Cluster Talent & Culture Manager, ibis Rotterdam City Centre and Novotel Rotterdam Brainpark (The Netherlands)

Renate Fransen

Renate Fransen's story

I went to work in the Caribbean because I wanted to experience a different culture and to take care of myself as a 20 year old; it was also a requirement of my school. It was more relaxed and more hospitable than the Netherlands. And they took great care of me – it was like having four mothers!

It touched my heart and I am still in contact with them even 11 years later. They taught me to live more in the moment; they say ‘you have the clock and we have the time’. It was a culture shock and I loved it. Now that I’m back in Western Europe, I sometimes have the time and sometimes I need to be reminded of that.

Recently, I interviewed a girl who had done her internship in Curaçao and that reminded me that sometimes I need to take a step back. So, that evening I said to my husband, we need to relax, we don’t need a full weekend with lots of nice things to do, it’s also fine to have a day off.

I have gained much from training; I have done a lot of courses, including practical ones – I did a cocktail workshop when I was working in F&B. I also did All Star, a personal development programme, when I got to know myself from my fears to my habits. It was an eye-opener – at first I wanted to change because I’m a bit bubbly but eventually, I decided it was OK to be bubbly.

I am a centipede, I like to be busy and to do lots of things at the same time – and that’s possible in a hotel; one day we were preparing sandwiches because we had a big group coming and then I was solving internet problems. One afternoon, the full team went axe throwing – we like to do something different and a lot of people were doing dry January so we decided to do something where you couldn’t drink. I organised it and that makes it so much more fun; I would not be happy only being HR or front desk or F&B.

There are many sectors but ours is the most beautiful and when you are new to the industry, you can make it what you want; there are numerous opportunities and you can pursue your ambition. Even if you have never done something before, if you show interest, people will let you try it. I started at Accor in an internship in the F&B department and I have seen almost every side of the hotel because that was what I wanted. People trusted me – try it and if it doesn’t work out you can try something else.

If you are looking for your first job, try hospitality because it is a lovely sector to work in. I go to the hotel every day with a smile, I have never regretted it; and I think my colleagues are the nicest – you see them more often than your family. And you have to work anyway so you might as well have fun! My friends ask me if I never go to work in a bad mood – you can do that once but after a second or third time, you need to switch to something else.

  • Renate Fransen
  • Cluster Talent & Culture Manager
  • ibis Rotterdam City Centre and Novotel Rotterdam Brainpark (The Netherlands)