Graduation Ceremony September 2019 | 23 September 2019

On Friday 13 September, 141 students received their Funda (= bachelor diploma) during a festive ceremony in the MECC in Maastricht.

Lecturer Benedict Persoon, as Master of Ceremonies, introduced the programme with verve and humour. In his speech, he talked about the graduates’ answers to the question: how did they look back on their time at the Hotel Management School and what were their plans for the future? It turns out that 22% intend to continue with their studies, 54% have a job, 1% will start their own company, just under 17% are still looking for work and the rest are setting out to explore the world as backpackers.

On behalf of the teaching and support staff, Director Ad Smits wished the graduates successful careers and happiness in their personal lives. Rita Kusters, Manager Specializations, Minors and Research, won the hearts of the graduates and their parents with an impassioned keynote speech, in which she also complimented Pia Kerkeling who graduated cum laude. At the end of her speech she urged the young professionals to maintain the balance in their future lives, as they has during their time as students.

Without exception, the graduates experienced their time at the Hotel Management School as a fantastic period, during which they developed as individuals and made friendships for life. Graduate Simone Hermans formulated this as follows: "I believe that this school provides the perfect combination of theory and personal development. The teachers are involved in your personal growth and stimulate you to become a better version. Also, the different phases you go through, campus, internship, living in Maastricht. The HMSM offers the full package in my opinion."

IHAB Award

Dean Ad Smits presented the IHAB Award. This is an award for the graduate who made the greatest impression on the teaching staff and external examiners during his/her final assessment. Floor Severens was winner of the award this time. In addition to eternal glory, Floor received a prize of € 1,000 sponsored by Bidfood, a day spent accompanying an IHAB member and an overnight stay.

Naturally, speeches of congratulation were also given by the chair of the student association Amphitryon, Dominique Bakker, and by the chair of the Student Council, Melloney Boersma.

Guest speaker Birthe van Meegeren

Alumna Birthe van Meegeren [F 1994], retail wine specialist & educator and also wine woman of the year 2019 told in an enthusiastic way about her own life and career and the choices she made. She hoped that every graduate will find his / her ikigai; the Japanese secret for a long and happy life. Birthe gave the graduates the following career tips: think of what you really enjoy doing and what you are really good at and then go for it, be helpful and kind - that makes working so much more fun and enjoy life, preferably with a good glass of wine.

Badge of Merit

Dean Ad Smits presented Fundalist Matt Flipse and student Anne Joosten with the silver Badge of Merit. Matt and Anne received this tribute because they created and implemented a new introduction for Amphitryon during their board year at student association Amphitryon.

The last speaker was graduate Nienke Cliteur, who spoke on behalf of all the new graduates. She looked back with a great deal of humour on the past years of study. She ended her speech with the following recommendation: "make sure you follow your passion, stay true to yourself, make jokes now and then and don’t worry too much about balance in your life. Because nobody ever said that a balanced life was fun!"

The ceremony was followed by a convivial reception, where graduates, parents and staff of the HMSM talked about the experiences of the past few years while enjoying snacks and drinks, and said farewell for the time being.


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