Find out how you can get ahead in hospitality and management, from being a people person, achieving a degree, and embracing an industry that spans the globe.
Considering hospitality is the world’s largest employer, innate wanderlust will serve you well as you are able to pick and choose where in the world you would like to live and make a living.
Of course, you can settle in a city – particularly once you have settled down and need to consider schooling or buying property – but in the beginning of your career, there are few industries where you will find work across the globe. Embrace the opportunities to learn new cultures, live in different cities and try new foods and experiences.
You could be working in a five-star international hotel, an island resort, a lively city restaurant or a major tourist destination. A career in hospitality offers you both choice and security.
For ICMS alumni Daniel Worsley, currently Director of Rooms at Atlantis Resorts in Dubai, got his start in the industry during his ICMS Work Integrated Learning (WIL) internship at the Four Seasons in Sydney.
His internship as a Front Desk Agent prepared him for the journey from internship to his current management role in one of the world’s most luxurious hotels.
“My ICMS industry training at Four Seasons was a brilliant start to the industry as I could see how the world’s best hotels work. I learnt invaluable lessons which stay with me today as a guide to how I conduct myself and the ideologies I have for my department. I learnt the best practices for service, staff motivation, hotel structure and in delivering personalised service in the hope of exceeding guest expectations,” he said.
Leading industry expert Dr Stuart Wiggins of ICMS reckons the ability to communicate clearly and have confidence in themselves will help you get ahead.
“Successful students at entry level in the hospitality industry have an ability, and confidence, in service situations that develops trust with their colleagues and employer. This ability in service situations also underpins the development of good relationship with their managers who, in turn, will be happy to empower them with higher levels of responsibility,” Dr Wiggins said.
If experience and confidence is coupled with good communication skills, then an employee will often be given the responsibility of training others. Sharing skills and knowledge with others who are less experienced demonstrates leadership potential, which is often a precursor to being rewarded with a leadership/management role.
Other activities that can give confidence in developing a career in hospitality management include learning a second or even third language, taking pride in what you do and displaying an attention to detail.
Be flexible to react to the needs of the customer and workplace and curious about the industry and the world, Dr Wiggins recommends.
“Develop an ability to prioritise the needs of others. This is fundamental to service and management as only when you can do this will you truly be able to listen to what customers and staff are asking for or of you,” Dr Wiggins said.
“If your customer knows that you are listening then they will trust you and you will know exactly what you have to deliver for them – including whether what they want is possible!”
It is nearly impossible to work at a high level in an industry you don’t enjoy.
Find your passion and it will help you overcome and overlook the potential downsides of working in hospitality, which includes late hours, unsociable shifts, weekend work and dealing with members of the public in all their moods and demands.
For ICMS Bachelor of Hospitality Management alumna Chelsea McKay, a passion for food and wine translated into a career in sharing that passion with others. She is currently café and event coordinator at the award-winning Mayfield Garden in Oberon, Australia.
“I have always had a strong passion for food and, more recently, wine. Initially I aspired to become a chef. I had hopes of opening a restaurant and serving people beautiful food,” she said.
“Hospitality Management offers me an extensive range of career opportunities, far more than a chef apprenticeship would. I would love to combine my passion for food and wine with the skills and knowledge I will hopefully gain working in hotels to establish a great business and hopefully a beautiful restaurant in the future.”
Hospitality management is all about service and making people’s lives better than when they entered your establishment.
At management level, you have to be a people person to manage your team. There are often many moving parts that must be handled in an efficient and time-sensitive manner. Where service is rewarded with repeat customers, and dismal service resulting in poor reviews which can heavily impact future earnings, it is critical that people skills are at a premium from CEO to server.
Celebrated chef Neil Perry, one of Australia’s most famous restaurateurs, author, television presenter, cookbook author, and Member of the Order of Australia (2013) shared his recipe for success with ICMS Bachelor of Hospitality Management students recently. He reckoned managing his own team was as important as any other service element.
“Success in hospitality stems from knowing the ‘why’ for doing things and taking ‘care’. The ‘why’ is to create great memories for people. The ‘care’ philosophy is important, especially in relation to suppliers, ‘care’ for how a place looks and for the cleanliness, and ‘care’ for each other,” he said.
Going from entry level to manager level is a journey, and along the way you’ll learn a lot about how the hospitality industry operates. In restaurants, knowing how the back and front of house operates puts you at an advantage when knowing how to run things smoothly.
In hotels, understanding the inner workings of how a hotel operates, from room service and housekeeping to the concierge and maintenance, gives you a 360 degree vantage point when problem solving.
Jobs at the coalface of hospitality – servers, room attendants, air stewards, bar tenders – are more plentiful now, especially in Australia, than ever before. What will set you apart from fellow workers, and reward you with the higher pay cheque, is being management material.
Just ask ICMS alumna Natasha Pasilow, whose determination to follow a career in hospitality led her to the Graduate Future Leaders Program with Compass Group Australia.
This long-term program trains participants through both on-site experience and educational training sessions, preparing graduates for a management role such as Department Head or Site Manager. Natasha is also promised a management position at the end of her program.
It all started with an ICMS Work Integrated Learning (WIL) internship at Fairmont Resort and Spa, Blue Mountains as a food and beverage attendant. She worked as part of the casual dining, buffet and fine dining restaurants, the bar, conference room and events team.
“I found that it gave me a wide experience within the F&B department as well as a good insight into the hotel sector. I think that this placement helped me understand the core components of the hospitality industry, and that perhaps someday I’d like to return to hotels!”
At a recent ICMS Masterclass, fine dining restaurant Pilu at Freshwater co-founder Marilyn Annechini and manager Ramsie Taylor shared their thoughts on staying ahead in hospitality, and their tips included the need to study further in order to succeed.
“A background studying hospitality is a huge advantage to success in the industry. Core competencies we look for in graduates include a good attitude, showing confidence and a willingness to learn, and business know-how, which helps staff progress to management,” they said.
In order to transition from entry level to managerial roles, you need a degree backed by experience. The ICMS Bachelor of Hospitality Management blends core business subjects with specialised hospitality management subjects.
Business subjects include sales and marketing; agile leadership, collaboration and managing people; strategic planning and innovative problem solving; and financial literacy. In your specialisation subjects you will be exposed to the inner workings of the hospitality sector and develop skills in areas such as rooms division, gastronomy, and food and beverage.
All ICMS degrees include a minimum of 600 hours industry training, otherwise known as internships, through the ICMS Work Integrated Learning (WIL) program, meaning you get practical work experience in the hospitality industry before you graduate.
ICMS offers both an undergraduate and a postgraduate hospitality and management qualification: The ICMS Bachelor of Hospitality Management and the ICMS Master of Management (Tourism and Hospitality). Diplomas and postgraduate certificates are also available.
Bachelor of Hospitality Management, News