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The Truth About Management Training

The big day is coming up, so probably right now you are rehearsing your speech and hat toss, or maybe waiting nervously for exam results. I hope many of you managed to secure a job, but if you haven’t, no panic!

Most of you are hesitating between getting an entry-level position and doing a Management Training. Since I was one of the lucky people to nail a very selective Management Program with one of the biggest players in the hotel industry, I am glad to share my experience and I hope it will help some of you to make the right decision.

Management training is a great idea if you don’t know where to start

I highly recommend MT programs to those who intend to remain in hotel business but are not 100% sure of what pathway to take. You will get a taste of how different departments operate, and maybe you will want to work in HR in spite of having a degree in Marketing, or you will realize you are better off dealing with numbers and figures than troublesome customers. It is important to figure out what you really want to do in the very beginning; you have about 40 years to go before your retirement, so you’d better enjoy what you’re doing!

If you are planning to run your business in future, management training is also a must. It’s experiential learning; you wouldn’t be able to learn how to ride a bike from a textbook, would you? During your management program you will be faced with real-life situations, your creativity, resourcefulness and stress resistance will be tested on a daily basis. And you will be able to use and adapt best practices and management strategies to your own business later in life.

Be realistic about your expectations

Sorry to disappoint you, but management training does not guarantee a fast track career. The way most hotel companies market this program to you is strikingly similar: training through a rotation, interaction with different departments, getting a hands-on practical experience. In reality, chances are you will be doing things you are overqualified for, working very long hours and being paid nowhere near enough. Your employer saves costs due to all the extra hours you work and projects you implement.

Again, I am not here to discourage you. But I have seen people who struggled their way through a management training just to get an entry-level position in the end. So don’t be misguided by the word ‘management’ in the name of a program. It is very unlikely you will become a manager right after you complete your 12 or 18 months.

The best reason not to take a MT program

Honestly, if you know precisely what department you want to work in, apply for an entry-level position. It will save you time, as you will start expanding your field of expertise in your area of interest from day one. To put it more bluntly: if you are planning to work in Marketing, you might not want to spend a precious year or two of your career checking in clients or waiting on tables instead of learning know-hows and strategies and building your network.

How to choose a perfect management program

This is something you should be good at by now: research, research and more research. Talk to the employees currently employed by the company on your ‘potential employers’ list. Get an idea of what’s behind the brand, would you be able to fit in? Use linkedin to get in touch with people who have completed a similar program. Did they remain in this company? What position were they offered?

During an interview be completely honest in terms of your expectations, things you are ready to do and vice versa. If you want to do office work, don’t pretend you will be happy doing a cross training in operations. If you want to remain in the same country, don’t claim you are eager to relocate, hoping they probably won’t do it. If they bring it up, they will.

A word of wisdom about careers

Your first job is rarely what you expect it to be. But the key is to enjoy yourself. If one day you wake up and realize you get a sinking feeling every time you go to work, than search for something else. Don’t be afraid to try something new: another company, another country, another specialization. The most successful careers are rarely linear.

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About the author

Glion Institute of Higher Education
Glion Institute of Higher Education is a private Swiss institution offering bachelor’s and master’s degrees in hospitality, luxury and event management to an international student body across three campuses in Switzerland and London, UK.
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