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Let's catch up: Felix van den Boogaard [F 2020]

'Work is not neither the beginning nor the end. It is very important to remember that at the end of the day, your work is just work. It is equally, if not more important to also remember to live a life.'

He impressed his internship manager with his coffee making skills but IHAB-award winner Felix van den Boogaard [F 2020] discovered his techinical interest and got the opportunity to grown into a Senior Programme Manager at Planet.

How did you end up in your new (first) job?

'I was lucky enough to have impressed my manager during my management internship with my coffee making skills, so he decided to offer me a job in Product Management. Kidding aside, I am very grateful to have received the opportunity of continuing on at Protel Hotelsoftware GmbH in Product Management after having worked there as an intern and proving that I could handle the responsibility of being the sole Product Manager while my internship mentor was on medical leave for an extended period.' 

How did you end up in your current job?

'After having worked in Product Management for the Cloud PMS for 2 years (and a half year during my internship), I gradually found out that my technical interests as well as capabilities outweighed my desire to manage a backlog and write up requirements. I discussed that with my superiors, who agreed, and was then promoted to a newly created role called "Programme Manager", in which I was fulfilling only part of my Product Management duties (backlog management + mock-up designing), as well as liaising between the Product Managers and the development team. Since I spoke both teams' "languages", my position played a key role in bringing the product forward, as well achieving the main organizational goals and communicating those efficiently to all relevant stakeholders. Now, after having worked in that role for 2 years, and having been acquired by a larger company, Planet, my role has grown, as the development and product teams have expanded significantly. This is how I am now a Senior Programme Manager.' 

What was your biggest challenge?

'Migrating our customer base at the time (2500+ hotels across all continents) from the old system to the new user interface with new workflows (basically an entirely new Property Management System for the users) was a difficult and truly challenging undertaking. We migrated them in several phases with a pretty good rollout plan, but even that couldn't really avoid me having to work long days during the pandemic and having to learn a lot under stressful circumstances. It definitely helped me become better at managing stress and understanding the key points in prioritization of development projects combined with live customers on multiple system versions.' 

What is the best advice you've ever got?

'Work is not neither the beginning nor the end. It is very important to remember that at the end of the day, your work is just work. It is equally, if not more important to also remember to live a life.' 

What is the most important skill you've gained at HMSM?f

'Being able to understand what hotels/hoteliers need and want to become the best at providing the best possible stay for their guests, as well as being able to work with people from all walks of life.' 

How is your connection to your peer alumni? 

'I follow a lot of my peers on social media to see what they're up to and I am sure that it'd be lovely to see them again and catch up, but I mostly converse with a select few that I became close friends with on a daily basis (jaarclub Alcatraz).' 

What is your best memory of your study at HMSM?

'There's many to choose from, I think the best summary for it would be the ability to mix pleasure and education at almost all times. I truly had some of the best moments so far in life at HMSM.'

 

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