Why study hospitality? That’s one of the many questions I’ve gotten. For me, it was a clear choice. I like people and I didn’t want to be stuck in an office space typing, calculating and communicating with people over a phone. I wanted to make people happy, as hospitality workers are, by nature, people pleasers, who feed off of the happiness of guests and the act of giving the experience of a lifetime.
Now you may ask why go to a school for these basic human skills? The answer is complex. Currently, I am studying in the third best university in the world for hospitality, learning from professionals of this business, learning how to create the best luxury experience.
My first semester was all about getting our hands dirty…literally. I had to gut fish and get covered in blood in the gastronomic restaurant and clean student accommodations, which you can imagine was filled with horrible sights. I won’t get into much detail with that one for your sake. Yes, I did get my hands dirty, but those experiences made me only appreciate the industry more. I got to know first handedly what I love about the industry and what is the secret of happiness: prioritizing the needs of others before your own.
My favourite classes during the first semester were everything that had to do with food and beverage. These included wine tasting, mixology, and kitchen service. We really got the full experience—beyond theory. We got to feel the pressure and the adrenaline rush, which is truly almost addictive. That rush is my drug of choice. One cannot exactly describe the feeling, you have to experience it yourself. It’s very stressful, but that is the beauty of it all.
The other semesters we learned how to become managers/owners. The courses were more specific to hospitality. We studied accounting, but it was tailored specific to number crunching of hotel operations. We also learned how to organize and create events, and deal with all sorts of customers. We learned psychology and philosophy: how to go down to human nature and learn why we want the things that we want. That for me is another factor as to why I chose this career path. It is essential to know about human nature, how we function and what affects our behaviors.
Now, you might be asking the following: “But after uni, which career paths can you go on?” You can go wherever your heart desires from fashion to real estate, art to private banking, events management to hospitality and restaurant management. You have a competitive edge over other applicants because you know what a luxury clientele wants, you know how to deal with people perfectly and, most importantly, you know how crucial teamwork is from your first semester.
Overall, personally, the reason why I wanted to go into this field was the beauty of how imperfect all of it is. You may present or attempt to present a perfect image to a client, execute a perfect service that respects luxury standards, but, behind that velvet curtain of luxury is perfect chaos. A paradox, it is a perfect chaos because of how much you support one another while trying to selflessly create the ideal experience.
The whole industry’s basis is about being selfless and putting all ego aside while going to the core of human nature. That to me is beautiful and is a key factor as to why I chose this field. We humans are social creatures after all, and hospitality is a celebration of that. Hospitality celebrates our basic needs and accomplishes our wants.
#LBSSphiloxenia, by @irirkay, BBA in International Hospitality Management student at Glion Institute of Higher Education