Peter van der Aalst

Stay eager!

Remember him? Peter van der Aalst. He started as a marketing lecturer in 2000 and he currently works as programme manager of the Leisure & Events degree programme. 

Peter has one foot firmly planted in education, and the other in the leisure industry. Consequently, he sees countless opportunities for collaboration. Including collaboration with alumni, with whom he regularly meets up in the industry.

Trip down Memory Lane

Peter started his career in education in 2000 as a marketing lecturer. He was thrown to the wolves straight away with the course module of Market Research, which involved students playing the Brand Maps education game. ‘I was standing there in front of the class, breaking out into a sweat! I didn’t hear until afterwards that all my colleagues had done a three-day course to coach this game. But I just did it. Without the course.’ 

‘The first field trip I got to supervise was in 2000 to Prague. Turned out there was a swimming pool in the hotel, but no one had brought their swimwear. So what did we do? We dove into the pool in our underwear. Back then I already had quite a few tattoos, which got some appreciating looks, I think. By the way, I wonder if swimming with students, in our underwear, would be considered inappropriate today (although completely acceptable at the time)…’

‘In my years as a lecturer, I have developed special bonds with many students. Because they were going through a rough time in their life and I was their placement or graduation supervisor. Or because they themselves were already quite active in the music industry. That’s where we really shared a passion, which led to lasting connections.’ 

Connecting education and practice  

In the 1990s Peter worked as a party planner, DJ and marketing manager at a pop concert venue and he built an extensive network during that time. A network that NHTV (currently BUas) definitely benefited from. During his time as a lecturer, Peter was very actively involved in developing the Creative Sector in the province of Brabant (e.g. via Colin). Today, Peter is still a member of several advisory bodies in which he brings education and practice closer together. What’s more, he works closely together with 013 and other cultural organisations. 
‘Writing articles – including opinion articles - in for instance, allows me to keep a keen eye on trends in the leisure sector, but alumni also keep me engaged.’ 

Priceless combination  

‘Alumni relations are valuable and essential to our degree programme. Our graduates start their careers as competent professionals, but in a just a couple of years’ time they evolve into experts, something that we as an educational organisation can learn from as well. We are also hiring alumni, to an increasing extent, who teach with us part-time and at the same time continue their own leisure careers. This combination is priceless.’