“Hospitality is present when something happens for you. It is absent when something happens to you. Those two simple prepositions – for and to – express it all.” – Conrad Hilton
Trust me when I say I’ve been in your shoes. Just three years ago, I was walking around the halls of DHS for the very last time constantly imagining the future and what it might be like. Three years ago I never pictured myself working in hospitality, but that was mainly because I was never introduced to the opportunities that exist. Even half way into my college career, I still didn’t even fully understand what I was getting myself into. But sometimes it is the unexpected events that result in the best outcomes. I wanted to write a post that was truly from my own experience to tell you that studying hospitality will not be something you regret. You may think right now that the most important factors in choosing a career are job security and salary. While these are definitely factors that you have to take into consideration, job satisfaction is arguably the key to having a successful career. Hospitality offers what people want in a job: a pleasant work environment, mobility in positions, constant learning, and so much more. And it is not just me who thinks so.
In a study conducted on about 379 individuals at eight different Australian institutions, students revealed the most important factors they considered when choosing a career and the extent to which they believed hospitality offered these factors. The top five factors that they listed were: “a job that I will find enjoyable”, “pleasant working environment”, “a secure job”, “colleagues that I can get along with”, and “high earnings over length of career” (Richardson, 385). So how did hospitality and tourism rank? The findings were as follows:
- 97.6% of students said that H&T “definitely” or “somewhat” offers an enjoyable job
- 96.6% said that H&T “definitely” or “somewhat” offers a pleasant work environment
- 75.4% said that H&T “definitely” or “somewhat” offers a secure job
- 98.4% said that H&T “definitely” or “somewhat” offers good colleagues
- 60.1% said that H&T “definitely” or “somewhat” offers high earnings over time
(“Undergraduates’ Perceptions of Tourism and Hospitality as a Career Choice”)
It’s clear that what students recognize as important to succeeding in their futures can be found in a career in hospitality. From Australia all the way to the United States, students share the same thoughts and feelings about the industry. My friend and colleague in the Hospitality Business Fellows talks about her experience and says, “I’ve grown up with exposure to the travel industry and have developed a passion for working with people and improving their lives through memorable experiences. I was very excited for the opportunity to learn about the hospitality industry…[and] in general, I have developed a number of skills and insights that can be applied to any industry” (Casey).
So, don’t just study any old major. Study success. Study skill. Study hospitality. But don’t just take my word for it, take the word of the hundreds of other students who agree with me.
Word Count: 529
Casey, Christy. Personal Interview. 17 March 2017.
Richardson, Scott. “Undergraduates’ Perceptions of Tourism and Hospitality as a Career Choice.” International Journal of Hospitality Management 28.3 (2009): 382-388.