Global Mind Conference at the start of the academic year

“A day for and about Global Minds, resilience, adapting, challenges and following your heart”

“We are people from five different countries, all with different backgrounds and a different story. But we have the same mind-set and passion that makes what we do work.”

The Global Mind Conference was organised at the start of the academic year for third year students who are back at Hotel Management School Maastricht after doing their internship abroad. The day was dedicated to Global Minds and during it students looked back on their internship period, but also forward to the next 20 weeks of strategic hotel management and working on innovative hotel concepts. During the day several speakers joined the conference and shared their inspiring and motivating stories about their career, entrepreneurship, resilience and adapting to challenges, following your heart and doing it with passion. 

redouan ait chitt breakdancing in de spronckzaal

Resilience and adapting

In the morning, Martin Hendricks [F 2008], owner of Black Label Hospitality, was present and spoke about resilience and adapting to crisis situations. During his career, he faced different challenges such as the banking crisis, Covid, and the struggle to hire employees. But every time, he managed to find new ways to adapt to these situations and find new solutions for his organisation. Recently he set up the platform ‘Hospitality Hiring Europe’ to recruit new hospitality employees from all over Europe. “Resilience, adapting and changing the game is crucial while doing business.”

After his story, the Global Minds Award was awarded to the student who wrote the best blog about his or her internship experience. The winner was Mae Geertsema, who did her internship at the Four Seasons Limassol in Cyprus. She wrote her blog about the importance of staying open-minded towards other cultures, acknowledging cultural differences and getting to know the culture of the country you’re living in to expand your global mind-set. 

No excuse, no limits

Next up it was time for Redouan Ait Chitt. Redo has been a part of international breakdance crew ILL-Abilities for over 12 years. He was born with several physical malformations, but has never allowed this to negatively affect his life or his passion for breakdancing. “I dreamed about being famous, so everybody would know me and I would not have to explain my situation”. Over the years he built a solid career out of his passion, performing solo shows in theatres and touring with ILL-Abilities, winning the prestigious Dutch dance award ‘The Swan’ and as a motivational speaker travelling the world. 

He talked about how important it is to always stay positive, and not to let negative situations have an impact on your life. To have a passion, a fire within, that helps you get where you need to go. “ILL-abilities consists of people from five different countries, all with different backgrounds and a different story. But we have the same mind-set and passion that makes what we do work.” The students were all ears to hear his life story and enjoyed his enthusiastic, motivating and moving talk. 

In between the speeches students joined Story Circles, led by internship country supervisors, in which the students shared experiences about their own internship and at the same time learn from each other. 

Challenges for the future

The afternoon started with the last speaker of the day, alumnus Bastiaan Klomp [F 2002] director of Thermae 2000. His talk focused on his work in the hotel sector and the challenges his company faced during the Covid crisis, but also how he tackles current challenges such as staff shortage and sustainability. He shared new plans on expanding both the hotel and wellness area but at the same time taking into account how to make Thermae 2000 more sustainable for the future. Challenges that our students may also have to deal with in the future.

The day ended with a kick-off of Module 9. The next 20 weeks students will work on a strategic hotel management case and develop new innovative concepts for four different hotels. 

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