I’m so lucky?
?You’re so lucky!? I heard this phrase countless times when I received my job offer a couple months before graduation. I still hear it now, especially from my recently graduated peers and even more so from my fellow hospitality graduates. The truth is luck has very little to do with it. I have a good job because I worked hard to get it. Professors, advisors, faculty and recruiters stressed the importance of gaining experience and doing internships early on and, unlike a lot of my peers, I listened.
We, as a generation, are known for taking the easy way out and having everything handed to us. Sure, go ahead and blame the economy, but the fact is businesses are hiring. The difference is they are now more selective in their hiring process. So, either you are not looking hard enough or maybe you just don’t deserve the job.
But you have a college degree. How could you not deserve the job? What does a Bachelors of Science in Hospitality Management really mean without any experience? Put someone in a big box hotel on an oversold night with a short staff (aka, last Saturday) and see what that degree does then. Better yet, show your degree to the guest who’s waiting for their room at 11 p.m., and I?m sure they will understand.
I?m obviously being sarcastic, but I?m also very serious. No class ever taught me how to handle that. Working and gaining the experience needed to handle the unforeseeable day-to-day operations in a hotel is what helps me get through situations such as the one I just mentioned. The degree seems like more of a formality.
Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking higher education by any means. I?m also not putting down Hospitality Management programs. I know that combined with hands on experience these programs can be very rewarding. I wouldn?t be here if it weren?t for my college education and my program of choice. What I am saying is that there is a lot more that needs to go along with a degree, especially in this industry.
It really boils down to the person, though. Certain people are built for this industry and many are not. Another important part of gaining experience is to see if this really what you want to devote your life to. I?ve seen friends graduate and hate the industry once they broke into it after college. My personal suggestion is to get a taste of the industry and see how you feel about it before you spend US$100,000 dollars getting a degree in it. Take it from me: I?m one of the ?lucky ones.?