5 Ways to Make the Most of Your Time in Hospitality School

Lots of students are drawn to studying hospitality. It’s an exciting career that can take you all over the world, offer great variety in terms of work, and allow you to meet some incredible people.

Whether you are interested in a front-of-house, guest service role, or if you’d prefer to work in the corporate, business management side, there are great opportunities to climb to the very top of the hospitality career ladder.

However, it can also be a highlycompetitive industry when it comes to the very best opportunities.  Completing a course in hospitality is the firststep, but that alone will probably not land you the job of your dreams. To dothis, you’ll need to go above and beyond your classes.

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Here are 5 ways to make the most of your time in school and get ahead of the competition:

1. Gain as Much Practical Hospitality Experience as You Can

The majority of hospitality programs involve a degree of industry-based practical study. Gaining this kind of experience gives you valuable insight into the sector and broadens your skills. So, for this reason, it’s worth going above and beyond the requirements of your course and seeking out further experience.

Any experience you can get will be beneficial, as long as it is relevant to the hospitality industry. It will allow you to show a greater breadth of skills and knowledge that may set you apart from other hospitality graduates. Plus, it will also allow you a greater amount of time to work on your interpersonal and customer-facing skills. Seeking out these extra opportunities also shows a great deal of initiative.

Part-time or holiday work may be worthwhile, as will unpaid opportunities. Wherever you go, try to get experience in as many sides of the business as possible.

2. Network as Much as Possible

Don’t take the opportunity to network for granted while studying. You are surrounded by so many people who either currently have industry influence, or may have in the future. Rarely will you find an opportunity to make yourself known to so many people at one time. The more connections, the better.

If you are familiar to professors and tutors, you will be in a position where you can get a really positive reference, or they may even choose to recommend you to prospective employers.

Aside from impressing your college tutors, forge positive connections with as many classmates as possible; they may have the power to recommend you to an employer in the future.

3. Think Ahead

During your timestudying, try to use it as an opportunity to work out the kind of role youwould like to be in once your studies are over. If you can narrow thisdown fairly specifically, you’ll be able to focus earlier on developing the right skills. You’ll be able tobegin your job hunt during your time at college.

Some students manage to go straight from their course and into a job without any frustrating wait. This is usually only possible if you have focused on a clear plan and kept a close eye on the job market.

4. Set Yourself Apart

There’s every chance that for every job or opportunity you apply for, there will be several other classmates doing the same. Do what you can to set yourself apart from them.

Internships and extra in-industry work experience are ideal, but there may be other ways, too. Hospitality-related work abroad and other industry-related travel opportunities, for instance, are personally enriching and will be a brilliant talking point on your CV.

Working abroad will allow you to draw on a variety of expertise you may not experience in your home country, so seriously consider looking for an international hospitality internship.

Extra language studies may be relevant to your future career as well. Social media anddigital marketing skills can come in handy, too.

5. Consider Further Studies

There are some really amazing opportunities in studying further, from acquiring a bachelor’s to a PhD. If you’d like to specialize in a particular area, and would like to climb the career ladder as high as possible, then further studies may be the fastest route to the position you want to be in.

Varied, practical experiences and fantastic connections are important, but the deeper level of knowledge you get from studying at a higher level may be the catapult you need to get to the very top.

Stay Ahead, Be Ahead

Foresight is very important, whether you are thinking in terms of your education, career or life in general.

Know that by exerting extra effort while studying for your future in the field of hospitality, there are already things you can accomplish to immensely improve your career prospects. And remember that nothing is wasted, and it will all pay off.

Daulet Zhumagulov

Daulet Zhumagulov is the Founder and CEO at WeHoteliers, a specialized online hospitality portal in the GCC region where prospective and experienced talents can explore career opportunities and be discovered by the top employers of the industry.

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