Anouk Zuijderwijk's story
I started at Novotel Amsterdam City in 2019 as Conference & Events Coordinator but left Accor due to Covid. In the meantime I worked at a language school which was definitely different from the hospitality industry, it required a different skillset and type of networking. I do believe this experience has been very beneficial to me as I had to push my own boundaries and it made me realise how much I loved the hospitality industry. After 10 months with the language school the commercial manager of Novotel and Mercure called and invited me for a chat about my current position. I went in the same day and immediately put in my notice at the language school.
I love all the Accor brands, there is one for every type of guest. And it’s impressive to see how innovative Accor is within the industry; they continue to improve their sustainability policy and to work on reducing their CO2 footprint, something which we should all be aiming for.
I love the people and my colleagues at Accor, everyone is so welcoming. I have met a lot of sales colleagues at events and I’m still in touch with them, even though they are not from the Netherlands. We communicate about what is going on in our hotels and what we can improve, and some have become my friends.
A lot has changed because of the pandemic. When I came back, there were fewer colleagues in the hotel and everything was uncertain but it still felt as I had never left, which was lovely. From March last year, we went from zero occupancy to 100% and everyone was running around again. Whenever I talk to colleagues about 2022, we agree it’s really nice to be back in business, doing our jobs again and welcoming guests.
Anyone who has joined the industry has made a very good choice; it’s lovely, as are the people – it is a job you do with a lot of passion. You get the opportunity to learn and experience a lot but you have to get out of your comfort zone and keep pushing your own boundaries. Every year I look at myself and realise how much progress I have made. It’s such a nice environment; it’s diverse and interesting.
The hospitality industry is wonderful for a first job because you can do literally anything, whether you’re interested in operations, commerce or HR, it’s all possible – there is so much to do and learn, it’s never finished; you can move around and grow. And you can see your work in hospitality play out in real life!
- Anouk Zuijderwijk
- Senior Sales Manager
- Novotel Amsterdam City & Mercure Hotel Amsterdam City (The Netherlands)