Most perspective employers appreciate experience of some sort when reviewing an employment application in the hospitality field, but how can you get experience if employers will not give you an opportunity? An internship may be your answer. Webster defines the word intern as an “advanced student usually in a professional field, gaining supervised practical experience.” This is exactly the opportunity you’ve been looking for, right?
It so happens that an internship is required to obtain your online bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management, with all work being performed in the tourism or hospitality industry. And usually, the requirements are between 800 – 1000 hours, depending on the online or traditional university you are attending. Your internship typically can be fulfilled in two summers or part-time while in class, contingent upon the number of hours you work. Also, most Hospitality Management programs require that the internship being utilized is on an “approved” list of employers. Employers and professors often work closely together to match the perfect job with the appropriate student, as well as, an approved number of specified work hours. Ordinarily, finding an internship in the hospitality industry is made easy due to the fact that tourism industry professionals regularly attend university job fairs to recruit graduates and interns. The work program must meet the requirements of the school’s administration. Generally, a “work experience” form will be completed by your employer to submit to your school for proof of hours. Some internships pay an hourly wage in addition to credits and some don’t; your experience is your compensation.
Perhaps you’re wondering what type of work you will be doing in your internship. Of course, this can vary depending on your area of study, however, some examples may include front office clerk, waiter/waitress, restaurant host/hostess, a night auditor, banquet or catering sales, cook or assistant cook, management trainee or perhaps a convention, wedding or event planner. Generally, positions in retail sales, lifeguarding or landscaping are not acceptable. Again, if in doubt, please check with your counselor for approval.
Since you are gaining experience, try to take advantage of every opportunity available by participating in as many opportunities as you can. Do your best to get maximum benefits from your internship by volunteering for the mundane tasks, as well as the more exciting projects. Your experience should be diverse and performed in several departments, preferably, increasing your responsibilities as you go. You will be responsible for your own transportation to and from the work site and housing, if required. In addition, if you are interested in international travel, many countries such as Switzerland, Scotland and London or the Caribbean and other exotic locales offer internship opportunities.
There are many benefits of an internship while earning your Hospitality Management degree. Most importantly, you will gain valuable, practical experience in an actual working environment in the hospitality and tourism industry. You can expect to learn business leadership skills, effective communication, customer service etiquette, as well as, handling maintenance issues, managing personnel and security issues. All work related experience will look great on your resume’. Or, perhaps you haven’t decided which specific area you wish to make a career, then actual work experience will help you choose which field is your passion!
An internship while earning your Hospitality Management bachelor’s degree will complement your student learning education. It assures that, upon graduation, you will be an asset to any perspective employer to obtain gainful employment.
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