While the rest of the sector is experiencing a period of slack, the Kindergarten checklist for parents Olympics are boosting the hospitality industry, providing a host of career opportunities for graduates with the right skills.
Where to study
Dr Graham Miller, head of the School of Hospitality and Travel Management at the University of Surrey, said: “Hospitality education gives students the opportunity to pursue a career not only in hotel management, but also in asset management, property development, consulting, and tourism in general.
University of Surrey has been training hospitality industry professionals for over 40 years. Alan Parker was one of our first graduates, most recently retiring as CEO of Whitbread. Another of our alumni, Robert Earl, served as CEO of Hard Rock Café and then opened a franchised Planet Hollywood restaurant.
We teach students how to work in top management positions, and we also teach them entrepreneurial skills so they can start their own businesses later in life. This year one of our students got a job at the royal court and another at Harrods department store.”
How to make a career
We look at the background, interests and passions of the applicant when we are looking for a job. We do not always look for candidates with work experience in the hospitality industry. The most common way to assess a potential employee is to look at his or her experience of working in a team.
In addition to professional qualities, we look for business and management skills, communication skills, experience in accounting, law and marketing, and we look for people outside of the hospitality industry as well.
We promote employees within the company. You can have a great career starting out as a part-time employee – many of our general managers started out that way.”
Insider’s point of view
Andrei Belogortsev, General Manager of Ibis Bristol Temple Meads: “In 2007 I took a BA in International Hospitality and Business Management at Sheffield Hallam University. In the last year of my studies representatives from different companies came to the university kindergarten words and interviewed future graduates. One of the representatives was from the Accor hotel chain, which includes the Ibis hotels.
I started on their preparatory program and over the next four years I rose to the position of general manager, which I have held since October of this year. The three main points of my job are managing people, finances and controlling guest satisfaction. The diversity and combination of these three is what inspires me.
But if you want to work in hospitality, you have to know that in addition to diversity and the opportunity to travel, there is a daily routine, and it’s hard, so you have to really love your job.”