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5 Ways a Hospitality Management Degree can Help you Make an Impact in Business

By Chloe Lane

Updated October 21, 2021 Updated October 21, 2021

Sponsored by EHL - Hospitality Business School 

hospitality management degree teaches you a strong foundation in business management, while also helping you thrive in the hospitality industry. Through a mix of practical and soft skills, it will prepare you to lead and launch a business. 

However, it’s a common misconception that studying a hospitality management degree will only lead you to a career in the hospitality industry. In reality, a degree in hospitality management prepares you for almost any business situation. 

Here are just a few of the ways a degree in hospitality management can help you make an impact in the world of business.  

A hospitality management degree can open up unexpected career paths 

A degree in hospitality management may be the perfect first step towards a career in the hospitality industry, but that’s not all it can lead to. 

Teo Borschberg is a graduate of EHL - Hospitality Business School’s bachelor’s degree in International Hospitality Management.  

He is also the founder of OTO, a high-tech company building next generation speech technology with artificial intelligence, which is used to detect and prevent toxicity in online conversations. 

Teo used the skills and knowledge he acquired throughout his degree to launch this successful start-up, which was recently acquired by a major gaming company. 

EHL graduate Janina Pilgrim took a more traditional route after graduating from EHL’s hospitality management programme, working as an assistant manager at one of Asia’s best fine-dining restaurants: Amber, at the Landmark Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong.  

In her role, Janina oversees daily operations, staff training and development and sustainability, working on projects with NGOs and continually reviewing procedures to ensure Amber is a socially responsible restaurant. 

However, Janina says she was one of the few graduates from her class who went into classic hospitality.  

“Many of my classmates are now successful in areas of marketing, finance or real estate. They have utilised the skills we learnt throughout the degree: the overall understanding of business, strategic decision making, marketing and managerial skills,” said Janina.  

Become an expert in customer experience 

In any customer-facing role, excellent customer service skills are essential. A hospitality management degree can teach you the communication and problem-solving skills needed to be an asset in any business environment.  

Janina frequently travelled around the world with her family as she was growing up, staying in hotels that offered excellent customer experience. She remembers a particularly welcoming hotel in Washington DC on her first trip to North America.   

“Having come off a transcontinental flight, we were welcomed by astounding architecture and extremely friendly and professional staff making us feel at home. I knew then that I wanted to be part of this industry and be able to provide this atmosphere to guests,” said Janina.  

At EHL, students are taught how to give customers a Michelin-star experience by award-winning chefs and industry experts. The hospitality management degree at EHL appealed to Janina due to its mix of practical and theoretical classes, which helped her better understand the hospitality industry and improve her customer service skills. 

Teo also uses his customer service skills daily, explaining that building excellent customer relationships is essential in every business.  

“Hospitality management is an excellent field of study [for learning] to provide high levels of service and human interactions, which is very valuable to win, retain and satisfy customers and to build a highly functional team,” said Teo.  

Teo was able to apply these  skills both in an advertising business and in his tech start-up. 

Learn practical skills that can be applied to a range of business situations 

Customer service skills are just the start of the transferrable skills students are taught in a hospitality management degree.  

From micro-economics to marketing to learning new languages, the skills learnt from a hospitality management degree are incredibly wide-ranging and applicable to a whole host of business situations.  

EHL’s international hospitality management degree is no exception.  

Janina said: “The classes taught at EHL cover a vast range of areas and subjects, making each graduate an all-rounder that can apply the skills acquired in various fields.” 

She says that EHL adapts its curriculum to meet the business needs of top industry players. An example of this is the increasing focus on sustainability throughout EHL’s international hospitality management curriculum.  

Alongside teamwork and communication skills, EHL’s international hospitality management degree taught Teo leadership skills within a team.  

“I felt so much more at ease compared to other newly graduated university students who didn’t have much practical teamwork experience,” said Teo.  

The finance modules Teo completed during his degree were also extremely beneficial when building his business. 

Hone your entrepreneurship skills 

Both students stressed that entrepreneurship was an aspect of studying a hospitality management degree that really stood out to them.  

Janina says that entrepreneurship was a skill that she learnt throughout her time at EHL, particularly through the various extra-curricular activities and committees she attended at the school.  

“Committees built a big foundation of our campus life, enabling students to further their interests in all aspects and honing their skills,” says Janina.  

She uses the example of EHL’s annual Fête Universelle, where every nationality on campus would have a stand with their own food and drink and prepare a performance. This encourages students to be creative and develop their leadership skills. 

Janina said: “I believe this taught us independence and ownership among other skills. From my experience, in every business environment, people that can take responsibility and ownership are sought after and able to make an impact.” 

Teo also found that his time at EHL helped to sharpen his entrepreneurial skills. 

“I have always had the desire to acquire specific customer and human soft skills that would help me across a wide range of possible projects and businesses,” says Teo. 

Since graduating EHL, Teo has used these skills daily whilst running his business. 

Make industry connections and gain work experience 

In any industry - but particularly in the hospitality industry - work experience is essential to get your foot in the door.  

In the fourth semester of EHL’s international hospitality management degree, students are encouraged to complete an internship of their choice based on their career aspirations. This internship offers students the possibility to take on responsibilities and apply theoretical administrative and management concepts to real-life projects, teams and departments. 

Entrepreneurs at EHL can use this time to work on their own start-up project, developing the business concept and getting it running with the guidance of expert faculty members. 

Janina said: “My career was shaped by the two internships that I completed during my studies at EHL - one as a food and beverage trainee in a five-star hotel in Germany and the second one in the food and beverage development team for Hakkasan in London.  

“Being exposed to the industry and meeting and learning from top professionals has inspired me to pursue the same career path.” 

After graduation, Janina used the industry contacts she had built to secure herself a job in Hong Kong SAR, working with an EHL alumnus who was starting his own restaurant company.  

“This made me realise the importance of sustainability in food systems, and how much there is still to be done around the world,” she said. 

This article was originally published in October 2021 .

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Written by

As Content Editor for TopUniversities.com and TopMBA.com, Chloe creates and publishes a wide range of articles for universities and business schools across the world. Chloe has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Reading and grew up in Leicestershire, UK. 

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