Bart Kerckhoffs: your go-to hospitality expert

Bart Kerckhoffs, HR adviser at FASoS, lives and breathes the hospitality sector. “Hospitality is in your DNA,” he is often told. Studying at the hotel school, among others, was therefore a logical choice at the time.

In his free time, Bart loves to travel with his partner Dennis to various (from basic to luxurious) destinations (and he likes also camping … when the weather’s good) and going to restaurants for bib gourmand dinners.

Bart works 4 days a week at UM. The other day(s), he is busy running his own company “Attent HR Advise & Coaching” – a coaching and advise company for small and medium enterprises targeted for a large part at the hospitality sector. “These companies are too small to have their own HR department and I therefore support entrepreneurs with (complicated) HR issues on demand. This activity grew out of a kind of hobby and since 2 years I have formalised it; great fun to combine it like this!”. Bart also occasionally runs, together with a fellow entrepreneur, hospitality workshops … “how to do ordinary things unusually well”. These workshops are still in development, “but it’s just fun to be involved in them.”

What Bart enjoys most about his work as an HR adviser is advising and coaching managers and employees. Being in contact with people gives Bart energy!

“In my capacity as HR adviser, it is obviously crucial that I can communicate with my clients. Within FASoS, which is such an international community, it is pivotal that my English is good. My level of English was basically high school English, and I only spoke the language on vacation, since this is my first position in an international work environment. I could really use a refresher crash course, so I went to study with the nuns in Vught.”

I was disappointed to learn from Bart that the nuns don’t actually teach there (anymore). “The last nun passed away recently. She did write a book about the history of the convent, which lay on the bedside table in the hotel part of the convent. They do still make clever use of the name; everyone knows what you mean when you say you went to the nuns in Vught, and they adhere to the same setup as the nuns used. You are immersed in the language that you are learning because you study, eat and sleep in the convent for a week. You live in your own foreign-language world together with the other course-takers. After a week, you return home with a whole new skillset of grammar and vocabulary.”

Bart does still see room for improvement, but he at least feels much more confident in communicating in English; at FASoS and on vacation.

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