The Faculty Club of... Pieter de Jong

In this column, our members tell something about themselves and why they are members of the Faculty Club. Read this interview with Pieter de Jong, host in the Faculty Club.

De Faculty Club van Pieter de Jong

Why do you work in the Faculty Club?

I really like serving people. Having a chat and the personal contact with the guests appeals to me; more than, for instance, the banqueting of big parties. I love the small-scale set-up of the Faculty Club and the familiar feeling of the Sitting-Room. Many different employees and alumni meet here. The Faculty Club is called the 'Sitting Room of the university' for a reason.

How long have you been working at the Faculty Club already?

I started in Utrecht University Hall in September 2002, with working in the Faculty Club for a day every once in a while. Since about ten years, I'm a steady employee in the Faculty Club. I work with a number of steady colleagues. For years, I worked in the Sitting-Room with Wim van 't Hart and Mark Heijboer. I also often work a lot with Hein van Woudenbergh now.

I love the familiar feeling of the Sitting-Room. Members should be able to feel at home and having a chat at a table certainly is a part of that!

What did you do before this?

I come from the Frysian town of Grou and I started in catering long ago. During my education in Hotel and Event Management, I've had apprenticeships in, among other places, Stuttgart and Frankfurt. After that, I worked on a cruise ship in the Caribbean for eight months. That was tough work: seven days a week for eight months on end. After that, I worked in a winter-sports hotel in Laax, Switzerland, for another six months. After all those years abroad, I decided to return to Frysia to find a job in the Netherlands. In 2000, I started working at hotel Oud London in Zeist. When Oud London started providing the catering in Utrecht University Hall, I switched and still have much fun from doing so.

What is your most fun memory of the Faculty Club?

I don't know if there is a most fun memory. I do cherish beautiful memories of the many themed dinners, Happy Hours and Midsummernight parties. These evenings are just a little bit more special than the regular evenings. That's why most members are a little bit more free spirited there than when they meet with guests. I always look back on these evenings with much fun. 

Which changes have you seen take place?

I started working in the Faculty Club in 2002. The Faculty Club wasn't around for that long back then and it wasn't very crowded in that period. This slowly changed throughout the years. In the first years, it was somewhat trial and error for the university, the catering service and the Faculty Club: everything still had to come together somewhat. The number of members slowly increased after that and of course, the same goes for the activities. In the beginning, there sometimes was the idea that the Faculty Club was only for professors: maybe the atmosphere was more formal back then. This did change gradually. The previous Club Manager, Noor van Haren, worked very hard on that with the members of the Programme Commission. These days, many more different people come to the Sitting-Room, and it's somewhat cosier and more enjoyable. 

What are you looking forward to the most?

I very much look forward to going back to work again: that guests are coming again, that I can pamper guests again. That I can make a joke or have a serious chat again. I really missed all of this very much in the past year.

Do you have any suggestions for activities for the Faculty Club?

I've also seen that more and more young members are coming to the Faculty Club. I would like to give our drinks menu a more youthful touch. I already have a drinks menu with special cocktails in mind. Maybe we can give these cocktails names too?