Hospitality and Leisure Industry Mini-Guide


Hospitality careers incorporate hotels, pubs, leisure clubs, travel and tourism along with sporting venues, restaurants and gaming.

With a hospitality management degree you will have opportunities to become a hotel, pub or restaurant manager, a chef or catering manager. Your degree would also be useful as a retail or tour manager, customer services manager or within human resources. The area of travel and tourism will include self catering and holiday centres both in the UK and abroad. You might prefer event management and could work for a hotel or venue organising weddings, parties and conferences or eventually large scale concerts or festivals including seasonal fairs or county shows.


What skills and qualifications will I need?


During your time studying, you will have developed excellent communication skills and are likely to be a people person and interacting and working with others. The ability to work independently, unsupervised and then seamlessly move to be part of a team are important. In producing reports you will have gained IT skills whilst you were collecting and analysing data. You will need to delegate effectively and it is possible to move to a position of responsibility quickly in this industry if you are able to show promise and a willingness to learn early on in your career.


If you are considering hotel management think about the type of guests you might have, which countries they are from, what languages might be useful to you in order to succeed?


If you looking at event management you will need to be able to think and react quickly – you will need to show that you have the safety of your delegates and guests as a priority.


What else do I need to know?


Get some experience in your chosen area – many hotels and large chains will offer placements as part of your hospitality course so you can find out about what the job entails in more detail. It will give you the chance to make contacts and network with colleagues to find out more information about the company and industry as a whole.


You can choose to work in a number of different areas incorporating catering, conference and event management. There will also be opportunities within the public sector in hospitals, universities and the armed forces. Some organisations offer fast track graduate management schemes, so research carefully to see where your best opportunities lie.


You might also have the opportunity to organise events on a bigger scale if you find you have the ability to organise and coordinate a number of suppliers at once. Think about all the careers fairs and music festivals that you have been to – someone will be behind the scenes organising and planning. Could that be you?

Your success will very much depend on your interpersonal and organisational skills and ability to work under pressure – in general the role is about finding out what the customer wants and delivering it, so you will need to provide an outstanding customer experience (potentially turning a bad experience into a good one, or maintaining a balance if the customer holds a different view to your own!).


Top Tip


A good place to start could be volunteering with events at your Uni or working with external companies (like mybrink) on freshers or careers events.


You’ll need to have a real interest in working in an area which is all about giving other people a good time, whilst you work under often significant pressure behind the scenes.


Where can I get more information?


The British Hospitality Association (BHA) is here and the Institute of Hospitality have useful information and guidance.