For this edition of the Central Station I’ll be interviewing Mathieu Smet, who will take on the role of Commercial Team Lead in November. I would like to hear all about his new position and his view on creating a sustainable connection.

‘Dare to say no’: Mathieu Smet about sustainable connections

For this edition of the Central Station I’ll be interviewing Mathieu Smet, who will take on the role of Commercial Team Lead in November. I would like to hear all about his new position and learn more about his vision on creating and maintaining a sustainable connection between Studentflex and High Potential Academy, the clients and the community.


‘My year off in England made me enthusiastic about other people and cultures. “As an adolescent, I may have had quite a few prejudices about cultures that I didn’t know very well. Once in England, I stood on the soccer field or in the pub with Russians, Turks and Mexicans, and I thought: this is really wonderful. Wherever you go, we all want the same thing: having fun with each other’. An eye-opener for Mathieu, who therefore opted for an internationally-oriented study: International Business in Maastricht. ‘There I discovered more and more that I like to connect with others and that I don’t see diversity as an obstacle but more as a challenge. A job in employment mediation was therefore not a surprising choice, where he has worked for both small and large organizations. ’Studentflex and High Potential Academy both have what I’m looking for: it’s smaller, everyone knows each other and there’s sincere interest in the clients, the candidates and each other. That appeals to me’.


Mathieu thinks it’s important that a company doesn’t just have commercial goals: ‘In my opinion, a sustainable connection is about giving, knowing and granting. If there is sincere attention for or interest in someone else, then that’s how clients know you. As soon as there’s a need, they’ll knock on your door. They want you to help them.’ This is a principle that Mathieu always wants to apply: ‘This also applies to our candidates, our flex workers and potentials: it’s not problematic to give a lot before you take. If you continuously give something, you will ensure a continuous, sustainable connection between the organization and the community, which is also important’. As a new Commercial Team Lead, Mathieu hopes to facilitate this environment. ‘The Frisse Blik Talks, the personal guidance and building a strong community: we’re doing quite well already’.


According to Mathieu, maintaining quality also means daring to say ‘no’. You have to stand up for your own identity and stick to it. It denotes strength. The client will see this and appreciate it’. This does not always result in good news: ‘Studentflex and High Potential Academy are not a mass production companies, so sometimes it means that there are no good matches at that moment. That is a possibility. Rather one good match than three candidates who are a less good match. I would like clients to come to Studentflex or High Potential Academy because of that consideration. Quantity over quality: that’s another way to build up a lasting relationship with each other.

Written by Manon de Lijster

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