Across two webinars for BBA and Master’s students, we brought together industry experts, experienced Faculty and GIHE Management Team members to share their advice and insight on securing employment and internships as hospitality emerges from COVID-19.
Hosted by Jonathan Humphries, Head of International Hotel Development & Asset Management Specialization, the two webinars discuss what the rebounding hospitality job market will look like, highlighting specific traits employers will need in their post-COVID-19 talent. Bringing in knowledge from the real-world, the experts also provide actionable advice on what students can do to increase their chances of securing roles.
“Tourism that doesn’t require crossing borders is expected to recover ahead of international”
With 25 years’ experience in hospitality, Michael Heyward, Faculty GIHE London and Managing Director at Heyward Hospitality Solutions, has seen the industry go through numerous crises. In the webinar, he discusses where the opportunities will be post-COVID-19, and how to adjust your job search accordingly.
“The kind of markets that we believe will recover fastest and strongest are markets that have strong domestic tourism, such as Germany, the UK, Italy and France. Essentially, tourism that doesn’t require crossing borders is expected to recover ahead of international. This is important because you may need to rethink where the greatest opportunities are,” he says.
“Mid-scale and economy demand has been a little more robust and is expected to recover more quickly than upscale and luxury. As for your career prospects and internships prospects, you really are in a great industry. Even in dark times like this, hospitality is an industry that we can be absolutely confident in rebounding.”
Flexibility is key
Bringing a candid and market-wide view on the current state of employment in hospitality, recruitment consulting expert, Chris Mumford, shared the traits hiring managers will be looking for as we emerge from COVID-19.
“This industry is hugely vibrant and diverse these days, it’s co-working, co-living, hostels, real estate,” he says.
“To take advantage of that, flexibility is the keyword. The best way to prepare yourself for the future is to have a high degree of flexibility around what segment you want to work in.”
“There’s going to be a greater demand for multi-skilled hoteliers going forward, people who can pick up multiple tasks and are not quite so narrowly focused as they were in the past.”
“Bring in a lot of geographic flexibility into your job search, go where the opportunities are. Look at where most large-scale development in our industry is occurring, for example, lots of development is happening in Saudi Arabia right now.”
Be patient and network
The power of the personal network to source opportunities and build careers is well understood by Glion students and alumni. For Fabrice Tessier, VP School Relations and Partnerships, Accor, your network is where you should be investing your time ahead of the rebound.
“Look at your network, your personal brand, the contacts you have, the alumni, everyone you can connect with will be fantastic for tomorrow,” he says.
“Get some information about the industry, its trends, the careers possible. Don’t stick in one position, be prepared to do something different. You are going to grow, but you have to be patient.”
As part of both webinars, the experts were joined by Dean of Students, Jacqueline Moore Gross, and Head of Career and Internship, Jacquie Lutz, for a student Q&A. Topics included MIT program start dates, the value of spontaneous applications and where to focus your job search.
We are busy creating a series of webinars offering student support and career advice during COVID-19. Together, we will get through this. Check back soon.