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Instead of the usual good experiences and deep-rooted interests that lead many students to follow a certain academic path, a number of bad, sometimes terrible experiences have led me to want to follow a career in hospitality.

As a member of a successful school and college orchestra, I had the good fortune to travel around the UK and Europe, taking part in competitions and concerts. These often required overnight stays in hotels, and long hours spent in concert halls and theatres. Sadly, I can count the number of excellent experiences on one hand, whereas the bad experiences are numerous. It was these experiences that first ignited my interest in the hospitality and tourism industry, and this interest was further enhanced by the subsequent courses I took at college.

I could see how the little things made a big difference, and how good hospitality relied on good management, budgeting and service. To me, hospitality is not just serving breakfast on time, or accommodating requests from customers at the drop of a hat. It is about managing and training staff, ensuring the budget is spent in the right places and minimising the potential for mistakes. These are key factors to running a successful hospitality business in this ever-growing industry.

My part-time job at a local hotel and restaurant further reinforced this belief. I took on many roles, including cleaning, waitressing and helping out on reception, and this enabled me to see how the business worked from a number of angles. I found a major problem to be that senior staff were not aware of the academic and business side to hospitality, and this in turn led to inadequate service. Simple things like ensuring enough staff were available to cover demand for services (for example, bar tending or waitressing) or ensuring training was provided and encouraged for staff to grow and develop seemed to fall by the wayside on occasion. I have already deduced that this is not acceptable when trying to run a successful hospitality business, but I want to go further and learn how to rectify issues like these, and studying hospitality will help me to discover that.

I have been able to secure holiday employment at this hotel and restaurant, and hope to put what I learn at university into action during these periods. I also believe this will aid my learning, as I will be able to see and experience what I am studying, and use this to enhance my work at university.

I would like to pursue a career in hotel management, and my dream is to eventually own my own hotel. While this may seem a pipe dream, it is one I will continue to aim for, hopefully bolstered by a degree in this subject.


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