Meet house manager Matthias and learn about strange inquiries and even how many "THE FIZZ babies" already exist.
Matthias Schäpers is the cluster house manager at both of our THE FIZZ student residences in Freiburg Mitte and Zähringen. In an interview, he reveals what his tasks are, strange inquiries that approached him through the years and even how many “THE FIZZ babies” already exist.
Matthias, you are the House Manager in the new THE FIZZ Freiburg Mitte student residence. Is it your first job in this role?
Matthias Schäpers: I’ve been able to play this role for seven years in our first house at THE FIZZ Freiburg Zähringen. I am now looking forward to the task of taking over the new residential building in Freiburg Mitte with my team. Like many of my colleagues in our numerous student residences, I come from the hotel industry. In return for the hotel, at THE FIZZ I have a lot more to do with the residents and accompany them for a while in an exciting phase of their life, in which they learn a lot and develop themselves further. It’s super interesting, exciting and very appealing.
What are your duties?
Matthias Schäpers: My tasks are very diverse. Among other things, I act as a contact person on site for all rental questions and personal concerns of our tenants: Be it contract management, checking in and out or the first orientation in the house and within the city of Freiburg. In addition, my tasks include quality assurance, sales and marketing, maintaining contacts with universities, organizing and holding events, as well as technical repairs.
Are you doing it all by yourself?
Matthias Schäpers: No, that would not be possible. A great team of several student assistants led by Assistant House Manager Jürgen Schmidt and Robert Frank supports me in daily tasks such as receiving parcels, checking in and out or tours of the house, and many more tasks.
Then you are something like a modern hostel father?
Matthias Schäpers: I am often jokingly called “Papa”.
What are the most common questions you answer?
Matthias Schäpers: Most of the students are moving from home to a foreign city for the first time. Many of them come from abroad. Our team is the point of contact in all situations and ensures a smooth start here in Freiburg. You should definitely be very familiar with the city’s infrastructure, universities and hot spots.
What do you like about your job?
Matthias Schäpers: What I like most is how I deal with all the young people and students who have found a home at THE FIZZ. You get to know so many different people from different origins. Of course, everyone always brings with them an aspect of their own culture. At our parties and events in particular, you can see everyone laughing and having fun together. You never stop learning here either. There are always new challenges and tasks.
What was the strangest request you got?
Matthias Schäpers: Oh, there were quite a few. Once a whole group stood in front of me and wanted to rent a one-room apartment. With five people in a 20 square meter studio it gets a little tight!
In your opinion, what is special about THE FIZZ?
Matthias Schäpers: The special thing is the unique community. We promote a sense of community through our own events especially for our residents: be it semester opening celebrations, Christmas or Mardi Gras parties, or, on a smaller scale, cooking courses or gaming evenings. And of course, we bring the young people closer to SC Freiburg by attending games or organizing football events together. So you can really say that you will find friends for life with us. And sometimes even more: In the past few years, many couples have found each other in our house in Zähringen; there have now been three marriages and two offspring. We like to jokingly call them “THE FIZZ Babies”.
Would you book your child a room at THE FIZZ?
Matthias Schäpers: Definitely yes. If the daughter or son goes to study in a strange city, nothing better can happen to them. Here, you will meet a community in which a family atmosphere has developed over time. And the team on site does everything to enable a good start in the new phase of life.
Have you also been living in a dorm when you were young?
Matthias Schäpers: Unfortunately, there weren’t any accommodations of this type during my study time, so I had to be content with an attic. But that didn’t hurt either.
All photo rights by International Campus GmbH.