Story #18 Elly
Elly van de Wouw is the director of the human resources of the Sheraton Amsterdam Airport hotel and this is her #NHTVstory:
”The relationship with NHTV is a relationship of partners; a partnership. I think we both believe in a win-win situation. They have the students and they are looking for an internship which is interesting and which is adding value. And we are looking for students for internships and that they bring us as well something. So it is definitely a win-win situation.
The students of NHTV are of high quality, they are individual thinkers, they are creative and they are problem solvers. So we like these students of NHTV very much and I think they like us as well. Many of the students stay afterwards to fulfill vacancies in our hotel. In my department, the HR department, I have two assistants and they are both from NHTV and they both started as a trainee, which is nice.
We have done several projects with NHTV and that is what I like about the school as well, there is a very open and honest communication. Once we did a workshop about branding, about the different brands of Starwood and what they present. The students told me that there was a classroom and they wanted some decorations to make it livelier. We proposed; ‘why won’t we come with pictures of the brands and of the promises they make to our customers?’ and they really liked that. So in the school now, you have a Starwood classroom, which is really nice.
They help us, we help them and for instance every two years we do a project for UNICEF where we mostly cycle. Last year we had the idea to go cycling from two sides. Because the area manager of the Benelux wanted to improve the cooperation between the Dutch and the Belgium hotels, we came up with the idea; ‘why don’t we make an event where we cycle together, Belgium cycles towards The Netherlands and the Dutch cycle towards Belgium?’. Then of course, Breda was in the middle so that was ideal. I contacted NHTV and said ‘would you like to help us, so we can join forces at Breda, at the school?’ they immediately agreed and said; ‘that is a nice thought, we will help you’. So it was all settled, we got help from the school, but unfortunately that day, it was a day which had very bad weather in the Netherlands, so we had to cancel. But who knows for in the future?
We also work together for workshops. When NHTV calls us for workshops, we come over and give workshops. Our revenue manager has done workshops and also our operational innovation has done workshops. A few of our associates come and do their exams at NHTV, so it is really a close partnership.
The thing I like the most is a direct communication; we can just pick up the phone and just be honest and open to each other on whatever subject.
NHTV and Starwood from both sides, we are willing to make a success out of anything.