold and we built a tent, but it was too small for everyone, and I remember some of us had to sleep on the floor. It definitely brings you closer as a team, and rarely do you find leadership programmes like this at other universities.
I like to take things as they come, moment by moment, and that’s why I don’t know where I’ll be in ten years, but probably in a finance-related position. I’m quite ambitious in general, so I’m not going to be a stay-at-home mom, that’s for sure!
Meet our students
Hotelschool the Hague would like you to meet several of our current students. These students give you a short insight in their life; how they experience studying at Hotelschool The Hague, their ambitions for the future and student life.
Also meet our other Hospitality Heroes; Andreas, Sharoena, Mats and Malte.
Click on the image below and take the short quiz to find out if our Bachelor Programme is the right programme for you!
If you do not have the possibility to come to one of our selection days in the Netherlands, you are more than welcome to come to one of our selection days abroad. The selection days are listed when you apply.
Hotelschool The Hague is not a private school as we are funded by the government. Our small-scale university is one of the reasons we are able to offer such a unique and successful programme.
The Bachelor programme is split up in three phases. Phase 1 is all about hospitality performance; you learn to do the existing well’. Phase 2 emphasises the tactical application of this knowledge; you improve on the existing. In the final phase you apply your learning and experience strategically; searching for new combinations. In each phase, you follow different courses. Please read the course overview here course_overview_bachelor_programme.pdf
You can apply online by following the steps: Apply for Bachelor Hotel Management at Hotelschool The Hague. As soon as we have received and processed your application, and you meet all the requirements, you will be invited to one of the selection days. It is possible that the selection days are fully booked near the final application day. Therefore keep in mind to enrol as soon as possible.
The formal application deadline for our Bachelor Programme and International Fast Track Programme was
1 May 2016.
We would still like to review your application so please send your motivation, CV and clearly state if you wish to apply for our Bachelor or Fast Track Programme to email@example.com. We will then give you personal advice on how best to proceed with your application.
Formal applications for 2017 will open again in October 2016.