Interview with the student Koen Slingerland  - Vatel

Interview with the student Koen Slingerland

Encounter with Koen Slingerland, a 3rd year Bachelor student who has just launched a website called « WORK ! ». He aims to help students find work as « extras » in the hotel-restaurant business and at the same time satisfy a real demand from professionals.

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Can you briefly introduce yourself ?

I’m 21 years old and I was born in Holland. I’ve been in France for the past 11 years. I’m currently in my final Bachelor year. After spending my first year of study at Vatel Bordeaux, I opted for the Marco Polo programme, which enabled me to spend my second year at the Vatel school in Bangkok.

Can you describe your year in Bangkok ?

This year was extremely enriching for me. First of all, I discovered a completely different culture from my own. I had many fascinating encounters meeting people of different nationalities. This will remain one of the unforgettable experiences in my life.

You have just launched a « Platform » website between Hotel-Restaurant trade professionals and students. Can you tell us about it ?

The idea came to me just over a year ago. I completed an internship in the marketing department of a grand hotel in Brussels, Hotel de Bruxelles, where I had already noticed a great need for « extras » on a regular basis and often for emergencies. After discussing this with my student colleagues, I realised that many students are looking for a part time job during their studies. What is complicated is finding jobs as extras with hours that are compatible with their timetable. That’s how the idea of the platform came about. I carried out a little market survey which confirmed that there was no site specifically designed for students.

What makes you think this could work ?

How could it not work if the supply and demand exists ? Moreover, my website is totally free for both the companies offering the jobs to students and the students who are job-seeking. I already have some ideas for developing the concept if the site proves successful.

What are your objectives ?

For the moment I think this is a great experience. I’m still in the launch phase where the priority is to promote my website among students and professionals. This stage is taking up a lot of my time and I’m just starting to see some results. I’ve set myself 6 months to develop traffic on my site. All being well, my long term objective is to be able to propose new job offers to students on a daily basis. But first, this year’s priority is to obtain my diploma so that I can enroll in a Masters degree course….

What are your plans for next year ?

I’m currently taking competitive entrance exams for a business school where I intend to complete a MSC Marketing course.

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