Interview with Hilton professional Anne van den Heuvel
Every day, many professionals make their way to and from the dynamic central business district at Schiphol. They’re employed at over 600 companies. One of these professionals is Anne van den Heuvel, Food and Beverage manager at Hilton Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. She’s also an ambassador of the Spot Schiphol Community. We’re curious as to why she enjoys working at Schiphol and why she is such an active participant within the AirportCity.
Published on: 8 August 2019
A wealth of activities at this unique business location, 24/7
Past the airport, the NS train station, and the Schiphol Plaza shopping mall, you’ll find Schiphol Central Business District (CBD) with its many facilities. How do these various elements contribute to a pleasant working environment, according to Anne? “I really think it’s perfect that I’m at work right after I get off the train. Schiphol has a great train connection and a pleasant station. As a hotel professional, I have to work late every now and then. Fortunately, I always feel safe at Schiphol. And if I need a present or some groceries, Schiphol Plaza offers plenty of options. My Schiphol pass even gives me various discounts. That’s convenient! In addition to that, I like that I can sometimes have lunch at another location with a friend from another company, for example in the atrium of The Base, a multi-tenant office building.”
A working environment with international flair
Schiphol’s business park is home to international (head) offices, which makes the area very interesting according to Anne: “Schiphol is the biggest airport of the Netherlands and consequently very recognisable. When I tell other people I work at Schiphol, they always think that’s intriguing. People sometimes associate Schiphol’s international character with just the airport itself, but it also applies to the Schiphol business park. Hilton is an internationally renowned brand, for example, and our location employs people with different nationalities. Our working language is English, because only about twenty percent of my colleagues speak Dutch. I think it’s great that Hilton reflects Schiphol’s international nature.”
Impressive workplaces for inspirational meetings
The buildings and locations in Schiphol CBD are all different, but each one serves to inspire. “I reckon our hotel is a unique place,” says Anne. “It’s an iconic building with a gorgeous atrium that impresses me all over again every day. But the recently renovated Microsoft office and the top floor of WTC Schiphol Airport are beautiful, impressive places too. Besides that, public plaza The Square is often used as a meeting point. I enjoy meeting up with colleagues and other people employed in the area for an event or sports activity.”
I think it’s great that Hilton reflects Schiphol’s international nature."
– Anne van den Heuvel, F&B manager Hilton Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
Ambassador of the active Spot Schiphol Community
For many of the professionals working at Schiphol, the Spot Schiphol Community – an online and offline platform with more than 4200 members – enriches their lives both during and outside of work. “When I started working here, I joined the Spot Schiphol Community to expand my network, familiarise myself with the area, and also for the various events and activities that the community organises, such as free boot camps and inspirational talks,” Anne explains. “Shortly after that, I was asked to become an ambassador in order to be a sparring partner and help to explore opportunities to make working at Schiphol even more fun. Together with the community, we regularly organise sports events, drinks, and food trucks on The Square. It’s important to me that as a representative of Hilton and with the help of the community, I can help connect professionals of various companies.”
A great variety of community activity, so there’s something for everyone!
The Spot Schiphol Community includes a total of eight ambassadors from various companies, such as KLM and Microsoft, but also Vebego Airport Services. Anne is one of these ambassadors. “We all provide input based on our own expertise, which leads to a good variety of activities. Hilton Amsterdam Airport Schiphol organises weekly GINius THIRSTdays drinks and the bimonthly GINius after work event where we provide attractively-priced bites and drinks. The community wants to create a pleasant workplace for professionals employed at Schiphol, and Hilton Amsterdam Airport Schiphol supports that. So, for me, our collaboration is a real win-win situation; I get to contribute to an enjoyable working environment for professionals, and those professionals are then more likely to make use of our hotel.”
Flexplace and renting spaces based on needs
In various locations within Schiphol CBD, professionals can make use of flexplaces or book rooms. “The lobby and the restaurant of Hilton Amsterdam Airport Hotel, Bowery Restaurant, are great places to work too, especially while enjoying light refreshments,” says Anne. “In addition to that, companies often book a meeting room if they want to have a meeting in an inspiring environment. That’s why we offer an hourly rate as well, so people don’t have to book meeting rooms for the entire day. Our hotel also hosts goodbye drinks and department dinners for other companies. For one of those companies, the goodbye drinks were so well-received that they’re coming back next month for regular drinks. Initially, there’s a certain threshold for people that keeps them from just walking into a hotel. We want to break through that barrier. That’s why the collaboration between Hilton and the Spot Community is so important to us, because in the end we want people to feel welcome both in our hotel and at Schiphol!”
Want to read more about Schiphol as a dynamic workplace? Discover 5 advantages to working in the Schiphol Central Business District.