While randomly scrolling through my Facebook Timeline, one ad caught my eye: “Welcome to the kickstart of your career” it said. Become a General Manager of the Postillion Hotel in Amersfoort for one year… Yeah right. No way that any hotel chain would just give away a job like that, it must be a joke? But what if it’s not, what if it is truly the real deal? I decided to just go for it. Come on Justus, just sign up, what is the worst that could happen? So I did, I send my CV along with a solid motivation letter.
After not hearing back from the organization for some time, I suddenly got a very long email with a lot of text of which I’m sure was very useful information. But all I could see was: “Congratulations! You are one of the finalists for the NXT GM Challenge”. I remember texting my mom, dad and friends with a screenshot of the email and the words: OMGGGG.
That is how excited I was of getting through the first round. But little did I know, that the rollercoaster with the name “NXT GM Challenge” only just took off.
It was 16 November 2018 and I checked in at the Postillion Hotel Amersfoort Veluwemeer. I wanted to make sure that no traffic jam, malfunctioning alarm or bad weather could stop me from being on time on the 17th of November because that was D-Day for me. Or how we refer to it now as, the “Challenge Day”. Therefore, I asked the receptionist for a wake-up call, ironed my shirt the evening before and went to bed at 22:00 after writing a guest experience report about my experience of the hotel.
The Challenge Day consisted of several technical challenges that did not only test your financial and managerial insights, but also the ability to solve problems and test your own motivation and personality.
After lunch, it was announced that the first three participants would have to go home. It was nerve-wracking, but when the jury said my name, it was followed with some of the English language’s finest word-combinations: “You are through to the next round”.
The afternoon was just as exciting as the morning, only now the pressure was times ten. Upon finishing the last challenge of the day, which was to pitch your vision for Postillion Hotel Amersfoort Veluwemeer using three potential investment decisions, we were excited to find out who would be part of the final three participants. “You are through to the next round… Justus!” Michael Spetter said. Buzzing with excitement and positive energy I was preparing myself for what was ahead of me.
Besides vlogging and ensuring a smooth online marketing campaign, I was fully dedicated to composing a mind-blowing pitch. On January 9th, it was time to present the pitch that I have been working for some time at the Future Hotello event in the RAI. In this pitch, I have described what kind of young leader I aspire to be; embracing the team and focusing on people as a priority. That is the promise that I will deliver during my time as General Manager of the Postillion Hotel Amersfoort Veluwemeer. The day continued with a series of inspiring talks and interesting workshops, with the HotelloTOP Year Event as the grand finale. The feeling of winning the challenge and becoming the NXT GM, is something unlike anything else. It is a rollercoaster of emotions, but the predominant feeling is ‘excitement’.
The NXT GM challenge is a bold challenge, but I am looking forward to returning the trust that Postillion has given in new and young leadership. Right now I am focusing on preparing myself to be ready to take on the challenge of being the NXT GM in September. I have exciting ideas and I cannot wait to roll up my sleeves and get to work.