In this edition of Spaces Spotlight we talk to one of our own, Danielle Heeren. Danielle has been working at Spaces for quite a few years, starting as an intern at Spaces Vijzelstraat in Amsterdam, she’s now working from various Spaces locations in New York City as interim Brand Manager.
We catch up with her and check-in on how she’s settling in, not only in her new role as Brand Manager but also on her move from Amsterdam to the Big Apple. But first we go back to about 4 years ago.
Do you remember your first day at Spaces?
I will never forget the my first day at Spaces. I started the final week of renovations, just a week before Spaces Vijzelstraat was about to open…this was about 4 years ago. I was still studying Hotel Management so my first role was as an intern in Operations. I remember that I arrived on my first day and asked Nina (the Community Manager at the time) how they are going to manage the opening deadline as the ceiling looked so rough and unfinished. Nina told me, “don’t worry, we actually like the ceiling as it is.” And that’s when I thought to myself, “Ah OK, that’s interesting.” Spaces to me is polished, beautifully designed but still with an urban touch.
After the first week of my internship I joined the team social for a weekend to Antwerp and than I realized that Spaces is not only a cool concept but it also has a staff of great people!
What was your role when you started?
I started as an Operations Intern at Spaces Vijzelstraat and assisted the CM with her daily operations. From check-in till organizing events. Great way to learn all the ins and outs about Spaces.
At how many Spaces have you worked?
I’ve been involved as a CM at 4 different Spaces locations in Amsterdam, and now have worked at about 20 locations in the Netherlands and the US in my current role as Brand Manager, but I still have about 180 more to explore all over the globe!
And tell us, which Spaces is your favourite?
Well, all of them of course. Every Spaces has their own unique look & feel. However, I do consider Spaces Amstel to be my little baby as I was in charge from the development phase to its first fully operational year before I moved to NYC.
Describe your day to us?
When I arrive in the morning, usually my coffee is already made by the barista and waiting for me, which is, I have to say, the best start of the day. During my morning fix, I’ll have a chitchat with the reception ream, make a quick round throughout the business club to see if everything is in its place and say ‘hi’ to the members. Then I’ll find a spot somewhere in the business club where all the members and colleagues can easily find you for their questions or just for a chitchat. My days are filled with a lot of ‘coffee moments’ with members, colleagues and partners. I’ll check my emails, prepare the meetings and events for coming days and at the end of the week we will end up with a nice local beer at the reception and invite members to join in on the Friday afterwork socials.
Why do you believe that Spaces can make a change in the way people work?
I never tell people that I work for an “office facilitator”, I think that sounds so boring. Spaces is just fun, very inspirational and makes people feel at home. I think Spaces is also different in creating a unique hospitality service by its design and the great people. If you think about it, Spaces is just a lifestyle, or a work-lifestyle actually.
In your opinion, what are the biggest differences between the way people work in NYC versus in Amsterdam.
Well, in NYC people walk to work instead of taking the bike like they do in Amsterdam. The don’t call it a concrete jungle for nothing. New Yorkers are great networkers cause they love to talk,, are always open for a chat but they can get quite loud. Dutch people are a bit more hesitant in the beginning and are always a bit more stand-offish, but once you get to know them, they’re very warm and likeable.
Any tips for Europeans trying to make it in the US or vica versa?
Just do it. Failing is ok, at least you tried.