Identical twins from Ieper win "Working Student of the Year" award: "A smile does half of the job"
Laura and Ilona Vandenbulcke, 23-year-old twins from Ieper (West Flanders), have been working at the war museum Hooge Crater for 7 years. Why did they win the "Working Student of the Year" award?
"They come here to work during holidays and weekends. Nothing is too much for them and they always keep their smile", says Niek Benoot, their proud employer. "This was their first job and they always remained loyal."
Benoot goes back to 2012, when the twins had their job interview: "They were honest and told me they had no experience." However, Benoot was reassured because he had noticed their most charming feature: their eternal friendly smile. "I reassured them by saying things would be okay if they wouldn't lose their smile. That's half the job in the hospitality sector. I told them we would learn them the rest."
In the museum, Laura and Ilona help out in the kitchen and at the reception. Laura has now found a full-time job in speech therapy after her studies, which means her student job may come to an end, unless she finds a way to combine things.
The number of students holding a job has increased by 4 percent on the year, bringing the total number to 545,000. The success can be explained by more flexible terms: students can work longer (the average is 180 hours), and the conditions have become more flexible.