Studying hospitality is an incredibly rewarding experience and offers an extremely broad range of career opportunities, both in hospitality itself but also across other industries. Due to its position at the heart of the service industry, hospitality imbues you with essential life skills that can be applied to a huge variety of workplaces around the globe. Indeed, hospitality graduate Yustin Ko said,”I think hospitality training is useful to anyone as the skills you gain are valuable and transferrable, regardless of the career path you choose later in life.”
In fact, more and more businesses and employers are recognizing this. The New York Times recently conducted a report regarding how hospitals are gradually borrowing practices from hotels. “While clinical care is the focus of any medical center, hospitals have many incentives to move toward hotel-inspired features, services and staff training. Medical researchers say such amenities can improve health outcomes by reducing stress and anxiety among patients, while private rooms can cut down on the transfer of disease,” the report said.
So as a hotel management graduate, for example, you could eventually find yourself running everything from hospitals to retail outlets to shopping malls. As markets mature and Asian middle-classes swell, hospitality graduates are well-positioned to take advantage of rising customer expectations of what any service should entail.
Image via Hotelschool The Hague
But what specifically makes hospitality graduates so attractive to employers?
Well firstly and most importantly, a background in hospitality is a heavy boost to your social and diplomatic skills as well as your self-confidence. Hospitality graduates must deal with all sorts of customers, some more demanding than others. Through first-hand experience, graduates learn to communicate effectively with customers – paying close attention to their wants and needs, and adapting to serve accordingly.
Graduates often do this under pressure, working to tight deadlines and sometimes with limited resources, while remaining calm and composed. Obviously, such flexibility and resilience are greatly appreciated in the business world – an advertising client, for example, is not that different from a hotel guest.
Alexis Moore, a hospitality graduate, wrote, “Hospitality is all about networking and meeting new people. With over 90 nationalities represented at my school, it was easy to meet people from around the world. When I traveled during breaks or was on internship, I met and worked with some amazing people. Of the people I met along the way, I made some friends of a lifetime and know that no matter where I am in the world I probably know someone who is either from there, living there, or can tell me all I need to know.”
Image via César Ritz Colleges Switzerland
Experience with multitasking is an advantage that hospitality graduates have. Running or working in a hotel means taking care of a whole variety of things – the rooms, restaurants, bars, amenities like the swimming pool, the gym, and so on. You have to make sure guests check out on time before the next group arrives. You need to ensure that maintenance staff attend to a malfunctioning air-conditioning unit in the ballroom.
Developing the ability to simultaneously juggle these tasks allows you to succeed in any business endeavour, whether organizing a conference or a product launch. If you work in event management, for example, you may have to attend to catering while making sure the speakers have the equipment they need.
Even so, you can’t do everything on your own. Hospitality training teaches you the virtues of teamwork and leadership. Hotel work requires a great deal of coordination between and within departments – room service works with the kitchens, the front desk works with maintenance and the cleaning service, and so on. So you learn to work with your colleagues, assuming responsibility for your assigned tasks and helping others when needed. As a leader, you observe and find new ways to make processes more efficient, while motivating your subordinates. Being part of a hotel’s complex organisational structure and machinery is great preparation for any modern-day workplace, whether it’s a small business or a large multinational firm.
Image via Shutterstock
If you’re convinced that hospitality is for you, take a look at these 5 leading hospitality institutes in Europe:
CÉSAR RITZ COLLEGES – SWITZERLAND
César Ritz Colleges Switzerland is a prestigious hospitality school with a curriculum based on the philosophy of César Ritz, founder of the iconic Ritz-Paris hotel and legendary pioneer of luxury hotels. The school maintains 3 campuses in Switzerland – one in French-speaking Le Bouveret, one in German-speaking Lucerne, and another in German-speaking Brig.
Renowned throughout the world, the school has a distinctly international outlook and a diverse student body with over 60 nationalities represented on campus. The school offers a range of programmes, including Bachelor of Interntional Business in Hotel and Tourism Management, Master of Arts in International Business in Hotel and Tourism Management, and Master of Science in International Hospitality Management.
Students learn through a combination of theoretical coursework and practical internships. The school’s solid and extensive industry links help ensure students find positions in the career of their choice, with over 80% of students placed in four and five-star hotels. The remaining 20% go on to create their own business, or choose to work in other extensive industries, applying the transferrable skills they have acquired throughout their comprehensive education.
Image via César Ritz Colleges Switzerland
HOTELSCHOOL THE HAGUE – THE NETHERLANDS
Founded in 1929, Hotelschool The Hague is a well-respected hospitality school located in The Hague, The Netherlands. It was ranked among the top 5 International Hospitality Management Schools by TNS Global (2013). With only two thousand students studying at its campus, Hotelschool is a relatively small institution but this works to its advantage, resulting in smaller classes and greater individual attention to each student.
The school offers the Bachelor Business Administration in Hotel Management, through which students participate in not one, but two international internships. Hotelschool also has an MBA programme focusing on International Hospitality Management.
GLION INSTITUTE OF HIGHER EDUCATION – SWITZERLAND & UK
Established in 1962, the Glion Institute of Higher Education is a renowned Swiss hotel school with two beautiful campuses in Switzerland and another in London, UK. It is ranked among the top three hospitality management schools in the world for an international career (TNS, Global Research, 2013).
Glion offers a variety of degrees, including Bachelor in Hospitality Management, Master of Science in International Hotel Management, and MBA in Hospitality Management. Upon graduation, 86% of Glion graduates have a job or multiple offers and nearly 100 top international companies come to its campuses every year to recruit its students.
Image via Glion Institute of Higher Education
VATEL SWITZERLAND, INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS SCHOOL, HOTEL & TOURISM MANAGEMENT – SWITZERLAND
Vatel Switzerland is a hospitality school located in Martigny, Switzerland. Vatel Group, on the other hand, has 31 campuses around the world (as of 2015). It has claim to an impressive record: 29,000 of its alumni work in some of the most beautiful hotels, and 80% of them are engaged in the hotel and tourist management fields as general managers, hotel managers, public relations or special events managers, auditors, front desk managers, and more.
Vatel Switzerland offers degrees including Bachelor in International Hotel Management, and MBA in International Hotel Management. It features state-of-the-art classrooms and a diverse student community drawn from over 45 countries.
ECOLE HÔTELIÈRE DE LAUSANNE – SWITZERLAND
Established back in 1893, Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL) is the first hospitality management school in the world and considered one of the best. The school has a highly selective admissions process, drawing over 2,600 students from more than 100 countries around the world. EHL’s alumnus encompasses the industry’s elite – over 60% are CEOs, executives, owners or senior managers.
The school offers the Bachelor of Science in International Hospitality Management, Master of Science HES-SO in Global Hospitality Business, Executive MBA in Hospitality Administration, and Master Class in Culinary Arts. The school features state-of-art facilities including a multimedia auditorium and a wine-tasting laboratory.