Escaping mandatory military service by moving to China after graduation? Pascal Caubo, general manager at the InterContinental Bandung Dago Pakar (F 1995), did it!
‘’During my studies, I was called to join the mandatory military service in the Netherlands. I received an extension as I was studying at the time, however after my studies I was to join them regardless. When I received the notice for the service, I already received numerous comments from my close friends who were in the army. They said it was a good experience for the first few months, however after that they wouldn't recommend it. Therefore, I started to investigate how to 'escape' the mandatory service. I found there were two solutions: either get married or leave the European Union. And voilà, I started a job in Shanghai, courtesy of contacts of the HMSM.’’
After that, Pascal had a busy few years. From Shanghai, he moved to the USA where he worked at two different Hyatt hotels in Los Angeles for six years. Then there was a task force at Hyatt in Aruba and the General Manager’s Program at Cornell University in Ithaca. He worked at IHG in Egypt, but after the revolution in Cairo, he was transferred to Vietnam. After two other postings at IHG there, he went to Indonesia, where he still resides and works today at the ‘Most Improved Hotel 2018’ and ‘Indonesia Luxury Hotel & Conference Centre 2018’.
What he learned the most from? ‘’The academic side of the school is thorough and taught me a lot. However, the social aspect has turned out to be beneficial. If you compare the HMSM to other universities and education programs, the social aspect at the HMSM is very high and teaches you the people skills that other educations might be missing or don't emphasize as heavily on. This allows you, during your career, to easily interact and adapt to many different kinds of people in different cultures and social circles. During your study you are not aware of this much, however afterwards when you compare your skills to other people, you are definitely ahead…’’
Even though the HMSM at the time of his study consisted of Dutch students only, he now has contacts all over the world. The international connections started with all the hotels worldwide, but now students live all around. ‘’I am proud of having studied there and there is a bond between people who studied hotel management when I meet them around the world. It somehow opens doors and creates an instant connection.’’
The best memories he had during his study? ‘’I believe it is the atmosphere at the school and campus. Because you live on the campus during the first year, you build a close relationship with a big group of people and this carries through the four years. Can't forget the many bar events of course... It was a wonderful time. Fully immersed in the student life at the hotel school and in Maastricht. Studying, campus, Maastricht, jobpen: it was a really great experience and shaped me to the person I am today.’’