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Pursuing a dream career in hospitality management

Hospitality management students who dream of becoming hoteliers and business owners someday may identify with the struggles of then 20-year-old Steve Gupta who left India in 1973 and moved to Canada with $108 in his pocket and a dream – to become a hotelier.
Despite not having a social network or influential connections, this highly-educated young immigrant went on to become known today as real estate mogul Steve Gupta – CEO of Easton’s Group of Hotels – building and operating 28 hotels under Residence Inn by Marriott, Hilton, IHG, Choice Hotels and Starwood and a string of other multi-use real estate projects in Ontario and Quebec.

Opportunities in the hospitality sector

Unlike Gupta who started out as an insurance salesman knocking on doors – and sometimes having them slammed in his face – before his first break in owning and transforming a service station came, international students who are enrolled in a Hospitality Management course have a first-hand knowledge of the educational system and internship opportunities in the industry. This advantage will give them a headstart and prepare them for the global job market. Students are able to put their learning into practice straightaway and gain the local experience to work in a manager’s capacity or be an entrepreneur and own their own café or kiosk.

Hospitality management graduates are highly employable, especially for those who have completed a 4-year bachelor’s degree. Students can do this by directly enrolling at Acsenda School of Management. Or they may start their course at Arbutus College with options for 6-month to 32-month study. Both colleges offer internships as part of the curriculum.

Direct job options for hospitality management graduates include the following job roles:

  • Accommodation Manager

  • Catering Manager

  • Chef

  • Event Manager

  • Fastfood Restaurant Manager

  • Café Manager

  • Hotel Manager

  • Public House Manager

  • Restaurant Manager

Hospitality management graduates have transferable skills that may also be suitable for the following positions:

  • Customer Service Manager

  • Human Resources Officer

  • Retail Manager

  • Tour Manager

  • Promotions Manager

  • Communications Manager

  • Public Relations Manager

739 million travel and tourism jobs in 2017

Statista, a statistics portal in Canada, released its latest study in March this year that travel and tourism directly contributed 739 million jobs to the Canadian economy in 2017. There are no signs of this abating, especially for a country that’s considered one of the most stunningly beautiful and livable places in the world.
Hospitality management graduates are in the forefront of this exciting opportunity.

Making the most of work-study privileges

International students need to gain local experience to be employable. Getting part-time work of at least 20 hours per week in the hospitality industry is the first step to achieving this. This way, they would be able to put academic learning into practice straightaway. They’re also able to get to know their bosses and colleagues, which is a great opportunity to make a strong impression of their work ethic. They can further build their network of industry contacts for future employment after graduation.
Their internship is the next step. They can identify their prospective employers and job roles once their program is completed. If their dream job is to work for a luxury hotel, they should already scout for an employer in the same category.
They also get a foretaste of the industry and their dream role by observing their more experienced colleagues in the same role. Better yet, they can establish rapport with their colleague for a chance to be mentored on the desirable qualities for new hires.
For as long as students keep their mind open to possibilities and remain focused on the industry that they would like to land in once they graduate, they will thrive and pretty soon land their dream job.