Operations Manager in Hospitality, Event Management and Tourism
What will I learn?
It is Summer of 2014 now, way back when the Olympic Games came to London in 2012, most of us were busy cheering on Mo or taking snaps of the torch relay – but for hospitality, event management and tourism experts, it was a rather busy time.
Many recent graduates and students were lucky enough to work on the 2012 games, which is a perfect example of the range of skills required to succeed in the events/hospitality/tourism sector. Graduates need to have an understanding of event bidding, finance and accounting, project management – and much more.
Hospitality, events and tourism students often sit within one department and, understandably, they gain many of the same professional skills.
Hospitality students tend to focus more specifically on the running of hotels, restaurants, catering businesses and events. They have lectures on quality control, the latest food and drink, front of house and housekeeping skills. On event management courses, an emphasis is place on the broader picture – ie. how do you plan, promote and run events? And the term events is incredibly diverse, including anything from a small wedding to a big corporate meeting or the American super bowl.
Tourism students will learn all about how to manage the movement of one billion people around the planet, and think about what the economic, environmental and social impacts of this movement are. Our national heritage, forests, coastlines and culture are dependent on tourism, and need to be managed by professionals who understand who travels, how they travel and why they travel. When natural and manmade disasters strike, tourism professionals need to know how to respond and how to help companies and destinations recover.
Tourism is the chief source of income for 42 of the world’s poorest 50 countries, and studying the pro-poor effects of tourism is a popular part of tourism programmes.
All three courses will produce entrepreneurial graduates who are capable of setting up their own businesses. A core feature of the best programmes includes an extended period of work placement in industry. Hospitality, events and tourism are industries that requires graduates with maturity and great decision-making skills. A successful period of industry experience can make all the difference when it comes to securing a job when upon graduation.
What skills will I gain?
Good courses will contain a strong element of professional skills teaching – this includes IT skills, time management and how to communicate in business. You will learn to plan events, assess developments, market companies and develop businesses. Numeracy skills as well as an ability to work as part of a team, are essential.
What job can I get?
Graduates might work as a hotel, restaurant or catering manager, while events specialists might work as events consultant, events managers, operations managers or venue marketing coordinators.
For tourism graduates, the most obvious career path is into a tour operator where they might be responsible for recruiting overseas reps or any aspect of operations. In all three sectors, graduates may move into head office and become responsible for marketing, contracting, human resources, or planning and design. Looking more broadlyat the jobs market, there are opportunities in consultancy, local economic development, real estate, visitor attraction management, cruise, journalism and PR.
What will look good on the CV?
• Practical work experience
• Language skills
• Evidence of problem-solving, decision-making and initiative
To Learn more about career in operations management and what really happens in that field, see “Interviews with Masters of Operations Management”