“The word thoughtful always exists when true hospitality is present, because it’s somebody who is both thinking and feeling. That’s what thoughtful means. It’s thinking and feeling. You have to use your brain and your heart. If you’re not using you’re heart it’s probably not genuine and therefore it’s not authentic.” – Danny Meyer
As you may or may not already know, there are many different opportunities that hospitality can offer you. But I bet you’re thinking, what can I offer to hospitality? You may be wondering how in such a competitive and growing industry, you can be qualified to be hired. Well, I’m here to put your worry at rest because many of the skills recruiters are searching for, you may already have.
Have you ever taken a class and wondered, “When am I ever going to use this in real life?” Unlike many other majors that require you to study difficult topics that you don’t enjoy, hospitality focuses on expanding upon what you already know and growing the skills you’ve already obtained in ways that can truly be applied outside of the classroom. A study done by the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration listed the 99 core competencies outline by senior level executives in the industry. Some that you may find particularly relevant are, “ethics and integrity”, “concern for community”, and “embracing diversity” (Chung-Herrera et. al., 23). As you know, ethics in your school work (and in your everyday lives) is something that is emphasized the minute you walk through the doors of Danbury High School. Coming from a public school that relies heavily on the dedication of its faculty, family members, and volunteers, you’re familiar with what it means to care about your community. And last, but certainly not least, as a member of a school body of 3,000+ individuals, you are surrounded by diversity of language, image, and culture.
Students at the Griffith Business School share similar ideas as to what they see as being important and necessary skills to succeed in the field. They identified “maintaining professional and ethical standards”, “demonstrate empathy in dealing with customers and staff”, and “demonstrate listening skills”as some of the skills they believed were important when entering the hospitality industry (Raybould et. al., 21-23). In a field like hospitality, its the soft skills that count the most. So, while you still need the coursework and hands-on experience to gain the business and industry expertise, you are already on your way to becoming a natural leader in the hospitality industry.
Video Credit: YouTube
Even hospitality industry leader Danny Meyer talks about the importance of a skill we all learn from our parents the minute we can talk: thoughtfulness. He shares, “So for me authenticity means, did somebody do something that was genuinely thoughtful? The word thoughtful always exists when true hospitality is present” (Solomon, New York Times). So if you want to rock the industry, all you need to do is strengthen your old skills, learn some new skills, and care about others. Succeeding has never been so simple.
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Chung-Herrera, Beth G., Cathy A. Enz, and Melenie J. Lankau. “Grooming Future Hospitality Leaders: A Competencies Model.” The Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly 44.3 (2003): 17-25. EBSCOhost. Web. 20 Apr. 2017.
Raybould, Mike, and Hugh Wilkins. “Over qualified and under experienced.” International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management 17.3 (2005): 2-41. Web. 20 Apr. 2017.
Solomon, Micah. “Restaurant Magnate Danny Meyer On Customer Service, Leadership And The Right Way To Be Greedy.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 4 May 2015. Web. 20 Apr. 2017.
“Arne Sorenson: What makes for strong talent in the travel industry?” YouTube. YouTube, 03 May 2016. Web. 10 May 2017.