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6 Tips to Help You Break into Hospitality Management

By Stephanie L

Updated March 18, 2021 Updated March 18, 2021

Sponsored by University College of Hospitality Management Sant Pol de Mar

With the opportunity to travel and work worldwide, it’s no wonder the travel and tourism industry is an attractive career path for today’s graduates. Plus, there are plenty of career opportunities. The industry supports 319 million jobs around the world, making up 10 percent of global employment in 2018, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council.

This booming and dynamic industry has fruitful career opportunities in abundance, from working in hotels and transport, to working in food, beverages and events, the possibilities are endless.

Does this sound like something you’d be interested in? Read on to find out what you can do to boost your chances of breaking into this competitive – albeit rewarding – industry.

Master your soft skillset

Although your technical skills can get you noticed, it’s your soft skills that will be relied on time after time should you want to succeed in the industry.

The hospitality industry is fast paced, which, naturally requiring individuals who are adaptable, resilient, and able to use their initiative. Working in hospitality is, of course, both a team-orientated and customer-facing role, where lines of communication should always be clear, positive and professional, with enthusiasm always sky high.

Remember – it’s all about service with a smile, and knowing the customer is always right (especially in the hospitality industry)!

In fact, a survey conducted by the University College of Hospitality Management Sant Pol de Mar (EUHT StPOL), a pioneer in hospitality management education for over 50 years, agrees and suggests “there’s more importance on soft skills, such as attitude, ambition and flexibility, rather than hard skills,” according to Mr Lluís Serra, Managing Director at EUHT StPOL.

“This survey points out an interesting change in the skillset that hotels are looking for in a candidate.”

Respondents to the survey consisted of recruiters and HR representatives of international hotel chains, including Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Iberostar Hotels & Resorts, Meliá Hotels International, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, the Ritz-Carlton Luxury Hotels and Resorts, and Hilton Worldwide.

Consider enrolling in further education…

There are many ways you can get your foot on the hospitality industry ladder, but having a relevant qualification can give you the upper hand.

For example, the Master in Hospitality Management at EUHT StPOL, provides you with the key skills necessary for a career in the industry, as well as an in-depth understanding of the industry itself. It’s the ideal master’s program for those who want to fast-track their career into hotel management, marketing and sales, lodging, food and beverages, events, and so on. 

In fact, why not consider studying a postgraduate degree abroad while you’re at it?

It’s more than about a change of scenery. Studying abroad is a great way to tap into the various global hospitality markets, giving you exposure and experience in more than just one market.

In fact, why not study hospitality management in the gastronomic and tourism capital of the Mediterranean?

The University College of Hospitality Management Sant Pol de Mar is just over a 30-minute drive away from Barcelona, a city that’s home to 30 Michelin-starred restaurants, and a tourism industry that’s hard to rival, thanks to the millions of tourists that visit each year.

Know what you want to specialize in

There are two sides to working in the hospitality industry – the operational side and the corporate side.

With such enormous scope and opportunities galore for progression, the sooner you know which niche area you want to specialize in, the better. In fact, the Master in Hospitality Management at EUHT StPOL allows students to specialize in hotel management or food & beverage and restaurant management.

So, whether you aspire to manage a five-star hotel resort or run your own team in a Michelin-star restaurant, you might also want to consider getting some experience to help you get ahead. Speaking of which…

Undertake an industry-specific internship

Having relevant industry experience is key and especially helpful if you have a specialist area in mind. Even if you don’t, it’s a great way of establishing what you do enjoy (and what you don’t), while picking up vital skills and expertise you can carry with you into the world of work after graduating.

During your internship, make sure you’re given access to all areas of the business and show your enthusiasm as you go. An employer who sees an enthusiastic and willing to learn employee is likely to reward them with increased responsibilities, which will only bode well for you later down the line.

The EUHT StPOL survey also suggested that employers in the hospitality industry consider any form of formal training completed during your degree program, such as internships, to be highly valuable.

Learn how to network

No matter which industry you aspire to work in, building your network is vital as your connections have the potential to take you far and wide. Although it may be a challenge to start with, the only way to improve is to get yourself out there and start practicing!

Networking can be done practically anywhere. Whether it’s during class with your peers, while undertaking an internship, or attending events, such as career fairs and education tours.

As much as networking is about building valuable contacts which can help you access other opportunities, you can also learn from them and further your knowledge of the industry. 

Students at the University College of Hospitality Management Sant Pol de Mar have the opportunity to attend a Career Day, where hiring managers attend and offer advice to students about the specific skills and knowledge they’ll need to get into the industry.

This article was originally published in September 2019 . It was last updated in March 2021

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Written by

As the Head of Sponsored Content for TopUniversities.com and TopMBA.com (until September 2021), Stephanie created and published a wide range of articles for universities and business schools across the world. She attended the University of Portsmouth where she earned a BA in English Language and an MA in Communication and Applied Linguistics.

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