Alumni Interview: Ivan Koole

Hi There! Let me introduce myself. My name is Ivan Koole and I studied ATPM from 2010 till 2012. Right now I’m working as an Operational manager at the Tikipool and it is based in the Duinrell attractions park in Wassenaar. Next to this I also provide a helping hand on different other locations at Duinrell like the entertainment team and nightlife. Most of my time I work at the pool where I’m responsible for daily operations: from training and coaching of the lifeguard to management meetings. It is a diverse and lovely job!

The course of TPM at NHTV was an inspiring course for me. I always wanted to run a campsite but this course changed my dream and career wishes. During the course I was able to do an internship at the Walt Disney company. That really is the best place on earth to learn about the business. The work I did was not of a very high level, but the training you get as a Disney cast member is remarkable. I still use a lot of the things I learned then in my daily job now. It was also great that I had the opportunity to visit all of Walt Disney world backstage and meet with high level managers. I could ask them anything and they always took the time to give an answer.

On the ATPM course there are also regular trips to the EAS: the European Attraction Show. This conference is held in a different city across Europe each year and features all the latest news and developments in the European attraction business. I learned to expand my social network with very important people in the business and learned a lot about the theme parks and how they work all over the world. I still visit the EAS every year!

After my internship in Orlando it was time to come home and graduate. My thesis was based on strategic development of theme parks. It took a while before it was approved but I could finally start to work at a theme park. Like all students I first thought I could find a specific job that I was interested in. Wrong! For jobs at a higher level, you need a lot more experience in the field. I decided to start on a lower level function and work my way up. With the experience that I acquired at Walt Disney and the job that I had next to school, I was hired at Duinrell, which was the first job I applied to.

The thing I would say to the new students? Go the the EAS and different events like it. Talk to important people and expand your social network like this. My life quote: kennis is macht maar kennissen zijn machtiger (Translation: knowledge is power but being acquainted is more powerful) ! Get to know the right people!

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