Gaining work experience for the hospitality industry

Last updated: 22 Jun 2023, 13:24

Hospitality industry

Working in the hospitality sector is all about customer satisfaction, so you need to be able to show that you know how to deal with customers. You also can develop your team-working and problem-solving skills, learn about the industry and have enthusiasm for providing service to guests and customers.

There are multiple ways in which you can develop these skills. You can do an internship, take on work experience, work a part-time job in a local restaurant or even volunteer to organise events for a charity.

Finding relevant work experience for a career in hospitality

There are a variety of career paths that might interest you in hospitality. These include management, industry analysis, marketing and events management. Think about which area you want to work in and look to gain experience that aligns with the type of graduate role you want. For example, if you’re looking to work in events, try finding roles with project management related responsibilities.

Be flexible, even if your aim is to work for a large hotel chain or event organiser, you can still benefit from working in a small local guesthouse. Working for a small employer might mean you get more responsibility and an insight into the whole business. You might also find opportunities to gain relevant experience in unexpected places such as sports clubs which have hospitality or conference services. Music venues, theme parks and cruise liners may also host events that require assistants, and catering staff.

What if you don’t have a hospitality degree?

If you’re not studying for a hospitality degree but are interested in working in the industry, relevant experience will help you compete with hospitality graduates. The more relevant experience you have on your CV, the more it shows that you are dedicated to a career in the industry.

Some big employers welcome non-hospitality students into their internships and work experience programmes. You could also take time out from studying to work in the industry, work at a summer camp or take up seasonal jobs during your Christmas and summer breaks.

Consider doing part-time work, short-term placements or taking up volunteering alongside your degree. Experience is highly valuable in this industry and having developed your skills can be a big help in securing a job.

Gaining experience from other areas

There are plenty of opportunities to gain experience outside of work experience and internships. This is especially true if you’re interested in events management or planning. By joining a student society while you’re in college, you can open a lot of doors by helping to plan and run events for the group. You’ll be able show that you can take on a project and see it through while staying within a budget.

Some charities require people to help them organise events such as fundraisers and gigs. These roles are a great starting point and provide excellent experience that will help show that you are able to coordinate people and run projects and events smoothly.

It is not just roles in the hospitality industry that can demonstrate your ability to work in the industry. Even travelling can show that you have the organisational skills to plan and coordinate the trip within budget and a timeframe. Being the captain of a sports team demonstrates your leadership ability which is important if you’re interested in a career in management.

gradireland editorial advice

This describes editorially independent and impartial content, which has been written and edited by the gradireland content team. Any external contributors featuring in the article are in line with our non-advertorial policy, by which we mean that we do not promote one organisation over another.

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