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Let's catch up with alumnus Maarten Bos | 05 september 2017

Student Fleur Donker interviewed alumnus Maarten Bos (F-1991). Read all about his experience at Hotel Management School Maastricht and his passion for hospitality!

Could you tell us something about yourself?

Thanks for the questions. I am Maarten Bos, old member of the fraternity De Gustibus non Disputandum Est, married to a Sconfinato, Italian Claudia Zanin. We have one son of 16. Living happily together in ‘s-Hertogenbosch. Besides work I really like to play hockey, especially the keeping part (cannot do anything else). Like to cook, meet with friends. Skiing, biking and hiking in nature. Reading.

Which study did you follow and how did your study time look like?

I studied HMSM from 1987 till 1991. After 11 years of work I studied at Nyenrode IMBA full-time for 16 months. HMSM was really one of the best periods of my live. My best friends are still from that period. Working for the HMSM Hospitality Consultants feels like coming home again. I am very honoured I can contribute to HMSM in this way. Giving back. To be honest I did not study that hard. I was more busy with the fraternity DGNDE and activities within Amphitryon. I liked the combination very much. And I am still convinced that you learn as well in theory  as in practice, learning by doing. And Amphitryon offered exactly that. And I lived it to the max 100%. Besides working for HMSM I have my own coaching-, consulting- and therapist practice.

What is your position at the Hotel Management School Maastricht? Are you in contact with the students?

My role at HMSM is Senior Hospitality Consultant and part of HMSM Hospitality Consultancy.

Hospitality Consultants offer a wide range of services, varying from consultancy and implementation to inspiration and coaching. The aim is to work with clients to achieve outstanding customer experiences. And to use an approach that is both smart and happy! The objective is to form long-term relationships with our clients, who we view as partners. We work with our partners to develop new concepts and solutions for optimising hospitality within organisations, developing a ‘creative collaboration’. We mostly work at the clients location but when I am at the school I  like to interact with teachers and students.

At HMSM I sometimes meet up with the current students of DGNDE but we also work together with students in our projects at Hospitality Consultancy. I really like to work with students. They keep me sharp and connected with a younger generation, understanding their way of thinking and working. Within projects they support us and also contribute with their vision on situations within projects.

In which way do you connect the Hotel Management school with Business University Nyenrode?

It started when I saw a connection and a lot of possibilities in combining expertise of both institutes. A unique combination of business and Hospitality.

I called a professor at Nyenrode and told him my dream: I wanted to connect my two favourite castles and create programs that are contributing to a more human focussed business community.

To make a long story short, two programmes have been developed at this stage. One five day masterclass Leading Hospitality Innovation and a two day programme especially for cure and care. Both are being organised for the second time!

What characteristics do you need to be a coach?

Sincerely curious towards the other without labelling. The ability to listen, observe, be open, be sensitive, sincerely welcoming the client and developing the ability of intervening on the right moment.

Coaching, in my view, is not telling the client what to do. It is about developing the ability to help the client to formulate his/her own answers and actions to be taken. It is not about teaching but supporting the process of learning.

Do you see prominent changes in the last 10 years in the Hospitality?

Interesting question. Yes and no. I think the basis of Hospitality is still the same as hundreds of years ago. The art of being, as a person, in such a way that the other is feeling very welcome, heard, seen, understood and served in a personal way.

But of course technology, innovations and knowledge is developing. The challenges I see is to keep the right balance between these developments and the real human focus within organisations and with clients, patients or guests. In basis people are well aware how to handle in a hospitable way but sometimes seems to forget because of their busy daily routine. Exciting times with great challenges but also many, many opportunities.

Are there any expectations you have for the becoming 5 years for hospitality?
I would expect that Hospitality, in the sense of achieving outstanding customer experiences and creating a happy work place, becomes one of the major core values of every organisation. Not only within the traditional hotels and restaurants but in  every organisation.

More and more organisations recognize that truly human relationships and interaction (hospitality) will play an increasingly relevant role in this world of continuing globalisation and digitisation, also within a business context. Hospitality could well become the most significant distinguishing factor in business.

It is very rewarding and meaningful that I, together with my colleagues, can contribute to a more friendly world and share the next step in hospitality, within the Netherlands or abroad.

Maarten Bos
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