Education

Bust those myths

Banks and financial institutions, insurance companies, luxury retail and those that focus on service and customer experience are environments where graduates thrive.   | Photo Credit: Freepik

While the topic of Hospitality and Hotel Management education has evolved, we still hesitate to consider it at the university level. Some common concerns students and parents have:

Hospitality students only work in hotels: While many students do internships and work in hotels after graduation, it is no longer just the case. A more recent trend is that students also work in commodity industries, which are organisations with a high volume of competitors who offer a similar product or service at a comparable price, similar to hotels. Banks and financial institutions, insurance companies, luxury retail and those that focus on service and customer experience are environments where graduates thrive.

Chefs only work in restaurants: While many chefs and culinary arts students work in restaurants and other food-related businesses, they tend to have diverse career paths in the long term. More recently, they have ventured into areas such as Food Science and Nutrition, where they develop food for people with specialised diets such as gluten-free, sugar-free, and vegan cuisine.

Service degree, not business degree: Many years ago, hospitality education was focused on service and hotel operations. Not any more. The focus is on business education as business performance is the objective indicator of success. Successful graduates must have a vital business education to manage these companies as profitable businesses. However, it is not just a few classes in Accounting, Management, or Human Resources. Companies in this space live on thin profit margins. Having a keen ability to understand supply and demand trends and a deep understanding of flexible pricing are essential to success.

Entry-level and low-paying jobs: While this misconception may be true for some jobs, as with any other industry, this isn’t a trend. For example, while students may complete internships in front-line jobs, this is because they need to learn the best practices by doing the job ground up. Effective managers establish credibility through understanding their team members’ functions. Managers must need to be able to coach, mentor and performance-manage their direct reports. Managers who haven’t “been in their shoes” are limited in their ability to improve and develop their teams.

Applied learning, strong business education and driving a customer-service mindset helps build a foundation for students to succeed in hotels or restaurants and prevail in any services-related business that places a high emphasis on loyalty and luxury services to their customers.

The writer is VP, International Development and Marketing, Swiss Education Group


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Printable version | Jan 22, 2022 3:09:28 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/education/common-misconceptions-about-hospitality-and-hotel-management-education/article37557239.ece

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