Working at HMSM: game-changers and inspirators

"I had a great education here, and now I would like to pass on my knowledge and experience to a new generation."

Alumni Tessa van Eijsden [F 2015] and Andreas Oerlemans [F 1987] both work as lecturers at HMSM. Being alumni of and working at HMSM is a great combination. Tessa wants to make our students 'game-changers', Andreas sees himself as an inspirator and facilitator of their dreams and ambitions.

Tessa & Andreas

Full Circle: From Student to Lecturer

Andreas regularly returned for guest lectures and selection interviews. After being appointed as a lecturer in September 2023, he has come full circle. 'I had a great education here, and now I would like to pass on my knowledge and experience to a new generation. I can now make my own contribution. In my time as a student you learned the theory from a book, but now I can illustrate the theory with cases that I still encounter every day in my work as a consultant.'

Tessa's Journey to Enrich Food Education

Tessa received a vacancy from her fellow student Maud Meijers [F 2014] (and HMSM lecturer). 'I was looking for a job in secondary education to enrich food education with aspects of sustainability from my Master's degree in World Food Cultures (University of Gastronomic Sciences, Pollenzo Italy). I didn't particularly want to go to Maastricht, but I was interested in the work of the Future in Food research centre, which investigates both areas of knowledge.' She was also triggered by the term 'game-changers' on the HMSM website. 'I want to bring change by integrating sustainability even more within the food sector, but I have always been advised not to use the term 'game-changers' in application letters. But if that is exactly what the institute is looking for, then I get enthusiastic.'

Andreas: An Inspirator and Facilitator

Andreas sees himself as an inspirator and facilitator for the dreams and ambitions of students. 'When I was young, I wanted to shine myself and had high ambitions. Now I have the peace and experience to help my students shine and realize their ambitions.'

Tessa's Mission for Sustainability

Tessa's objective is even more specific: 'The real reason to apply is that this generation of students will really have the opportunity to make a change in the field of sustainability within the often large organizations where they end up. My goal is to influence the mindset of these students positively on this important topic.'

Enhancements in the Student Journey

The most important change that Andreas sees at the Hotel Management School Maastricht is the student journey: 'The curriculum and in particular the specialization program (tracks and minors) has become much better in terms of content and knowledge. The program has more knowledge and offers a variety of specialist content. Based on personal choices, this allows our students to choose their specialization and I think that is a positive development.'

Guided Choices and Industry Connections

Tessa adds that she believes it is very important that students are guided with targeted events and fairs to help them make those choices. 'I am also struck by the number of external people who come here to give a guest lecture and all the company visits that are organized for students to meet experts from the industry.' Andreas sees that the alumni network has a major role in this: 'The connection with alumni has become much better in recent years. During my time as a student, I sometimes wondered where those alumni are. Nowadays, when I reach out to an alumnus to give a guest lecture, almost everyone joins or sometimes knows someone who can do that even better.'

Shared Experience in Amphitryon

Tessa and Andreas have another thing in common, they both served on the board of Amphitryon, Andreas even for 1.5 years. 'It helped me tremendously. Organizing and 'doing' together is a drive I got there.' Tessa agrees: 'Amphitryon was my challenge at that time. We organized major events, it was really a playground for the real work.' Andreas illustrates it with an example: 'We organized an international sport event with 400 participants who, of course, all had to be accommodated here. The pinnacle of hospitality in our own hands.'

The Value of Connecting

'In addition, connecting with others is a gift that I learned in Maastricht. I have had many employers and clients and whenever there were alumni it was easy to connect with them. Approaching someone with a smile costs nothing but achieves so much more.'

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Do you also want to work on our beautiful green campus and contribute to the new generation of hospitality professionals together with a group of international colleagues?

View our vacancies or have an exploratory chat with one of our colleagues.

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