After her management internship in The United States, she started with the ‘Elevator General Manager’ program, a program where she discovered both operational and administrative departments within a hotel. She started her first 9 months at the Hilton and Hilton Garden Inn Frankfurt Airport, where she worked in the Housekeeping, F&B, FO and Finance departments. Her next adventure was the DoubleTree Tower of London, at the HR and Business Development departments. During these two periods of 9 months, she explored which department she liked the most. During her internships she was part of the Front Office departments, so she thought it would be a good idea to start developing herself at a more unknown department; F&B. She thinks it’s a great challenge and currently she is fully responsible for a team of 47 Georgian Team Members, wow!
During a Continental Europe GM meeting, she met a lot of GM’s of Europe. One of them, Torsten Weller, was the GM at Hilton Batumi. He told her about the challenges and opportunities in Georgia. He implemented a taxi system that ensured team members could get at work in time, for example. In a lot of European cities, the public transportation runs almost 24 hours, but in Georgia there are only busses and they don’t run all day. This is was attracted Iris; she wanted a huge challenge. She thinks her impact and influence is very big over there: 'People can still learn a lot and can be developed to the next level. There are no hospitality schools in Georgia, so the knowledge about and experience in the hospitality industry is less than in Holland.' That’s why she choose to move there, and so far it has been e great experience to her.
During her operational and management internships in Bangkok and Washington, she learned to observe new cultures and habits, and that the Dutch can be very direct. She truly believes you can grow more as a person, whilst living abroad. Those internships learned her to be more independent, finding solutions in difficult situations, being assertive etc.
What she enjoyed most during her time at the Hotel Management School Maastricht? 'The minor Horizons in Hospitality, this minor is all about hospitality in other businesses than the hotel industry. I did a project for Volvo and for Albert Heijn. Despite the fact that I decided that hospitality in hotels is actually what I really enjoy, I also enjoyed this part of the study a lot. It was a great learning experience for me and I learned the basics about consultancy and providing feedback.'
During her study, Iris really liked the close relationship that students and teachers have at our school. She thinks it was just great that you could approach teachers so easily, and that they were always available to give you advise or help you with projects.
Read all about the school in the article written by journalist Jules Coenegracht.
In a joint effort to lift the industry up, KHN and the hotel schools in the Netherlands are combining forces.